Continued from page 1

AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker took a shot at the growing conservative “tea party” movement, accusing its leaders of being more beholden to big business than to workers.

“We’re fighting for working families - and the tea party and its corporate backers are not going to get the final word,” she said.

Mr. Trumka said he doesn’t perceive the tea party as a threat to workers and will gladly work with its followers to support workers’ rights. But he added that the movement at times has included hateful rhetoric that poses a “threat to America and democracy.”

“If the tea party people want to constructively try to create jobs with us, we’d welcome that. It wouldn’t be something we’d turn against,” he said. “However, if they want to use harsh language and try to create a polarization, we think that’s the wrong way to go.”

Mr. Trumka declined to say how much the group will spend on its midterm election campaign, though he added, “We’ll have plenty of resources to energize, to mobilize and to activate our members.”