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Business Briefs: Tens of thousands for labor rally

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Harry Keaney

The New York City Central Labor Council of the AFL-CIO will hold its Labor Day celebration on Sept. 1, the Wednesday before Labor Day.

Activities will start with an 8 a.m. breakfast in the Sheraton Hotel, on West 53rd Street and Seventh Avenue, in Manhattan which will be attended by labor leaders, including AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, as well as civic, political and religious figures.

At 5 p.m., union members in their tens of thousands will assemble on Central Park West, between 61st and 80th Streets. Different unions will have designated points at which to meet.

They will then march by Columbus Circle, across Central Park South and will enter Central Park at 59th Street. They will march along Park Drive East up to to 72nd Street, and to the summer stage theater.

There, the main speaker will be John Sweeney. A diverse selection of musical entertainment will also be provided.

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There is also expectations that potential U.S. Senate election adversaries Mayor Rudy Giuliani and First Lady Hillary Clinton, and perhaps even some U.S. presidential candidates, may show up.

For details on the parade, call (212) 685-9552.

Kirkland dies

Lane Kirkland, president of the AFL-CIO from 1979 to 1995, died on Saturday last at his home in Washington. He was 77. The cause of death was lung cancer.

Kirkland was John Sweeney’s immediate predecessor as AFL-CIO president. In what became open revolt against Kirkland in 1995, Sweeney’s allies were Gerald McEntee, president of the municipal workers; Richard Trumka, then president of the mine workers and Ronald Carey, then president of the teamsters.

When Kirkland announced he was stepping down, Thomas Donahue, the AFL-CIO’s secretary-treasurer, and Kirkland’s choice to be his successor, announced his candidacy. He was defeated, however, by Sweeney.

Kirkland’s predecessor was George Meany.

Irish-rooted governor

New York Governor George Pataki now knows that Irish American hospitality is transAtlantic. During the governor’s trip to Ireland last week, the Ireland Chamber of Commerce in the U.S. hosted a reception for him and his family in the Kildare Hotel and Country Club.

Pataki indicated his wish to visit Ireland during the governor’s breakfast, held under the auspices of ICCUSA, on March 17 last in New York. While in Ireland, Pataki and family members, including his mother, made a private trip to Blackrock in County Louth from where Pataki’s maternal grandmother was born and lived until she immigrated to the the U.S. in the early part of this century.

Bracing for an IPO

Aer Lingus pilots are bracing for the airline’s take-off as a public company. The pilots want a 14.9 percent shareholding in the company on top of the 5 percent workers currently hold individually if the company goes public.

The 400 pilots are members of the Irish Airline Pilots Association.

Travel tip

CIE Tours International is offering a long weekend getaway trip "Taste of Ireland," priced from $799 from New York, Newark or Boston, including roundtrip flights, fully escorted sightseeing on luxury motorcoach, superior and first class hotel accommodations for four nights, full Irish breakfasts and dinners daily. Prices from Chicago start at $869 per person. Departures are scheduled weekly on Thursdays from Oct. 14 through Nov. 18. Return flight to the U.S. is on Tuesdays.

O’Reilly’s in the kitchen

Although Tony O’Reilly’s active involvement with H. J. Heinz is slowly coming to an end, that does not mean the Irishman will not continue to visit the Pittsburgh area from time to time.

Waterford Wedgwood PLC, of which O’Reilly is chairman, recently bought All-Clad Metalcrafters, a Canonsburg, Pa., maker of premium cookwear, for $110 million. The acquisition will help Waterford Wedgwood tap into a booming market for casual luxury cooking and dining accessories in the U.S. and Europe.

O’Reilly is expected to step aside as non-executive chairman of Heinz in September 2000. Though he’ll still sit on Heinz’s board and come to Pittsburgh regularly for its meetings, All-Clad gives him more reason to visit the Pittsburgh area. "I arrived here 30 years ago . . . and was about to leave but now I’m back in Canonsburg," he said, according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Going bankrupt

Personal bankruptcies in the U.S. declined by two percent in the past year. It was the first decrease since 1995. New bankruptcy filings during the second quarter dropped to 345,956 from a record 373,460 a year earlier.

Personal bankruptcies are still extremely high; in the 12 months ended June 30, they numbered 1,352,030. Personal bankruptcies accounted for 97 percent of total bankruptcies.

Tax problems?

The IRS will hold a problem solving day to give taxpayers with federal tax problems a chance to work with IRS employees to find solutions on Aug. 25 from 2 p.m. to 6 30 p.m. at its midtown Manhattan office at 110 West 44th Street. Details, (212) 436-1031. Taxpayers with tax problems may also call toll-free (877) 777-4778.

Oops, sorry

The Irish Business Organization of New York will hold a business networking breakfast in Mezze Restaurant, 44th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues, in Manhattan, at 8 a.m. on Aug. 24, not Aug. 25, as was incorrectly stated in last week’s issue. Details, (212) 750-8118.

Period house sale

Cullen House, a six-bedroom ivy-covered Georgian house on 60 acres in Slane, Co. Meath, was sold last week for £800,000. The house was built in the 1790s.

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