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Clinton To Address Teamsters Dinner

October 6, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Reaching out to a key labor group, President Clinton will speak at a New York dinner honoring Teamsters union president James P. Hoffa, whose powerful federation is struggling to recover from years of corruption.

Clinton will meet privately with Hoffa on Thursday at an event sponsored by the National Labor Research Association, a labor-backed research group.

``The president reaches out on a regular basis to labor union leaders in this country and will continue to do so,″ White House press secretary Joe Lockhart said.

Clinton’s appearance comes four days before the AFL-CIO, which includes the Teamsters, opens its annual convention in Los Angeles. The union is expected to consider whether to endorse Vice President Al Gore in his race against former Sen. Bill Bradley for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Lockhart played down the politics of Thursday’s event.

``I think they’ll discuss issues that involve rank and file Teamsters and working Americans,″ Lockhart said. ``I don’t know that there’ll be any discussions of political endorsements.″

Clinton’s attendance at the dinner also gives prominence to the Teamsters’ drive to end strict federal supervision intended to remove any taint of mob influence from the union.

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