Eastern Told It's Too Early to Involve U.S. in Machinist Dispute

From Associated Press

Labor Secretary Elizabeth Hanford Dole today said it is too early to respond to the AFL-CIO's request for intervention in an Eastern Airlines labor dispute.

The union's executive council on Monday opened its annual meeting by asking President Bush to appoint a presidential emergency board to mediate the dispute between Eastern machinists and management. Such a move would delay a strike planned for March 4 by 60 days.

But Dole said it is premature to say whether Bush will appoint a board, saying he is awaiting a report from the National Mediation Board and legal advice from the Labor and Transportation departments.

AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland promised full support for the Eastern machinists in the event of a strike.

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