A Washington, D.C., research group has charged that the A.F.L.-C.I.O. was used by the Central Intelligence Agency as a conduit for funds to overthrow Chile's socialist President Salvadore Allende last fall.
These charges are being voiced by the "Organizing Committee for the Fifth Estate,"--an organization founded, in part, by writer Norman Mailer, to investigate U.S. intelligence agencies.
The Fifth Estate reports that the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s "Latin American Education Project" was used by the C.I.A. to channel millions of dollars to anti-Allende right-wing labor forces in Chile.
George Meany, who serves as chairman of the Latin American Education Project, has denied the charges. But the Fifth Estate reports finding that the project began pouring funds, provided by the U.S. government, into the conservative Chilean Labor Movement in the early 1960's, nearly a decade before Allende rose to power.
The fifth estate says that with Allende's election in 1970, the Latin American Project "swung into action like never before." According to the Fifth Estate, the labor group began holding a series of special seminars for right wing Latin American workers at Front Royal, Virginia, just an hour's drive from the C.I.A. headquarters at Langley.
The research group says that the A.F.L.-C.I.O. project financially supported the truck owner's strike in Chile, a strike which crippled the Chilean economy and helped bring on the downfall of Allende.
Time magazine, during that truckers' strike, reported that the truckers were eating steaks while many other Chilean workers were starving. According to Time, when asked where the money for the steaks came from, striking truckers responded "from the C.I.A."