AFL-CIO Opposing DBS Merger

The AFL-CIO, the country's most influential labor organization, has announced
its opposition to the direct-broadcast satellite merger between EchoStar
Communications Corp. and DirecTV Inc. parent Hughes Electronics Corp.

On May 22, the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of
Industrial Organizations) executive council adopted a resolution in opposition
to the $25.8 billion merger and sent copies of it to the Federal Communications
Commission and every member of Congress.

In the one-page resolution, the AFL-CIO said the merger would create a DBS
monopoly in rural America in violation of antitrust laws. On labor issues, the
resolution alleged that EchoStar has 'refused to engage in serious collective

EchoStar and Hughes announced the deal last fall, promising to use their
resources to provide local TV signals in every U.S. market, to roll out
one-dozen high-definition-television channels and to provide two-way high-speed
Internet access in rural areas unserved by cable and phone companies.

The AFL-CIO, headed by president John Sweeney, is the umbrella organization
for 66 unions that represent 13 million trade workers in all 50