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Dunlop Issues Statement of Resignation

January 14, 1976

STATEMENT BY SECRETARY DUNLOP

A year ago this week when President Ford invited me to be Secretary of Labor, I asked what he wished to have accomplished in this cabinet post. He responded that his first priority for this area was a restoration of communications between the labor movement and the President and his Administration and the related access to the constructive joint contributions of labor and management to help resolve the serious economic problems engulfing the country. This objective, together with the opportunity for improvement of many of the Department's programs, appealed to me, for they reflected a life-long professional interest.

In labor-management relations a sense of trust, confidence and respect is essential for any genuine communications among labor, management and government. These attitudes do not preclude, indeed they permit and encourage, honest differences of view strongly expressed.

Since December 22nd, I have consulted widely with labor and management leaders, as in January 1975, regarding the prospects for constructive developments in the labor-management field with the government and in the areas of responsibility of the Department of Labor. It is my sober conclusion from these discussions that attitudes have been significantly affected and that the requisite communications, confidence and trust, is no longer possible, at least with me in the post of Secretary of Labor. Accordingly, I have submitted my resignation. My decision reflects a professional judgment as to what practically can and cannot be achieved this year.

I regret these developments, in part because of the number of able people who have come to work with the Department with different expectations, and in part because of the foregone opportunities for long-term constructive work on international labor affairs, regulatory improvement, labor-management relations in several industries and programs in employment and training.

My deep concern is that the internal processes of both political parties not impair the country's capacity for effective self-government for yet another critical year.

I have expressed to the President my view that his willingness to listen to divergent views and his numerous courtesies to me, I shall always cherish.