By Ken Alltucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers staff convention, in Cincinnati this week, will hear Friday from Democratic presidential hopefuls Howard Dean and U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt.
Dean, the former governor of Vermont, has attracted considerable political attention in recent weeks through his fund-raising efforts. Also, polls in Iowa indicate Dean is closing the gap with Democratic frontrunner Gephardt.
IAM's 700-delegate staff conference will hear the ideas of each candidate during separate forums Friday, IAM spokesman Frank Larkin said. Details such as time and speech location will be released today.
"We want to hear them address our issues, which are jobs and employment," Larkin said.
With membership of more than 700,000, Washington, D.C-based IAM is the nation's largest transportation union, with some members in the defense and aerospace industries.
The group's staff meeting runs today through Friday at the Albert B. Sabin Cincinnati Convention Center. Cincinnati also will host the group's full convention of several thousand delegates in 2004.
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