Even such a loyal Democratic mainstay as organized labor can be pragmatic when the political winds shift: Unions are giving more than ever to congressional Republicans, now that they rule Capitol Hill. During the first half of 1995, labor PACs gave 24% of their $4.8 million in contributions to GOP members of Congress. That's up from only 5% in the 1993-94 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan finance watchdog group. Maritime unions gave most heavily to GOP lawmakers--58% of their donations. Why? They hope to block GOP legislation that would end federal subsidies for the construction of U.S. ships.
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