AFL-CIO leaders threatened to yank their union's support from politicians who don't support federal legislation banning the hiring of permanent replacement workers during labor strikes.

"A politician who does not support us on this is doing so at their own risk," said Morton Bahr, president of the Communications Workers of America, a part of the AFL-CIO."We regard it as a matter of great urgency, and of course it will weigh heavily on our view of the extent to which members of Congress running for re-election will be supported," said AFL-CIO President Lane Kirk-land.

The AFL-CIO's 33-member Executive Council opened its winter meeting Monday by urging Congress to enact legislation that would bar companies from hiring permanent replacement workers during a strike.

The labor leaders contend that in recent years companies have fired their union work force by replacing them with non-union employees during strikes.

They point to Eastern Airlines, Greyhound Bus Lines and, most recently, the strikebound Daily News of New York.