SAN DIEGO, Feb. 27 — With Republicans on the defensive over corruption, the A.F.L.-C.I.O's leaders said on Monday that there was a strong chance in this fall's elections to oust what they said were antiworker majorities in the House and Senate.
The union leaders voted to spend $40 million in the campaign, their most ever in a midterm election.
"The 2006 elections present a crucial opportunity for working people at a time when our country is at a tipping point," the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s leaders said in a resolution. "In the House and the Senate, the opportunity exists to wrest control from the radically antiworker majorities that control both bodies."
Union leaders said they would concentrate their efforts on 15 Senate races, 40 House races and governors races in California, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
"This a unique situation," said Karen Ackerman, political director of the federation, a grouping of 52 unions and nine million workers. "The political environment is very fluid. The Republicans are in disarray."
The $40 million is an increase from $35 million in the 2002 campaign even though the federation cut its budget by 25 percent after four unions quit last year. The money will not be used for contributions, but to mobilize union members.
Insisting that the federation was nonpartisan, John J. Sweeney, the president, stopped short of saying he favored Democrats over Republicans, although he said Democrats usually took a better stance on worker issues. In the past, Mr. Sweeney has called President Bush the most antiworker president ever, citing his tax cuts favoring the wealthy and his efforts to revamp Social Security.
Tracey Schmitt, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, said: "The A.F.L.-C.I.O. can throw money at Democrats' campaigns, but the truth is their support of failed policies and failed candidates has been rejected by voters year after year. Millions of hardworking Americans have benefited under this president's economic policies."
At the federation's annual winter meeting, leaders adopted a tougher stance on trade. They called for an across-the-board surcharge on all imports, a move they said would reduce the record trade deficit. They said trade rules permitted such a move when a nation's balance of payments is out of control.
Ms. Ackerman said that even though several major unions withdrew from the federation last year those unions were likely to cooperate closely with it on Senate, House and governors' races.
Labor leaders asserted that Democrats would be more effective if they did more to emphasize pocketbook issues, like soaring health costs and threats to pensions.
"The Democrats have been working on this," Mr. Sweeney said. "I don't think they're there yet."