At a Dec. 15 Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Int’l Union meeting in Chicago, trustees of HERE’s health and welfare fund rescinded their highly-controversial 800-hour rule for health insurance coverage for union members. The new rule requires 224 hours a year to qualify. The former rule was implemented several months ago required members to work at least 800 hours a year to qualify for self-pay insurance and was intended to stop abuse. But, it hurt many members.
It also produced negative publicity for HERE boss John W. Wilhelm and threatened his undeserved squeaky-clean media image. HERE Local 226 dissidents in Las Vegas questioned Wilhelm’s apparent conflict of interest — he is an insurance fund trustee and his wife is employed at the insurance office. [Las Vegas Rev.-J. 12/24/99]