According to columnist Robert Novak, the Dep’t of Justice’s decision to remove government oversight of the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Int’l Union, after a surprisingly short five years to monitor any connections with organized crime, has raised speculation in labor circles that its president, John Wilhelm, soon might replace Richard Trumka in the AFL-CIO’s No.2 job.
Wilhelm became a “rising star” in the union movement when he organized 22,000 new hotel employees in Las Vegas. Now he is incorrectly being credited with cleaning up a mob-infested union.
Trumka was permitted to stay on as AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer by president John Sweeney in violation of union rules after he invoked the 5th Amendment to avoid federal investigators’ questions. Novak said, “If the Republicans take over [DOJ], Trumka could be a target of a new investigation.” [Chi. Sun-Times 12/10/00] Here, here. It’s about time. Trumka needs to be brought to justice.