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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Who Will Replace Miguel?

With the tragic death of Miguel Contreras there has been much speculation as to who will replace Miguel in the coveted position of Executive Secretary.

The interim Secretary Charles Lester is a bit crazy according to many union insiders -- the list of replacements is small but a very powerful groups of individuals.

Let's go through each one.

Maria Elena Durazo -- Head of HERE Local 11 and the wife of Miguel --PRO - a national leader in her own right and very influential with the growing latino union movement. CON - Seen as an ideologue unable to compromise or see the art of the deal.

Sen. Gil Cedillo -- State Senator representing much of a working class district, former union head of SEIU local 660. While Cedillo claims to not be interested in the job his ambition tells him to downplay the interest in the job. PRO- Has a strong base of supporters across the state and knows union politics very well. CON - Building trades and other black/white unions see Gil has a "latino only" type of candidate with his push for drivers licenses for undocumented residents as a good example.

Councilman Martin Ludlow - Los Angeles Councilman and former political director for the county federation (served under Miguel). PRO - A unifying force to bring together the entire union family, seen as a natural leader and someone all the unions trust. CON - his close relationship with Antonio Villaraigosa worries some unions that they will be totally blackballed out of any leadership decisions.

Eliseo Medina - Started his career boycotting grapes and strawberries for farmworkers -- was sent to Chicago to lead the boycotts there -- another National leader with respect from all sectors. PRO - Close with Antonio, but his union endorsed Hahn, a national leader who call Los Angeles home. Currently on assignment in the southwest. CON - Does the county fed want to bring in someone from SEIU when Andy Stern is threatening to leave the AFL-CIO.

Julie Butcher - SEIU Local 347 general manager - perhaps the most powerful woman in the City of Los Angeles. PRO - Sends a strong message to women that there is a seat for them at the table. CON - Same knock on her as Eliseo, her connections to SEIU may be a hardship and a knock on her.

Darkhorse candidate:

Don Attore - CTA fix-it man. Based in Los Angeles Don Attore is seen as man whose rolodex comes second to none in the union world. Can see the art of the deal -- has strong relationships with the Eli Broads of the Los Angeles. PRO - His appointment is not a nod in any one direction to building trades or service employees, can cut good deals for the entire County Fed and because he's not considered a national leader - he can be seen as a transitional leader before the next generation comes up the ranks. CON - Does anyone want CTA to have this much power?

Honorable Mentions:

Sergio Rascon General Mngr Local 300 and Tyrone Freeman General Manager SEIU 434b.



Anonymous Anonymous said:

The Vegas odds have Maria Elena Durazo getting the top spot. A certain Sacramento politician would find this scenario most displeasing to her.

May 26, 2005 1:27 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I agree. MED is the sentimental favorite.

May 26, 2005 1:29 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Cedillo would be best but he's running for re-election. Too bad. Eliseo is my next choice but who knows what happens with AFL-CIO/SEIU.

May 26, 2005 1:33 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Do not count out state wide president for SEIU Local 1877 Justice For Janitors Mike Garcia. Can we also say Janice Wood the wife of the late James Wood. She also carries alot of clout amoung the trades unions and a hell of alot smarter then Maria Elena Durazo.

May 26, 2005 2:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What do Gil Cedillo, Maria Elena Durazo and Antonio Villaraigosa have in common. They all attended the prestigious People's College of Law and they all couldn't pass the bar - no matter how many times they tried. That is why they backed into labor and later politics. This certainly wasn't their first career choice.

The position should go to people who set out to become labor activists from the get go. That is Sergio Rascon or Eliseo Medina. Mike Garcia was just like Contreras, little Mexican YES men for big white labor.

May 26, 2005 3:10 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Charles isn't crazy. Anyway, what's wrong with crazy?

May 26, 2005 4:01 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Who gives a shit. Unions are a dying breed in this town. They've been on the losing side of the last two elections and they're getting aced out of more and more jobs by illegals.

Unions are for dead-headed 60s pinkos to rally around.

They're done, stick a fork in them.

May 26, 2005 4:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

That's true. They're run by old hippies and Mexicans who can't get jobs in the corporate world.

May 29, 2005 1:10 PM  

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