Succession planning union style

In the recent round of contract talks involving Philadelphia's major hospitals and eight nursing homes, Chris Woods was a key player on the union side of the bargaining table representing 1199C. Word around the union hall is that Henry Nicholas, 76, the union's longtime leader, considers Woods to be the heir apparent.

I asked Nicholas' longtime lieutenant, Peter Gould, how he feels about Woods anointment, especially since Gould wasn't the one to get Nicholas' nod, despite years of service.

You can read more about Woods and Nicholas' thinking in my story in Wednesday's Inquirer and a longer profile of Henry Nicholas, with a video about his relationship with Martin Luther King Jr., that ran in Sunday's Inquirer.

Nicholas, a cancer survivor, has no plans to retire, but he said that succession planning is a must, both for himself and for other top leaders in the union. "I have an obligation. I hold the future of a lot of people in my hand."

Gould endorses the move:

"The one thing the union doesn't need is a 61-year-old who's going to be an interim caretaker. If you look at any organization, or at our organization, we have a lot of people in leadership, who they may, not by plan or by design, they get sick, they die. These things can happen. You can't lallygag round and not have a plan about what happens to the organization. You have to develop the next round of leadership. They have to have an opportunity to develop."   

To read more, check out my Jobbing Blog

Monday: Jewish pharmacists in Harlem and a Philadelphia union

Tuesday: Barack, Hillary and the Philadelphia labor movement 

Tomorrow: Union protest: Spectacularly strategic or funny?  

Tomorrow: Tales from the bargaining table.