Next week, I'm going out to Pittsburgh to meet Rich Trumka, the number two guy at the AFL-CIO and a complete shoo-in to take over the nation's largest labor federation when current leader John Sweeney retires this year. So what should I ask Trumka? Trumka's a former miner and a lawyer who grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania. One of the top officials in the United Mine Workers told me that he was happy that Trumka would be leading the AFL-CIO because, as he said, Trumka has chutzpah. He used another word related to the male anatomy
I've met Trumka before and he is very personable, but I find that, at least in public, most leaders of large organizations are personable.
Please, send me your suggestions. My question is whether unions have any ability whatsoever to turn around the flood of layoffs we've seen.