Reformers Defeated in Chicago

On May 28, the incumbent slate won all elected offices in the scandal-scarred Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Int’l Union Local 1 in Chicago. It was the first vote in 16 years for the leadership of Local 1. Incumbent boss Terry Maloney won 1,895 votes to reformers James Michalik’s 1,180 and Ramon Mursuli’s 55. A 1998 report by the HERE’s court-appointed monitor found a history of union corruption and suggested that Local 1 should have been placed under a trusteeship years ago. Last Aug., Local 1’s previous boss, Thomas Hanley, was banned from holding any union office for a year. He was also forced to pay a $25,000 fine based on charges he embezzled funds from the union and breached his fiduciary duties. His father, Edward Hanley, was HERE’s top boss and swung a controversial immunity deal with the Dep’t of Justice to avoid civil and criminal prosecution.

Maloney called the election an endorsement of his leadership; he said members saw through cynical reports in the media. Michalik called the result “disappointing, but not depressing.” He vowed to continue to challenge the status quo. He said that the outcome might have been different if a postal ballot voting system was used resulting in higher turnout. It was only 23%. [Chicago Tribune 5/30/99, BNA 6/4/99]