Replacing Key Labor Figure Could Take Months

A bit more on the Central Labor Council’s efforts to replace President Jack Ahern, who departed yesterday after a rocky stewardship that saw his salary double and important allies flea.

In resigning for what he called “personal differences” with other labor leaders, Ahern said things were in place for the organization to chose a slate of officials for delegates to vote on by the March 31 meeting.

But sources with knowledge of the situation say that’s way too early. The process could take months, not days, to be complete.

Right now, Dennis Hughes, state leader of the AFL-CIO is taking charge of the New York City-based umbrella organization and there are plans to conduct a thorough review of the CLC. There’s also talk of conducting a national search for an executive director, I’m told. That alone could months.

There are also plans to reexamine how the organization operates (good details from Steven Greenhouse’s piece), deals with its affiliates and re-asserts itself in the New York city conversation about labor.

As for who, eventually, could replace Ahern, the name I hear most often is Jim Conigliaro Sr. of the International Machinist. He politely declined to comment on the matter.