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Union leader hangs on

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Harvey Totzke can now breath easier. The head of the Services Trade Council, an umbrella group for the six largest unions at Disney World, has held onto his job at secretary-treasurer of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union Local 737.

Votes tallied on June 30 in the first contested Local 737 election in 18 years showed that Totzke and nine other incumbents defeated insurgent challengers who had declared war on Totzke's six-figure salary, nepotism and, most important, perceived lack of effectiveness at the bargaining table [Toward a more perfect union, June 22]. Nearly 800 ballots were counted under the supervision of the Department of Labor -- which, after deciding the initial March election was improperly done, ordered a new one.

Totzke insisted he had been effective, and that the insurgents' adversarial approach would have broken now-open lines of communication with Disney.

Still, opposition leader Murray Cohen sees a silver lining: "Although we lost, even the other side was heard saying this is a wake-up call. We didn't lose by that much."


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