LABOR: Wimpy Takes Command

"We're perceived as a middle-class lobby protecting our own ass. "

That dour view of U.S. unions comes from the newest member of their high command, William ("Wimpy") Winpisinger. Last week he became president of the 910,000-member International Association of Machinists, a union that rarely makes headlines but ranks as fifth largest in the nation and third biggest in the AFL-CIO. As I.A.M. chief, Winpisinger, 52, automatically becomes a member of the labor federation's 35-man executive council. There he will be in a position to fight against what he regards as Big Labor's drawbacks: stagnating union membership, growing conservatism, weakening...

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