UNIONS: Steeling for a Critical Battle

lorwith Wilbur Abel, president of the 1.4 million-member United Steelworkers of America, is usually reserved. But last month in Las Vegas, addressing the union's biennial convention for the last time—he is 68 and will retire next June—Abel turned uncharacteristically vitriolic. He stormed that "shifty busybodies" telling "Hitler-type lies" were trying to take over the union because they covet its "healthy treasury."

No need to mention names. Everyone knew Abel meant Ed Sadlowski, the 38-year-old director of U.S.W. District 31, which includes Chicago and Gary, Ind. The engaging, rough-talking Sadlowski plans to announce...

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