Last week, Nick Berardino announced that he'd retire in July as head of the Orange County Employee's Association. In the 11 years that he headed the largest public-employee's union in OC, Berardino gave muscle to labor in the county, a group that historically was dismissed as weak. Berardino fought prominent battles against county executives and the Costa Mesa City Council's efforts to lay off hundreds of employees, and provided the seed money to help start the Voice of OC, a nonprofit news website lauded for its investigative news chops. Will Berardino's departure weaken OC labor or has he left it in a position to get even more powerful in the future?
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