The Republican Party named an 18-member labor advisory council yesterday in an attempt to "open doors of communication" with organized labor, but its chairman made it clear the group does not want to talk about embattled Labor Secretary Raymond J. Donovan.
"The matter with the secretary is a matter for the Executive Branch," said W. J. Usery, who was secretary of labor in the Ford administration. He added it "would be unwise" to comment about the controversy around Donovan. Senate Democrats on Tuesday called on President Reagan to ask Donovan to "step aside" until allegations linking him to organized crime and union corruption are resolved.
The GOP labor council membership also includes four public officials and 13 union officials, most representing industries heavily regulated by the federal government. Only two are on the 35-member AFL-CIO Executive Council: longshoremen's President Thomas (Teddy) Gleason and airline pilots' President John J. O'Donnell.
Richards said Teamsters President Roy L. Williams, who goes on trial for bribery in September, has agreed to join the council later. The 1.8 million-member Teamsters Union was one of the few to endorse Reagan in 1980.
The council contains no women labor leaders or any members of the politically potent National Education Association, which opposed Reagan's election. Last week, Marilyn Bittle, president-elect of the 170,000-member California Teachers Association, was asked to be a member. Bittle, a longtime Republican, accepted, but was told earlier this week that there was no room for her on the council.