Posts Tagged ‘SEIU’
LaborUnionReport.com has some timely insights and analysis regarding Mary Kay Henry, the next president of the nation’s most powerful union, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). What caught our attention:
Henry said she has
Friends of the U.S. Chamber are asking you to send a postcard to retiring SEIU president Andy Stern and at the same time help say no to card check.
Who knew it was a Hallmark moment?
There’s a strong argument that one of the primary motivations for union officials to push the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act because it would usher in enough new dues-paying employees to prop up failing union pension funds (which are one of the main selling points for the unions’ service).
Therefore it is good news that there are some great new websites popping up to help union members figure out whether their retirement will consist of caviar or cat food. As we’ve noted before, it’s extremely tough to get that information and it (unfortunately) appears to be headed in exactly the wrong direction on union disclosure, so outside efforts are critical.
Thank goodness for the ardent defense of workplace democracy being demonstrated by the AFL-CIO, whose president writes:
On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that shouldn’t even have to exist.
The question in New Process Steel v. National Labor Relations Board is whether decisions by the NLRB-the body created under the National Labor Relations Act to protect workplace democracy-are valid when the board has only two of the five members provided for in the act.
Hmm. Notice that part, “protect workplace democracy”? Interesting.
All this time we were worried that union bosses had forgotten about workplace democracy. After all, they’ve been pushing the card check bill, which would effectively eliminate secret ballot elections from the workplace and threaten an employee’s right to vote on an eventual contract proposal.
And SEIU has faced allegations by union rivals of subverting democracy for their own members of changing ballots, showing up at workers’ homes as many as five times a day to pressure them to vote for SEIU, questioning the legal status of one worker, and threatening the wages and benefits of a worker if they voted the wrong way.
Glad we’ve cleared up where they stand on workers’ rights.
UPDATE: Shopfloor’s Keith Smith writes: “It
There’s some fantastic theater going on as the card-check-pushing Service Employees International Union is attempting to strangle a renegade former unit in California to stop a potential exodus of
dues members away from the powerful international.
Perhaps even better than the actual trial underway — SEIU says the breakaway leaders misused resources — is the recap on Huffington Post by an SEIU member who seems to write propaganda in roughly the style of Communist China.
Consider: SEIU has the “very well prepared and articulate” lawyer who “delivered his opening statement with clear oversight and transparency.” Of course, he’s only delivering justice to the former leaders who “deliberately committed acts that bring harm to the working members of SEIU-UHW when they were the officials of our union.”
They “conspired” and “devised a plan” and exhibited a “long laundry list of unethical behaviors.” Ahh, that air of fairness and objectivity comes right through! Somewhere in the annals of authoritarian propaganda a place is being made for the newcomer who shows promise.
Who’s right and who’s wrong here? Probably no one’s right and everyone’s wrong, based on the record. SEIU went on a warpath that ended up undermining its own members’ right to vote — a good reminder why Congress should not pass the Employee Free Choice Act. And the breakaway union leadership can be viewed as either good or bad depending on how one views rabid, no-holds-barred union bosses (there’s an argument that their job is to be rabid, no-holds-barred union bosses and are actually serving employees better than SEIU, which is regarded by many in the labor world as a corporate sell-out in California).
In the end, only those in the California courtroom will see what’s going on with any clarity. They will certainly only be getting spin from the Purple People Beaters’ version of Tokyo Rose.
Perhaps you haven’t heard, but two more former ACORN employees have been charged with voter fraud for their small part in the large rash of voter registration “irregularities.” ACORN is going so far as to say it’s a “victimless crime.” M’kay.
Such a blase attitude may be warranted if the cards were something as unimportant as a supermarket discount card, a nice coupon for half off the second entree at the local Mexican restaurant, maybe even a library card. But a voter registration card? Voting is the cornerstone of participatory democracy, and that card is the key to getting in — it’s the ultimate franchise.
So it’s interesting to note ACORN sibling SEIU’s view of the cards that are the key to the labor realm — union authorization cards that would be the one-stop sign-up for dues, work rules, failing pensions, fines, strikes, and more. While most Americans are outraged unions would try to form without letting people vote, SEIU says the card will take care of it. No need to offer the protection of a secret ballot vote, nothing to see here, move along folks.
Of course, there’s plenty of allegations to suggest that SEIU doesn’t really value the secret ballots of its own members, so perhaps cards really aren’t the answer to any problem. Perhaps SEIU isn’t worried about process, but just outcome. Unfortunately, that kind of thinking is usually bad for employees.
Just something to think about.