I’d be hard-pressed to shock readers of this blog with the unsavory actions of union bosses. But union members are often kept in the dark about the true nature of their leadership.
The Chicago Tribune gives an update of an SEIU dispute that is exposing the union’s leaders as the autocrats they are:
Sal Rosselli was bargaining with a company that provides food service workers to a small California hospital several years ago when he threatened to picket on their behalf.
To his surprise, officials from Compass USA told Rosselli that his union, the Service Employees International Union, had a secret deal that barred him from picketing.
More than ever unions are making secret deals as a way to get their foot in the door at companies because without such deals they would not make much organizing headway. Boosting their membership numbers, they add, is a matter of survival.
But such backdoor deals are causing an uproar within the unions themselves. Some unionists believe that the pacts take away workers’ rights to strike, picket or even exercise their freedom of speech and doubt that unions can grow when their hands are tied.”The fundamental dispute is about some leaders making top-down, secret deals that affect workers’ future,” said Rosselli, head of a 150,000-member SEIU local, which is embroiled in a bitter squabble with the leadership of the 1.7 million-member national union.