The SEIU is patting itself on the bank for their supposed role in Ken Lewis’ ouster as chairman of Bank of America yesterday. Lewis still remains President and CEO of the company though. The SEIU has railed on the bank for executive compensation, lending practices, and taking government bailout funds.
But what you won’t hear Andy Stern and the SEIU yell about are the union’s loans from Bank of America. That’s right. The SEIU actually borrows money from Bank of America. Juan Gonzalez at the New York Daily News looked at the SEIU’s financial disclosure reports and found that the SEIU borrowed $10 million from Bank of America last year. The SEIU actually has $87.7 million in loans from Bank of America. It takes a lot of gall to bash the institution that keeps your organization afloat. But consistency doesn’t seem to be a concern for the SEIU.
You can take a look at the SEIU’s LM2 disclosure here.
Another interesting point in the article and LM2 report: SEIU has a $15 million loan from Amalgamated Bank, which is owned by UNITE HERE. Remember that UNITE HERE is embroiled in a nasty civil war right now between its two leaders (Bruce Raynor and John Wilhelm) and their respective factions. Raynor rewrote the banks’ by-laws to take control of the board of directors and depose Wilhelm. Not surprisingly, Raynor is working with Andy Stern and the SEIU to get UNITE HERE members to secede, which we have noted in the past.
What to take away from this episode? It’s important to have transparency for union finances, not less of it, as the Obama Administration has done in recent weeks. Without proper disclosure via LM-2 forms, the public would have been unable to discover SEIU’s $87.7 million debt to Bank of America.
And just for good measure, we are obliged to point out that Bank of America shareholders voted by secret ballot against Ken Lewis for chairman.