Randy Shaw, a community activist and editor of an online progressive daily based in San Francisco, has an interesting post about how the SEIU’s heavy-handed tactics led to its own local chapter voting against a contract with the city of San Francisco that will inevitably result in layoffs.
Shaw points out that the SEIU’s battles with various unions, including the UHW and UNITE HERE, turned many local members against SEIU leadership.Local chapters of the SEIU, particularly SEIU Local 1021 (which rejected the contract), disagree with SEIU President Andy Stern’s decision to prioritize raiding other unions over providing resources and staff to help current members. Shaw argues that the SEIU should have spent resources educating its members about the merits of the contract instead of attacking other unions.
In a display of open disagreement, Local 1021’s executive board and union members actually passed a resolution last week to prevent the local chapter from expending any resources to raid or interfere with UNITE HERE’s membership.
The clear displeasure from Randy Shaw – a pro-labor activist – with Andy Stern and the SEIU should be a reminder to all parties of the tactics and measures unions will resort to in their efforts to expand their membership. What Shaw and others should realize is that EFCA amounts to nothing more than a power grab by unions like Andy Stern’s SEIU. Passage of EFCA will only open the floodgates to the actions that Shaw opposes.