Continuing our coverage of the SEIU-UNITE HERE war, here are a few excerpts from a letter written by a retired priest who has been involved with SEIU’s organizing efforts. Rev. Raymond G. Decker, who also happens to have a Ph.D., blasts the SEIU for its actions against UNITE HERE:
In recent months, I have been appalled by the outrageous actions of the SEIU in undermining the activities of UNITE HERE. I am deeply disappointed by the SEIU’s financing a disruptive attack on the leaders and members of UNITE HERE around the country.
Rev. Decker is shocked (!) that the SEIU would engage in such behavior, especially against another union:
I am dismayed by the reports (including the one in the New York Times of July 7, 2009) of the SEIU raiding UNITE HERE, and unjustly attacking its president, John Wilhelm. This kind of divisive and disruptive action could not come at a worse time. This is a complete departure from the SEIU that I have actively supported since 2001.
He goes onto say that such appalling behavior will force the religious community to withdraw its support from the SEIU:
If the SEIU is to continue its disruptive tactics, I can say without any degree of hesitation that it will lose a large portion of the religious community’s support that it has enjoyed over the past few years. If such tactics are to continue, then there will be a concerted effort on behalf of many of us in the religious community to withdraw our support of the SEIU.
And he closes by urging the SEIU to cease its attacks:
I urge you to immediately cease and desist your attacks on UNITE HERE. When you negotiate a fair and just settlement with UNITE HERE and reclaim SEIU’s proud legacy of progressive leadership, then we in the religious community can in clear conscience resume our support of its organizing efforts.
I don’t think Rev. Decker is aware but asking the SEIU to stop its tactical efforts against UNITE HERE, much less any of its actions against union and non-union individuals, is like asking a lion to give up hunting zebras. It’s just not going to happen.