Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

S.E.I.U. M.O.


The SEIU’s pervasive involvement in the health care townhalls can be surprising, if not downright shocking.  Just today, the Wall Street Journal reported that the AFL-CIO alone had contributed 15 million dollars to communications and mobilization.  Over 400 events have been blessed by the presence of SEIU members in the last month.  Andy Stern, SEIU’s president, has easily shared with the press that SEIU has been prepared for a “pivitol moment” since March.

But their fervor, tactics, and level of organization should frankly come as no surprise. This Wednesday, Michelle Malkin, in her piece took the opportunity to review the uncomfortable-to-read-about events, disturbing attitudes of leadership, and backhanded tactics that have been endemic to the SEIU in the last few years:

On SEIU leadership:

SEIU President Andy Stern, the militant social worker turned union heavy, boasts of his organizing philosophy: “(W)e prefer to use the power of persuasion, but if that doesn’t work, we use the persuasion of power.”

On past SEIU incidents:

Last April, SEIU bussed in hundreds of Purple Shirts to a labor meeting in Detroit, where the union was battling a competitor over representation of nurses and health care workers in Ohio. The SEIU invaders ambushed the conference, sending one attendee to the hospital with a bloodied head and wounding several others. The competing union filed a restraining order against the SEIU. AFL-CIO President John Sweeney responded, “There is no justification — none — for the violent attack orchestrated by SEIU.” California Nurses Association Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro condemned the violence: “There is an ugly pattern here of physical abuse and tactics of intimidation that have no place in either our labor movement or a civilized society.”

On SEIU’s despicable tactics:

SEIU and Stern’s shock troops have similarly bullied companies from private equity firms to Burger King to food management company Aramark to security provider Wackenhut Services, who have resisted SEIU’s attempts to organizer their workers. The Purple People have organized aggressive protests and a “War on Greed” campaign to pound the employers into submission. In Oakland, Stern and his Washington crew imposed a trusteeship on a 150,000-member local that had publicly opposed SEIU strong-arm tactics.

If only these incidents were one time occurrences, and out of character, not SEIU’s modus operandi. No surprise here.

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