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Are SEIU’s Internal Politics Killing Health Care Movement?

The most important item we’ve seen so far this morning comes from the Los Angeles Times, which is reporting that an internal SEIU struggle is blocking California health care change. Key bits:

Many of the issues involved in the action have more to do with internal union politics about labor’s direction than with the healthcare battle, but the leadership change could have substantial consequences. The potential new leaders are more eager than Rosselli and longtime Executive Director Dean Tipps to cut a deal with Schwarzenegger — in part to help advance their campaign to overhaul healthcare nationally.

That has been the view of Andy Stern, the president of the international union, who has personally expressed to the governor’s office his frustration with the stance of California SEIU leaders, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The whole piece is definitely worth your time. This won’t be the last you hear on this subject.

UPDATE (mere moments later): This from that bastion of corporate bias, Harper‘s:

 Yet Stern is currently presiding over what some within the union describe as a power grab, and one that could squelch opposition to some controversial deals he and his allies have supported (like a provision, ultimately shot down by internal opposition, that would have imposed a seven-year ban on strikes by Tenet Healthcare union employees). On Friday morning Stern is seeking to push through a deal that would severely weaken his chief critic inside the SEIU, in the name of “restructuring.”

“Stern is essentially seeking to take a public entity private,” one person familiar with the situation told me.

Categories: Center for Union FactsSEIU