Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

AFL-CIO Piles On Against SEIU

asdvThe AFL-CIO  joined the rest of the labor movement yesterday in opposing the SEIU’s actions against UNITE HERE. Randy Shaw reported that the AFL-CIO sent a letter condemning any act of raiding other unions for members:

One day after 15 international union leaders vowed to provide “material and moral” support to UNITE HERE’s defense against SEIU raids, the AFL-CIO sent a letter to the UNITE HERE convention condemning “all raiding of organized workers by any union.” This letter represents a dramatic shift in position for the labor federation, which previously had been advised by its general counsel to stay out of the fight between SEIU and UNITE HERE.

And just like the previous day, labor bosses were on hand to provide more insightful color commentary. What’s noteworthy about much of this, as Shaw observed, is how much criticism Andy Stern has garnered at this gathering:

Adding to building momentum against SEIU’s conduct were scathing words from Operating and Engineers President Vincent J. Giblin, who described SEIU President Andy Stern as the “Darth Vader of the labor movement” and who vowed to provide “every resource” of his union, including strike benefits, to help UNITE HERE in its struggle.

Giblin had some scathing remarks for the SEIU’s suggestion for arbitration, as well as Andy Stern and former UNITE HERE/current Workers United President Bruce Raynor:

Operating and Engineers President Vincent Giblin issued the harshest attacks yet heard at the convention regarding the Stern-Raynor agenda. Giblin never identified either by name, but it was clear to all who he was speaking about when he described both as “corporate raiders” and “labor leader pretenders.”

In response to the duo’s continued call to resolve their dispute with UNITE HERE via binding arbitration, Giblin said he “fell out of his chair” when he heard “that ridiculous statement for arbitration.” He vowed that the Operating Engineers would “not rest until we rid these two (Raynor and Stern) from the labor movement.

That’s the second day in a row that a prominent labor boss has denounced arbitration. I’m glad to see that labor bosses are starting to come around on how bad of an idea binding arbitration is.

It was also revealed yesterday that Raynor “transferred” $23 million from UNITE HERE’s accounts into Workers United, which prompted this amusing response:

It was also revealed on the Convention’s second day that former UNITE HERE President and now SEIU Executive Vice-President Bruce Raynor had shifted $23 million in cash from UNITE HERE to his new union prior to his departure; this prompted UNITE HERE’s Jim Dupont to lead the crowd in a roaring chant “They say arbitrate, we say incarcerate.”

For Stern and his SEIU cohorts, it’s starting to look like a lonely world.

Categories: AFL-CIOCenter for Union FactsEFACNewsSEIUUNITE HERE