Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Blogs: SEIU threatens to cut off funding to Democratic Party in California

California’s SEIU can’t stop themselves from p*ssing people off.

From the LA Times Blog yesterday entitled “California Democratic Party chief says SEIU has threatened to cut off funding”:

California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton says one of the state’s most politically powerful unions has threatened to cut off funding for the party over his support for a group that has broken away from the labor organization. The rift could drive a wedge between the party and one of its most generous donors. The state council of the Service Employees International Union has directed $700,000 to the Democratic Party since 2007 and millions more to Democratic candidates and causes.

Burton said SEIU’s California president, Bill Lloyd, made the threat as Burton was set to appear last week at a San Francisco fundraiser for the splinter group, the National Union of Healthcare Workers.

“They threatened me,” said the 76-year-old Burton.

Burton said that he was championing union workers “when [SEIU’s national president] Andy Stern was in college.” He hailed the breakaway union’s leader, Sal Rosselli, as a lifelong friend and “one of the strongest labor leaders in this state.” Mary Gutierrez, a spokeswoman for SEIU’s state council, would neither confirm nor deny any warning from Lloyd to Burton. “Formal discussions haven’t been had with our board,” which would have to vote to cut off funding, she said.

— Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento

BeyondChron’s Randy Shaw, a prolific pro labor (and very against the SEIU) blogger discussed the situation (and quite a bit more information about break-off group NUHW) last week in detail in “SEIU Wages War on Progressives.”

As for Burton’s fall back plan if the SEIU follows through, Shaw reports the following:

And when I suggested to Burton that he could probably make up the funds by calling the many international labor leaders who have criticized Stern, he replied that he had “already started calling them last week.”

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