Category Archives: Service Employees International Union

The SEIU, the NPA & Organized, Premeditated Intimidation

It wasn’t a secret.  They were planning it for weeks.  Their plans were to protest and protest they did.

They even brag about it on their website:

A little rain didn’t stop thousands of people from gathering on K Street to call out the big bank lobbyists corrupting our democracy.

After two days of confronting the bank lobbyists with National People’s Action, we were joined by our brothers and sisters from the AFL-CIO, Jobs with Justice, MoveOn, and hundreds of supporters from around the country.

However, before astroturfing K street on Monday, they decided to trespass onto the private residential property of two of their targets, one of which happened to be a neighbor of Fortune’s Nina Easton.  Perhaps they did not know she would write about their trespassing this way:

Every journalist loves a peaceful protest-whether it makes news, shakes up a political season, or holds out the possibility of altering history. Then there are the ones that show up on your curb–literally.

Last Sunday, on a peaceful, sun-crisp afternoon, our toddler finally napping upstairs, my front yard exploded with 500 screaming, placard-waving strangers on a mission to intimidate my neighbor, Greg Baer. Baer is deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America (BAC,Fortune 500), a senior executive based in Washington, D.C. And that — in the minds of the organizers at the politically influential Service Employees International Union and a Chicago outfit called National Political Action — makes his family fair game.

Waving signs denouncing bank “greed,” hordes of invaders poured out of 14 school buses, up Baer’s steps, and onto his front porch. As bullhorns rattled with stories of debtor calls and foreclosed homes, Baer’s teenage son Jack — alone in the house — locked himself in the bathroom. “When are they going to leave?” Jack pleaded when I called to check on him.

Baer, on his way home from a Little League game, parked his car around the corner, called the police, and made a quick calculation to leave his younger son behind while he tried to rescue his increasingly distressed teen. He made his way through a din of barked demands and insults from the activists who proudly “outed” him, and slipped through his front door.

“Excuse me,” Baer told his accusers, “I need to get into the house. I have a child who is alone in there and frightened.”

Now this event would accurately be called a “protest” if it were taking place at, say, a bank or the U.S. Capitol. But when hundreds of loud and angry strangers are descending on your family, your children, and your home, a more apt description of this assemblage would be “mob.” Intimidation was the whole point of this exercise, and it worked-even on the police. A trio of officers who belatedly answered our calls confessed a fear that arrests might “incite” these trespassers.

[snip]

In the business community, though, SEIU has a reputation for strong-arm tactics against management, prompting some companies to file suit.

Now those strong-arm tactics, stirred by supposedly free-floating (as opposed to organized) populist rage, have come to the neighborhood curb. Last year it was AIG executives — with protestors met by security guard outside. Now it’s any executive — and they’re on the front stoop. After Baer’s house, the 14 buses left to descend on the nearby residence of Peter Scher, a government relations executive at JPMorgan Chase.

Targeting homes and families seems to put SEIU in the ranks of (now jailed) radical animal-rights activists and the Kansas anti-gay fundamentalists harassing the grieving parents of a dead 20-year-old soldier at his funeral (the Supreme Court has agreed to weigh in on the latter). But that’s not a conversation that SEIU officials want to have.

No, they would rather not have a conversation about their intrusion onto another person’s property, nor do they consider intimidating family members immoral or unlawful.

And, they have no remorse whatsoever.

More than 1,000 visited two bankers at their homes Sunday afternoon to ask for meetings with Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase.

When mobs trespass onto the private residential property of a private citizen and intimidate their children, and the police refuse to take action, no one should act surprised if a citizen acts to defend his property and his family from the lawless hordes…but, perhaps, that may be what the SEIU, the NPA, and their ilk want.

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“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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Filed under National People's Action, SEIU, Service Employees International Union

A Race to the Bottom: Unions hate individual rights

It is only on the basis of property rights that the sphere and application of individual rights can be defined in any given social situation. Without property rights, there is no way to solve or to avoid a hopeless chaos of clashing views, interests, demands, desires, and whims. Ayn Rand.

Some time ago, union bosses, who purported a desire to help people, fell off the train, bumped their heads, and woke up on a mission to eliminate individual rights.  It’s hard to say when they fell off that train.  It might have been sometime after Samuel Gompers died in the late 1920s, or when the Reds infiltrated the unions in the 1930s, or when John Sweeney took over the AFL-CIO in 1996, or it could have been just a long, slow slog to the bottom of the tracks.  Whatever the case, the proof is in:  Today’s union bosses absolutely, without-a-doubt, abhor individual rights.

Today, goons from the SEIU are in Washington taking over a Bank of America lobby (pictured at right).  This follows the weekend union takeover of a lobbyist’s private property (his front yard) in the name of protesting for “financial reform.”

Of course, unions have long believed that employers should have limited (or NO) property rights when it comes to union organizing.  After all, a job is a right and therefore the workers’ right to a job trumps an employer’s right to his property.  However, to believe that the right to trespass onto an individual’s private property takes this collectivist philosophy to breathtakingly new levels.

If the taking of a individual’s private property (whether it be temporary or permanent) is put into the capricious will of whatever astroturf gang comes along that day (be it a union or the Klu Klux Klan), then no individual rights are safe from the tyranny of the masses, including the right to one’s life.
__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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Filed under property rights, SEIU, Service Employees International Union

Reading the Tea Leaves: Anna Burger will be stepping down at the SEIU

Okay.  We’re going out on a limb here, but it’s not without some solid foundation:  If we’re reading the tea leaves correctly, Anna Burger will likely be leaving her post as Secretary-Treasurer of the SEIU.

In less than a month, the (former) Queen of Labor has gone from being the assumed-next-in-line to lead, to being unceremoniously dethroned by a coup led by the union’s top generals.

Yesterday, CQ Politics laid out the strongest evidence yet that Andy Stern’s “partner” may have reached the end of the rope.

Major changes to the Service Employees International Union’s downtown operations could be under way soon.

In an interview Tuesday, new SEIU President Mary Kay Henry said she is conducting a monthlong review of her top deputies, including Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger, Henry’s main opposition in the union’s recent election to replace longtime head Andy Stern. Burger mysteriously dropped out of the race two weeks before the May 8 election.

“She and I have begun discussions and are committed to reaching an agreement by the end of May. … Every officer is now in a review process about what role they will assume,” Henry said in the interview. “It is the prerogative of the president to reassign responsibilities.”

Reading between the lines, it appears that the new SEIU leader doesn’t want or need Anna Burger undermining the union’s “new” direction, or stabbing her in the back in trying to re-take the union.

It should be noted, we’re not suggesting that Anna will be leaving the SEIU or the labor movement.  For the moment, she is still the head of the failed Change to Win federation and has a seat at the White House dinner task force table.  However, it appears that her power within the SEIU will almost certainly be diminished if when Mary Kay Henry gets her way.

__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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Filed under Andy Stern, Anna Burger, Change to Win, Mary Kay Henry, SEIU, Service Employees International Union

SEIU Pushes Members to vote for Specter

The Union of Purple People Eaters is pushing its members to vote for Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter.  Specter is behind in the Pennsylvania primary, trailing Rep. Joe Sestak. 

[via The Atlantic]
__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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Filed under Joe Sestak, SEIU, Service Employees International Union

Revelations About the SEIU’s Union Mole Inside the White House

Do you know what a union mole is?  A union mole is someone who is paid by a union to get a job at a company and then secretly work with his outside union handlers on spreading the union word throughout the company from within.

While so much time and focus has been spent on the SEIU’s Andy Stern and Anna Burger, their frequent visits to the White House, and their appointments on presidential task forces, very little attention has been paid to the SEIU’s full-time guy inside the White House, White House Political Director and former SEIU New York boss Patrick Gaspard.

Gaspard served as national political director for much of Obama’s general election campaign and was named deputy director of personnel for the transition effort. Prior to his work with Obama, Gaspard was the lead political operative for the 1199 branch of the Service Employees International Union, a huge and hugely influential union representing health care workers in New York. He spent the 2004 general election as the national field director for America Coming Together.

Recently, there’s been some light shed on the SEIU’s mole inside the White House that, not surprisingly, the mainstream media (MSM) has not picked up on.

Several weeks ago, Big Government blogger Kyle Olsen exposed the fact that, in 2009, the SEIU 1199 paid Gaspard $37,191.  That’s on top of the $74,552 that SEIU 1199 paid Gaspard in 2008.

Now, the unanswered question is: Why did the SEIU pay nearly $40,000 to the White House Political Director?

Keeping in mind that Gaspard spend much of 2008 on the Obama campaign, as well as from November 2008 through January 2009 working on Obama’s transition, the SEIU can’t really claim Gaspard was doing any SEIU work in 2009…or was he?

Is there any correlation?

This past Saturday, Politico’s Ben Smith broke an intriguing story about SEIU’s Andy Stern and Anna Burger having “advanced” talk” with Gaspard about taking over the SEIU as the number two person, to replace Anna Burger when she assumed Andy Stern’s role upon his retirement.

The talks grew quite advanced: Stern and Burger spoke with George Gresham, the pivotal president of the union’s largest local, New York’s 1199, and offered him assurances not just that Gaspard would be given the number-two job, but that he would eventually succeed Burger as president, the sources said. Gresham indicated that he would throw his weight behind the slate.


Gaspard, who left the post of 1199 political director to take the same job on the Obama campaign, could well have pulled a united union behind Burger. Between the support of 1199 and the catch of a former senior White House official, it’s unclear that a rival campaign would have developed.


They started working on him in late January/early February to join her as Secretary Treasurer while Anna filled out the remainder of Andy’s term,” one of the sources said. “Their calculus was that he would never turn down the dream job — President of SEIU — and that this would lock in the votes for her because Gresham and [executive board member Gerald] Hudson would give her their votes since they are tight with Gaspard.”


Another source said that while there was never an explicit promise of when Burger would hand over the reins to Gaspard, the promise of the presidency at some point was explicit.

Although the early leak of Stern’s resignation from the SEIU supposedly squelched the triumvirate talks over who would run the SEIU, it was the internal mutiny against Burger taking over the SEIU helm that completely fried any chances that the plot plan to put Gaspard into the number two seat would come to fruition.

According to Smith’s sources, Gaspard turned the offer down out of “loyalty” to the President.  However, that too is questionable, since it appears there was already an underground campaign to keep Burger from taking Stern’s position once he left.

Of course, it remains arguable whether the Obama administration’s rules prohibiting aides from becoming lobbyists would restrict Gaspard from going back to the SEIU, especially since the rules against lobbying seem so unclear in the SEIU’s case.

But, of course, you can learn all about this in the media…[When the starts doing its job.]

In the meantime, regardless of whether Mary Kay Henry or Anna Burger is running the purple behemoth, the SEIU still has its mole man inside the White House, doing its bidding and keeping an eye on the union’s investment, and it looks like that’s not going to change any time soon.
__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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Filed under Andy Stern, Anna Burger, Patrick Gaspard, SEIU, Service Employees International Union

Told Ya So…SEIU’s New President Walks Back Statement on Unionizing Grocery Workers

Either Mary Kay Henry, the new boss of the Union or Purple People Eaters misspoke, or she was taken out of context.  In either case, the SEIU had to issue a press release on Monday, walking back from Queen Mary’s Saturday reported statement.

On Saturday, Mary Kay Henry had a conference call with reporters.  Afterward, BusinessWeek reported:

Mary Kay Henry, elected today as president of the Service Employees International Union, pledged to spend $4 million organizing employees in businesses such as banks and supermarkets.

On this, we noted:

Without clarification, it is difficult to know the context in which Henry referenced unionizing supermarkets. If she is intent on unionizing supermarkets through the SEIU, she is clearly stepping on the UFCW’s turf.

Monday’s press release emphatically denied that the SEIU would be starting a turf war with the UFCW:

SEIU plans to engage in conversations with sister unions throughout the labor movement to discuss our shared interests. However, despite a recent media report, SEIU has no intention of organizing grocery workers. SEIU fully recognizes the food sector as a core industry of sister union United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents more than a million supermarket workers.

We would have loved to have heard the angry telephone call Joe Hansen (UFCW) made to Queen Mary after seeing the reports.
__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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Filed under Mary Kay Henry, SEIU, Service Employees International Union, UFCW, United Food and Commercial Workers

News on the SEIU: New President Differs in Style, But Not Aggression

Although it was a mere formality, Mary Kay Henry’s ascendancy to the top of the union food chain became official today.  The replacement for Andy Stern as the president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) was chosen because she is thought to be different.  However, if anyone thought there might be some labor peace with the changing of the guard at the SEIU, they were mistaken.  Mary Kay Henry may prove to be even more aggressive than her predecessor and, perhaps, less clumsy.

Though her style may be different, according to multiple accounts of a conference call with reporters on Saturday, Henry is vowing to keep some of the SEIU’s old battles very much alive, while ending others and starting some new ones:

Old Battles [via WaPo]:

Henry said there have been “no discussions” about SEIU’s returning to the AFL-CIO, as several other unions in Change to Win are considering. She said the union was hoping to negotiate a settlement in the UNITE-HERE fight, but she made clear that she has every intention of continuing the union’s battle with a large breakaway chapter in California that has cost SEIU heavily both in dollars and reputation within the labor movement.

Translation: The SEIU leadership knows Andy Stern & Co. were wrong in raiding UNITE-HERE’s members as that union was splitting up.  However, there is no truce in the California Civil War with the former SEIU-UHW leaders.

New Battles [via BusinessWeek]:

Mary Kay Henry, elected today as president of the Service Employees International Union, pledged to spend $4 million organizing employees in businesses such as banks and supermarkets.

[snip]

Henry said she has “a fire in her belly” for fighting management interference in labor organizing efforts. Henry said she will fight such efforts by “creating complaints” with the National Labor Relations Board.

[snip]

The $4 million fund will be used to organize industries that have traditionally not had employee representation, Henry said. She cited banks, grocery stores, biotechnology companies and independent contractors as prospects, without mentioning specific firms. The union said it spends about $250 million annually to help local officials on organizing.

Some interesting points from the above:

Without clarification, it is difficult to know the context in which Henry referenced unionizing supermarkets. If she is intent on unionizing supermarkets through the SEIU, she is clearly stepping on the UFCW’s turf.

Her use of the term “creating complaints” (in quotes even) with the NLRB signifies the SEIU’s every intent to use the NLRB (with its recess appointed SEIU/NLRB member Craig Becker) to push the envelope by making up frivolous unfair labor practice charges against employers.

Yes, Mary Kay Henry may be bringing a new face to the SEIU.  However, it appears that she will be every bit as aggressive in continuing the SEIU’s legacy as the Union of Purple People Eaters.

UPDATED:  The video below is Mary Kay Henry’s “acceptance speech” and a call for SEIU to organize new workers:


__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

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Filed under Andy Stern, SEIU, Service Employees International Union