Thursday, April 1, 2010

Is this Some Sort of April Fool's joke? SEIU's Stern calls a truce in the union wars

Given that this is April Fool's Day, we cannot be certain whether this is a joke.  So, without much commentary, we'll give you the scoop, as reported by BeyondChron, a pro-union website.
...SEIU President Andy Stern told a group of janitors yesterday that his union will immediately cease its attacks on UNITE HERE, and avoid negative campaigning in elections against NUHW. Stern acknowledged that he was “wrong when I thought we could fight NUHW and UNITE HERE without weakening our ability to organize new workers. These internal union battles have distracted us from working to pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) and comprehensive immigration reform.”

UNITE HERE President John Wilhelm was skeptical about Stern’s about-face, saying he “would see how this plays out on the ground.” NUHW President Sal Rosselli was even more doubtful: “it’s great that SEIU is finally withdrawing the blocking charges that prevented workers from choosing their union. But the real test is whether Stern sticks to peace if workers vote en masse to leave SEIU for NUHW.”

Andy Stern surprised his critics yesterday with an unexpected announcement that SEIU would cease trying to raid workers from UNITE HERE, and would instead stick to organizing in its core jurisdictions of building services (i.e., janitors) and health care workers. In addition, while Stern said that SEIU would vigorously compete with NUHW in California, SEIU is withdrawing all of its blocking charges so workers could freely choose between the two unions.


Stern, it should be noted has been at odds with the majority of the nation's union bosses since his breaking up of the AFL-CIO in 2005 and is currently involved in a 'scorched earth' campaign against the former leaders of one of his most powerful locals.  The former SEIU-UHW leaders have gone on to form their own union called the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) and the SEIU currently has them on trial.

Again, as stated above, we do not know if today's BeyondChron story is some sort of April Fool's joke or if, indeed, Andy Stern is calling for a cease-fire among union bosses.

In either case, we'll get you more scoop in the coming days.
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