Thursday, May 13, 2010

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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