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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

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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