At a time when organized labor is slipping, SEIU’s national leaders are wasting their resources trying to discredit Sal Rosselli
BY J.B. Powell /San Francisco Bay Guardian April 9, 2008
By nearly every measure, the Service Employees International Union has become a juggernaut. As the rest of organized labor has seen its share of the American workforce continue to dwindle, SEIU has brought in some 800,000 new dues-paying members in recent years. With the Democratic Party taking over Congress in 2006, the 1.9 million-member organization, rich with campaign funds, wields enormous political clout, and it will only become more formidable if Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama wins the White House in November.
But all is not well inside the labor giant. Andy Stern, the union’s president, has pushed hard for merging and consolidating local chapters into larger operations – and many SEIU members, especially here on the West Coast, say that’s turning the union into a top-down autocracy in which Stern loyalists wield undue influence and meddling officials from Washington, DC squelch dissent. [For the rest of this article, go here.]