Friday, November 20, 2009

Hey, SEIU Goons: Break a Egg

Mike Antonucci reported over at Intercepts on Tuesday:

SEIU Threatens to Organize Charter School Teachers?

Can’t find confirmation anywhere other than in this story about the infighting between SEIU and the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW). Reporter Randy Shaw says SEIU is upset with United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) for supporting NUHW. UTLA reportedly sponsored a fundraiser for NUHW in San Francisco, which was protested by SEIU activists.

According to Shaw, SEIU made a statement to UTLA that “it would seek to organize charter school teachers in retaliation for UTLA’s pro-NUHW stance.” If true, it’s an empty threat. What makes SEIU think it would be any more successful organizing charter school teachers than UTLA has been? And how much damage would it really do if it were successful?

Charter school teachers might ask what all this has to do with their needs, and the answer is nothing. Something to remember when the union guy shows up at school.

If you followed our reports of the AFT/Randi takeover of Local 5017, a health services union in Portland Or. not long ago, goonism is not partial to SEIU. Ironically, the AFT takeover, which necessitated a trip to Portland by Randi, was related to Local 5017's flirtation with the very same NUHW- see end of this piece for links.

I agree with Mike that the AFT/UFT/Whatever will have a hell of a touch time organizing charters - they will probably have to "buy" charter operators off with some cozy contracts. See one Steve Barr and Green Dot.

Yesterday at the DA Angel Gonzalez and I had a short discussion with what seemed to be union official over charter schools and their support. They seem clearly in a box because they will not take a position opposing charters and will watch the union be winnowed away bit by bit. While they hemorage members to charters, they will be trying to organize what they lost. Sort of like trying to hold sand.

Anyway, I digress.

Here is Mike's follow-up report today:

SEIU Protest Lays an Egg

It isn’t all cakes and ale within the Los Angeles labor movement. SEIU added eggs and whipped gently.

On Tuesday, I relayed the tale of a dispute between SEIU and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) over the latter’s support of a rival union – the National Union of Healtcare Workers (NUHW), which was once part of SEIU. (Don’t worry if you don’t have a scorecard. You’ll get the idea.)

Well, UTLA hosted a labor forum about NUHW, and SEIU bused in a few hundred protesters. Labor Notes reports:

The SEIUers chanted, beat on drums, and threw eggs and water bottles in an unsuccessful effort to intimidate people from attending…. The forum was held at the headquarters of the Los Angeles Teachers union (UTLA). Josh Pechthalt, UTLA vice president, said he was glad the teachers union had hosted NUHW, despite threats by SEIU that there would be “war” if UTLA hosted the event. SEIU threatened to come after charter school teachers UTLA is trying to organize, according to Pechthalt. UTLA refused to buckle, and the room burst into applause.

Michael Fiorillo commented on ICE-mail:
SEIU reps are on the board of Green Dot in LA. NUHW was formed in response to a too-cozy-with-management SEIU leadership in Northern California putting more militant locals under receivership. Kudos to UTLA for standing up to SEIU thugs and sellouts. Best, Michael Fiorillo

This is not the first time SEIU has used goon tactics. Megan Behrent from ISO and TJC told us some interesting stories. I hope they have fun trying to organize charter school teachers. Try throwing fried eggs next time.

Ed Notes on AFT version of goonism without the eggs.

Randi In Portland (OR) and a Weird Subway ...
Jul 20, 2009

If you followed our reports on the goings in Portland (AFT Hack Attack) where the leadership of AFT Local 5017 (sue me AFT) was removed and the union put in receivership for considering the very idea of disaffiliating from the AFT and ...

Jul 13, 2009
Some of you may not be paying attention to this "small" story in Portland, Or. But the role being played by the AFT against a local daring to discuss leaving the AFT is indicative of the kinds of desperate attempts to keep people in ...

Jul 11, 2009
Portland OR--At 9am Tuesday July 7, approximately 20 representatives from American Federation of Teachers Healthcare national offices arrived at Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals Local 5017 and put the health care ...

Oct 21, 2009
The Lund Report, an Oregonian Health Blog run by Diane Lund (who I accidentally ran into on a subway in NYC this summer), has an excellent report on the AFT takeover of a Portland health care local which had been discussing leaving the ...

1 comment:

  1. You're certainly dead on with the Silverlake snake-oil salesman -- Steve Barr, and his ability to attract and manipulate company union sycophants. AMU by definition, is a yellow union (its CTA status notwithstanding), and SEIU Local 1877 sits on Green Dot's board. How anyone in organized labor could support the anti-working class corporate charter-voucher establishment, much less legitimize it by sitting on the board of one of the most capricious CMOs in business, is beyond me.

    Meanwhile SEIU Local 99 is equivocating to Superintendent Cortines bullying tactics to add more furloughs and layoffs, instead of standing by their sisters and brothers in CSEA and UTLA.

    If and when (sadly the former seems more likely), we see an end to public education at the hands of the greedy EMO/CMO corporate charter-voucher establishment and their billionaire backers, we'll be able to thank SEIU for their class collaboration with the most reactionary elements in the so called DLC/DFER crowd.


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