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 ...