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Author Archive | Steve Early

SEIU Buys Its Own Version of History

In the last five years, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has gone from being a media darling to generating more bad press for itself than any other labor organization.  Some of SEIU’s negative publicity is a product of right-wing union bashing.  But a huge amount is self-inflicted — the result of conflicts with other […]

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The Night They Drove Old EFCA Down

Scott Brown’s January 19 defeat of Martha Coakley in the race to fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat has been greeted as a “game changer” for Barack Obama and his political backers.  This GOP victory has deprived Democrats of their “filibuster-proof” super-majority in the Senate, making Obama’s health care plan — at least, in its current […]

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Green Mountain Mustering for the War at Home or Abroad?

Earlier this month, the Burlington had a busy weekend mustering its “troops” for active duty on several fronts, one at home and the other abroad. On Saturday, Dec. 5, two hundred labor and community activists gathered in this leading progressive city to plan more effective resistance to job cuts and contract give-backs demanded by recession-ravaged […]

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Why the Health Insurance Excise Tax Is a Bad Idea

  Twenty years ago, 60,000 workers from New York City to Maine rallied against healthcare cost-shifting at the telecom giant then known as NYNEX (since “rebranded” as Verizon). NYNEX was a very profitable, multinational company seeking to capitalize on a demoralizing decade of lost strikes, contract givebacks and widespread unionbusting.  At a time when many […]

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SEIU Civil War Puts “Partnership” in New Light

Tom Kochan, Robert McKersie, Adrienne Eaton, and Paul Adler.  Healing Together: The Labor-Management Partnership at Kaiser Permanente.  Ithaca, NY: Cornell ILR Press, 2009. During his uncontested campaign for AFL-CIO president this year, Rich Trumka offered the olive branch to corporate America — despite the latter’s demonstrated lack of enthusiasm for reinstating organized labor as its […]

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The AFL-CIO Debates Union “Raiding”

No subject arouses the passion of our labor officialdom more than “raiding.”  In his blustery maiden address as president of the AFL-CIO, Rich Trumka won thunderous applause last Wednesday by announcing that anyone daring to “raid an AFL-CIO union will find 1,000 organizers coming to the rescue of that union.” In trade unions that too […]

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Reading, Writing, and Union-Building

“It’s a well-established fact,” reports the New York Times Book Review, “that Americans are reading fewer books than they used to.”1  According to the National Endowment for the Arts, more than 50% of those surveyed haven’t cracked a book in the previous year.  In labor circles, the percentage of recent readers may be even smaller.  […]

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Why Labor Doesn’t Need a “House of Lords”

“Also being debated [at the AFL-CIO executive council meeting] is whether to create a mechanism to nudge past-their-prime union presidents to retire so unions are not stuck with tired, uninspired leaders.  One negotiator [of AFL-CIO/ Change-to-Win/NEA unity] talked of creating an advisory ‘Labor House of Lords’ to encourage older union presidents to step aside.” — […]

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Who Rules SEIU?

“SEIU has evolved into a dictatorship in which Andy Stern and others have consolidated power and decision-making authority and resources among a few.” — Sal Rosselli, president of SEIU’s United Healthcare Workers-West, San Francisco Chronicle, January 3, 2009 On Thursday, January 8, a group of 70 Service Employees International Union (SEIU) officials will join a […]

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Why Pay-to-Play Is Bad for Labor

“Our community is expanding: MRZine viewers have increased in number, as have the readers of our editions published outside the United States and in languages other than English.  We sense a sharp increase in interest in our perspective and its history.   Many in our community have made use of the MR archive we put […]

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