In what can only be described as a nationwide repudiation of Andy Stern and his divisiveness within the Service Employees International Union, as well as with other labor unions, a majority of large SEIU locals chose to reject Andy Stern’s hand-picked successor, Anna Burger, and elected California SEIU leader Mary Kay Henry as the next SEIU International President.
Key locals in New York, Los Angeles, Oregon, and Washington State committed crucial votes to Henry, choosing her over Stern’s protege, Anna Burger, who had promises continuity with Stern’s leadership.
“It’s done,” an SEIU insider emailed moments ago.
Henry benefitted from a sentiment in the union’s constituents across the country that Stern had become a divisive, and even exhausting, figure. Final negotiations included ensuring peace between Henry’s California nurses’ union and a long-term care workers local in the state led by Laphonza Butler. Butler and building workers leader Mike Fishman met in New York today with the leaders of other large undeclared locals, including the largest Chicago SEIU chapter.
With Stern leaving within the next couple of weeks and Anna Burger’s future uncertain, the politically powerful SEIU falls into the hands of a relatively unknown (outside of the SEIU) labor leader. Yet with Stern and Burger presumably still holding keys to the White House (for now), the change must be concerning for President Obama and the Democrats.
Meanwhile, with his competition all but gone, the AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka is the new BMOC.
More to come as the official congratulatory statements come out.
“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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