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Major labor union to slash budget in wake of Trump victory (Read More…)

By SEAN HIGGINS
12-27-2016

The Service Employees International Union, one of the nation’s largest unions, is slashing its budget by 30 percent in the wake of President-­elect Trump’s victory, portraying it in an internal memo as a necessary reaction to having fewer friends in power.

“Because the far right will control all three branches of the federal government, we will face serious threats to the ability of working people to join together in unions. These threats require us to make tough decisions that allow us to resist these attacks and to fight forward despite dramatically reduced resources,” said SEIU President Mary Kay Henry in staff message dated Dec. 14, according to Bloomberg
The tough decisions include a 10 percent budget cut starting in January and an additional 20 percent cut starting in 2018.

SEIU was a major supporter of the Democrats in the last election, spending $21.6 million to help elect them, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The union had high hopes that a win by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Democratic gains in Congress would cement efforts by the Obama administration to aid union organizing, boosting the movement’s sagging numbers and treasuries.

A Clinton win would also have likely resulted in a more liberal Supreme Court), which would have been a boon for a union lead effort to get the justices to invalidate state ‘right to work’ laws which make it harder for unions to organize and retain members.

Instead, the election went badly for organized labor and it faces the prospect of a presidential administration that will roll back Obama­era regulations that aided unions. Trump has nominated Andy Puzder, president of CKE Restaurants, which owns the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., franchises, to be the next labor secretary Puzder is a major critic of Obama’s regulations as well as a higher minimum wage.

The labor movement also faces the prospect that the Supreme Court could limit the use of “security clauses” provisions in union­management contracts that force all workers to either join a union or support one financially as a condition of employment. The provisions are a major source of union revenue.

The justices heard a case early in 2016 called Friedrichs v California Teachers Association that challenged whether public sector employees could be bound by such provisions. The court was widely expected to rule against the union in the case, however, Justice Antonin Scalia died not long after oral arguments and the remaining eight justices split evenly, preventing a ruling and sparing unions from a major blow. The court could take up a similar case in the next session, however. The fact that it accepted Friedrichs shows that several justices have an interest in the question.

Posted by Admin on 12/27 at 03:03 PM
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