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Union chief predicts win on ‘card check’ law

By Matt Kelley, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — The head of the country’s largest labor union says he expects victory by August on one of labor’s top priorities in Congress: legislation designed to make union organizing easier.
Andrew Stern, president of the 2 million-member Service Employees International Union, said Wednesday he thinks there are enough votes in the House and Senate to approve the bill known as “card check.” The measure would allow workers to form a union by gathering signed cards from a majority of employees, rather than the current method of winning a secret-ballot election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board.

Union fighting over bank (Click for article)

Juan Gonzalez -
Friday, February 20th 2009

A group of reform-minded union leaders who broke from the AFL-CIO four years ago vowing to rebuild the labor movement are in a bitter battle for control of America’s only union-owned commercial bank.

Some leaders of the union accuse one of the country’s most powerful labor leaders, Andy Stern, of the Service Employees International Union, of scheming to seize control of the bank in a corporate-style takeover

The conflict has been brewing ever since a merger that created UNITE HERE in 2004. That merger brought together two smaller unions - the former clothing workers (UNITE) and the hotel and restaurant workers (HERE).

At the time, UNITE’s membership was plummeting as manufacturing jobs were shipped overseas, but the union was flush with cash thanks to the bank. The hotel workers group was growing rapidly in membership but was nearly bankrupt.

At first, Raynor and Wilhelm predicted a bright future. The marriage has instead sparked a virtual War of the Roses. Leaders on both sides are feuding over strategy, tactics and finances.

That’s where Andy Stern comes in. His 2-million member SEIU is fast becoming the Roman Empire of the labor movement. Stern is forever on the prowl for new workers to absorb into his empire and he doesn’t much care how he does it.

“We are not shy in saying that their members would be better off if they were all in SEIU,” Stern said yesterday.

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