[original post 4/24/2010]

“After a great amount of my own thought, hearing opinions from many of you, and holding them up against my own criteria—I recommend that Anna Burger not only temporarily—but then permanently—become the 10th President and first woman to lead our union.”

henry-burger

That’s what outgoing SEIU President Andy Stern requested in his April 16th letter to the International Executive Board of SEIU, as he named Anna Burger as his preferred successor.

But locals from New York, Los Angeles, Oregon, and Washington State, as well as Canada, all lined up behind Mary Kay Henry tonight to commit their votes.  According to Politico’s Ben Smith,

“It’s done,” an SEIU insider emailed moments ago.

Tonight’s development comes only days after Anna Burger’s plea to the International Executive Board:

“During my 38 years in SEIU, I’ve held every position but one and now I’m asking for your support… to be the next International President.”

However, building tensions between locals across the country that saw Stern as a divisive figure, too politically entrenched and connected to the DC complex, have left the union itself divided.  Some have seen Mary Kay Henry as a more uniting force that might break the national union away from the chains of the DC operations and bring the power of the locals back to the members again and keep the peace amongst other locals. Others (including me) speculate that she’ll infuse new life into those very DC operations and could possibly even accelerate some activities; she apparently has fewer enemies than Stern or Burger did.  As Politico reports,

(more…)

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