Archive for the ‘Andy Stern’ Category

[original post 8/12/2010]

The Democracy Alliance is alive and well, and its Vice-Chair is about to be born again.

Today, the “Queen of Labor”, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer and Chair of the Change to Win labor federation, Anna Burger, announced her retirement.

Anna Burger was defeated by current SEIU President Mary Kay Henry when she ran against Henry for the spot vacated by outgoing President Andy Stern.  Despite that loss, Burger had insisted that she’d be staying on as Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU.  Instead, she will be replaced as the head of Change to Win by United Food and Commercial Workers president, Joe Hansen.  Henry is likely to appoint one of her own insiders as SEIU Secretary-Treasurer, a practice that was already causing tension between Burger and the new guard of SEIU (even though both guards are not all that different from one another).

Burger’s departure marks not just the end of an era for SEIU, but more importantly it’s indicative of a new era for the Progressive movement.

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[original post 7/24/2010]

Andy Stern has just gained yet another job.  Earlier this month, Stern also accepted a position on the Board of Directors for SIGA, a producer of anti-viral and biological warfare defense products.

But this job seems to have some policy teeth, with a think-tank title akin to Media Matters or the Center for American Progress, and it comes with perhaps some welcome company as well.

andy-stern-091231

From The San Francisco Chronicle:

Andy Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union, is joining Georgetown University’s public policy school as a research fellow.

Stern, 59, retired in May after building his union into one of the largest in the labor movement and increasing his own influence with President Barack Obama and Democratic lawmakers.

Stern will coordinate research at Washington-based Georgetown on wage reform, labor policy and retirement security, according to an announcement on the school’s website.

Stern of course maintains his position as an adviser on Obama’s deficit-reduction commission, a post to which Obama appointed him in February of this year.

This announcement comes only weeks after the announcement that Ed Montgomery, who has been serving in the White House as both a member of President Obama’s Task Force on the Auto Industry and as the Director of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, will leave the Obama administration to take over as Dean of Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute.  As very active leaders in the labor movement, both Mr. Montgomery and Andy Stern certainly know one another, and have shared visits at the White House for such activities as Obama’s White House Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth.

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stern-dunn-corzine

An April 30th Press Release issued by Leading Authorities, Inc., announces Andy Stern’s latest move:

“Leading Authorities, Inc. has signed Andrew (Andy) L. Stern, the former president of the 2.2 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the fastest-growing union in North America. Stern turned SEIU into a powerful political force, and Stern and SEIU were widely credited for helping elect Barack Obama in 2008.

“We are extremely proud and privileged to be representing Andy Stern,” said Leading Authorities founder and CEO Mark French. “He is a major force in Washington politics. He transformed the labor movement, raised huge sums for President Obama’s election, and exerted monumental influence on the health care debate. Everyone at LAI is thrilled to be working with Andy.”   The release goes on to state,  “Stern will be addressing audiences about politics and issues such as fiscal policy, entitlements, immigration, healthcare, and the future of the labor movement.  He will speak independently, and also be matched with leading Republican thinkers.”

About the company:

Leading Authorities, Inc. is one of the nation’s most progressive event design firms as well as a renowned lecture agency and production house. LAI represents thought leaders in business, politics and contemporary life as well as nationally-recognized entertainment acts. Our award-winning video and production departments provide professionally managed events and cutting-edge media products. Our experiential event design experts conduct workshops to improve attendance, engagement, and return on investment. With tools such as our Strategic Event Evaluation and our Event Design Workshops, Leading Authorities is setting the standard in customized, fully integrated event design.”

Aw, Andy’s got himself an agent.  Show him the money.

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[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,

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[original post 1/2/2010]

The current state of the economy has placed a large burden on private business, especially on small businesses and the self-employed. Subscribing to a Keynesian tenet of financing debt and increasing government spending to boost output, lawmakers are repeatedly giving themselves cover for splurging.  After the first bailouts came the massive $787 billion stimulus bill, an urgent remedy that Congress and the White House insisted was all about “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.”

And as spending has increased, so has the size of the public employment sector. Meanwhile, the private sector will soon be close to earning a coveted placement on the endangered species list.

private-VS-public1

As the union leaders’ plundering of the private sector has continued, this doesn’t mean that they have abandoned unionizing private sector workers altogether.  In fact, while the number of private sector jobs overall is down, the number of unionized private sector jobs is trending upward, right alongside the public sector growth.

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[original post 12/4/2009]

As President Obama concludes his first jobs summit, almost a year into his presidency, the nature of the guest list hints at a deliberate initiative that’s been underway for over 15 years – and it’s not one of the obvious presumptions that most would make.  Notice that of the list of leaders invited, the majority are labor union leaders, leaders of businesses with government contracts, or leaders of businesses that operate on partial public funding.  There is a common element across most of the businesses represented:  in one capacity or another, even if they are private sector businesses, most on the list benefit from some form of public money.

There is a legal precedent over 15 years old that is the pervasive push behind such a premise, one that was the product of ACORN and labor union coalitions.  And judging by Change to Win / SEIU’s Anna Burger’s plan for today’s jobs summit, it’s evident that this precedent is in play as we speak.

aburger

It’s no coincidence that in the wake of America’s economic crisis, some lawmakers have been pushing for infusions of public funds into the private sector.  No, we’re not just talking bank and insurance company bailouts. We’re talking about tax credit and incentive programs, health care reform proposals, green jobs programs, energy efficiency initiatives,  and even real estate development companies.  As the conservative accusations of socialism have begun to sink in with progressive leaders -especially with union leaders, who are especially sensitive to being perceived as public spenders – the language has been changing.  Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand” doesn’t sound so scary when it’s wrapped in the glove of words like “co-ops” and “public-private partnerships” and “national service”, which are now quickly being mainstreamed into the rhetoric.

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