California Labor &
Employment Law Blog
May 11, 2010

WSJ Reports on SEIU Direction Under New Leadership

Topics: Legal Information

Many people were shocked at Andy Stein's retirement last month as President of SEIU. Stein had led SEIU to unprecedented growth and influence and was seen by most in the industry as the most influential political figure for union side issues. As SEIU President, he turned the SEIU into the largest union in North America and its fastest growing union. Today SEIU has over 2.2 members. He decided to step aside to spend more time with family. Since his announcement less than a month ago, our firm has received a number of inquiries on what to expect from SEIU now, given this development. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday (May 10) that recently elected new SEIU President, Mary Kay Henry, has announced that SEIU will focus more on private sector employers going forward and that organizing efforts in the banking and biotechnology industries should be anticipated. The WSJ also announced that SEIU was going to allocate $8 million dollars of funding to focus on its future priorities and that this funding would be split evenly with $4 million dollars each going to (a) an "innovation fund" that is focused on working on new targets for union organization and more effective strategies for organizing; and (b) a fund designed to supplemental contributions to union friendly gubernatorial candidates in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinios, New York, Ohio and Florida.

In sum, SEIU intends to continue to focus on membership growth and being at the forefront of union politics under President Henry, with the only significant change being a renewed focus on growth in the private sector workplace. We look for this growth to be concentrated in industries that have the most difficult time off-shoring their workforce.

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For over 25 years, CDF has distinguished itself as one of the top employment, labor and immigration firms in California, representing employers in single-plaintiff and class action lawsuits and advising employers on related legal compliance and risk avoidance. We cover the state, with five locations from Sacramento to San Diego.

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About the Editor

Robin Largent has a regular presence in California state and federal courts and has been lead defense counsel and appellate counsel for large and small California employers in litigation (and arbitration) ranging from individual discrimination and harassment claims to complex wage and hour representative and class actions. She also leads the firm’s appellate practice, having substantial experience and success handling appeals, writ petitions, and amicus briefs in both state and federal court on issues such as class certification (particularly in the wage and hour arena), manageability and due process concerns associated with class action trials, exempt/non-exempt misclassification issues, meal and rest break compliance, trade secret/unfair competition matters, and the scope of federal court jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act.
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