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.