Thursday, August 8, 2019

Union Leader to SEIU’s Any Stern: “Good riddance and thanks for the clarity”

Sara Nelson, AFA's President

How is the US labor movement reacting to news that SEIU’s President Emeritus Andy Stern has joined a billionaire-funded group that’s dedicated to battling teachers unions?

Here’s what Sara Nelson, International President of the Association of Flight Attendants and a former Flight Attendant at United Airlines, told Splinter:
“It’s always good when people can finally be themselves. The labor movement doesn’t need climbers or people who think they are owed something. We need serious leaders. Good riddance and thanks for the clarity. The rest of us have serious work to do right here with the people who do the real work that makes this country, this world, run. We know which side we’re on.”

SEIU’s reaction?

They were initially silent. But in response to a journalist’s inquiry, SEIU spokesperson Dan O’Sullivan issued a written statement that included this excerpt:
We are all indebted to Andy for his leadership as SEIU president. We respect Andy’s desire to contribute to improving working people’s lives now that he is no longer SEIU president. We won’t always agree with Andy, and his views are his own—he does not speak on behalf of SEIU’s members.”

Hmm. Why are SEIU officials allowing Stern to use his official title of "SEIU President Emeritus" in the WalMart family-funded organization's public materials?

Stern’s reaction

First, he took a page out of Trump’s playbook by tweeting something that was totally contradicted by the facts, according to journalist Hamilton Nolan at Splinter. He then asked Nolan for more time to reply to his questions about why he joined the billionaire-funded pro-charter school group. Nolan added this note:
I don’t believe there is any reason the questions can’t be answered now. I will publish Stern’s further comments if and when I receive them.

Hamilton Nolan, “The Union World Is Not Happy With Andy Stern,” Splinter, August 1, 2019.