Monday, June 21, 2010

Andy Stern-Big Baller in Big Pharma!

What's Andy "I am ready to fall in love" Stern up to these days? First, there was that $227,000-year pension he got from SEIU. Next was the contract with Leading Authorities, Inc that pays Andy a cool $30,000 per speech.

So, what's next for a retired labor leader? Corporate Boards of Directors, duh!

According to a press release issued today, Andy has decided to continue his tireless efforts to rebuild the global labor movement by getting his own seat on the board of directors of a pharmaceutical corporation. The company, Siga Technologies, Inc., is headquartered in NY and calls itself "a leading drug development company in the biodefense arena."

So why is a pharmaceutical company that's involved in national defense and biological warfare interested in Andy? Looks like they want him to parlay his relationships with White House officials, which Andy developed as the president of SEIU, into big dollars for SIGA. (The federal government is SIGA's biggest targeted customer.)

SIGA's CEO says about Andy: "Andy is a strong leader and a great addition to our Board of Directors. His insight, experience, and leadership, particularly his understanding of how our federal government works, will complement the skill sets of our existing board members."

Um, isn't this the sort of Washington-insider, revolving-door politics that Andy used to criticize? Is it appropriate for SEIU's President Emeritus to use his SEIU connections to make big money for big pharma? Unfortunately, SEIU's "Code of Ethics" is about as flimsy as the paychecks that Mary Kay Henry hands to Rickman Jackson and Anelle Grajeda every couple of weeks.

So how much will Andy get paid for his new corporate gig? Well, Andy's new board buddies are pulling down $50,000 a year in stock options and cash for attending a few board meetings a year. If Andy successfully uses his SEIU Rolodex to dial for dollars, Tasty is confident that SIGA will kick him even bigger money.

Plus, Andy will have lots of time to pal around with his new buddies on SIGA's board of directors. They include Michael Bayer, the CEO of Dumbarton Strategies LLC, a national security consulting firm. According to SIGA's website, "Bayer is also the Chairman of the U.S. Department of Defense's Business Board and a member of the Sandia National Laboratory's National Security Advisory Panel, the U.S. Department of Defense's Science Board and the Chief of Naval Operations' Executive Panel. Mr. Bayer serves as a director of Dyncorp International, Inc., Stratos Global Corporation and Willbros Group, Inc." Then there's Bruce Slovin, President of 1 Eleven Associates, LLC, a private investment firm. And Paul G. Savas, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, Inc. Sounds like a very progressive group!

Andy Stern once said, "You can work with Big Pharma and still criticize Big Pharma."

But can you get paid by Big Pharma and still critcize them?

Tasty thinks not, and shudders to think what is next in the Stern bag of tricks.