Thursday, October 7, 2010

Andy Stern's New Gig at SIGA--Makes More Sense Now!

Today's Huffington Post has an article called "Andy Stern's Bizarre Alliance with Private Equity and Bio Warfare."

Quite Revealing! Turns out that SIGA, the bio-pharmaceutical outfit that put Andy on it's board is owned, in part, by private equity big wig Ron Perelman...who also owns Allied Barton, a security firm where SEIU cut a notably bad deal for security guards.

From the post:

Stern and Perelman worked closely together when Stern was head of the SEIU and was attempting to organize Perelman's workers. Stern gave Perelman treatment that was unusually favorable to the private equity giant.

Stern and Perelman have a history of cooperation. The pair met in 2004 as SEIU was attempting to unionize AlliedBarton, a security company owned by Perelman's holding company, according to a labor official who knows them both. In September 2006, the SEIU surprised the labor movement by agreeing not to organize 10,000 security guards working for AlliedBarton, largely in the Philadelphia area, in exchange for organizing opportunities elsewhere. In 2008, the SEIU again surprised observers by not standing in the way of the sale of AlliedBarton to the private-equity firm Blackstone Group, as SEIU generally does in industries where it is organizing workers.

"In an unusual statement, the Service Employees International Union said it supported the deal," the Philadelphia Inquirer reported in 2008. "The SEIU, which has two million members, has been critical of private-equity firms for flipping assets, receiving favorable tax treatment, and paying huge compensation to the industry's top executives."

A labor official recalls how out-of-place the support for the Blackstone deal seemed at the time. "They were in the process of attacking private equity in general and the Blackstone Group in particular, and all of a sudden they said, 'Well, this is a company we can deal with,'" recalled the official.

So, Andy got a gig on the back of thousands of security guards who still live in poverty? Priceless.