Monday, June 27, 2011

Andy's Encore

In an encore to last week's performance (where Stern joined forces with Fortune 500 companies to support huge tax cuts for corporations), Andy Stern made some startling statements over the weekend. Here's an excerpt from the transcript of Stern’s TV interview with Judy Woodruff at pro-business Bloomberg News. Tasty has offered a few editorial comments in red.

WOODRUFF: One year after Andy Stern leaves the Service Employees International Union, you are on a corporate board. It’s called SIGA Technologies, Incorporated, controlled by Ron Perelman. Has Andy Stern gone establishment?

STERN: No, I think - you know, what’s the wonderful thing about SIGA is they’ve actually found a cure for smallpox, and their whole mission in life is to do what I tried to do, you know, was to find ways to help people. And in this case, it’s to make sure that people are safe in case of a terrorist attack, so that health care workers don’t have to be vaccinated but can actually be cured if there was ever a smallpox.

[You just wanna help people? Gimme a break! It's not like you're volunteering for Mother Teresa. You're getting 30,000 stock options for going to a few board meetings (in addition to your SEIU pension of $150,000 a year). And you and SIGA are currently embroiled in two Congressional investigations about bid-rigging after SIGA got a no-bid federal contract feds for $2.8 billion. Come on!]

STERN: But I do believe probably a year later that sometimes in my life - and I’ll take full credit - you know, I was awfully tough on the private equity and the banks. Some of it was totally appropriate; other of it probably was a little bit out of hand, you know, and that we need to find a way to be a team in America a lot more and come together, because we’re in a global competition. China, Singapore, and people are doing rather well, and Team USA needs a better plan.

[Andy is really saying the following to the corporate CEOs: "Awww shucks, guys... You didn't really think I was serious when I was saying that stuff about the banks and private equity, did ya? Come on, I was just readin' from the talking points they handed me. And ya know what? I know better now. And I'm helping you guys get these tax cuts, right? We're on the same team... Team America. Come on... Anyone wanna get lunch? Hi five??]

WOODRUFF: And that was - you’re saying that was something that was hard for you to realize when you were inside?

STERN: Yeah, when I was inside, you know, I was an advocate, a pure, straightforward advocate for my members and for things to have happen that are good for working people and to hold people accountable, like the banks and the private equity companies. But I appreciate that we’re in a much bigger context right now, and you sort of step out and you see people looking for good jobs, trying to come together as a country and find a new economic plan to compete in the global exchange, and I think that needs a different level of teamwork.

[Basically, Andy is saying he's for sale. What’s the so-called “bigger context that we’re in right now?” It’s this: Andy is looking for high-paid gigs on corporate boards. Basically, SEIU’s President Emeritus has no real principles and no clear-headed analysis about what’s happening to workers. He’s out for some cold hard cash.]