Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Michelle Ringuette's Dual Unionism with Andy Stern

Here’s an interesting story featuring Andy Stern and his former personal spokesperson, Michelle Ringuette, who’s apparently been working as a union double agent since her departure from SEIU.

As readers no doubt remember, SEIU’s President Emeritus has been making quite a scene by shamelessly pimping for giant corporations… like when he joined Fortune 500 CEOs to push for massive tax cuts on U.S. corporations' overseas profits. Of course, Andy LOVES all the attention... although he gets kinda sensitive when people criticize him.

That’s where Michelle Ringuette comes into our story. After Andy retired as SEIU’s president, Michelle eventually followed him out of the Purple Palace by landing a job at the American Federation of Teachers, where she got a fancy title as “Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives.” Adios, SEIU…

Or so we thought!

Earlier this month, Tasty was stunned to see Ringuette using her SEIU email account to defend King Andy’s reputation during an email discussion among labor journalists. Here’s what happened. 

One journalist sent an email entitled “Andy Stern's integrity continues to deteriorate,” and others followed by sharing articles like Former Union President Andy Stern Says He Was Too Tough on Banks at SEIU, which features a pinky-ringed picture of King Andy with this caption: “Convert? Former union president Andy Stern is supporting pro-business policies.”

That’s when Ringuette, wielding her SEIU email account, jumped into the discussion to defend Stern (even though she managed to inadvertently backhand him as she tried to curry favor with the journalists). Here’s Ringuette’s email:
From: Michelle Ringuette <>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 17:46:38 -0500
Subject: Re: [laborjourno] Re: Andy Stern's integrity continues to deteriorate

As some of you might know, I used to work for SEIU and I served as Andy's spokesperson for a while. I consider him a friend and I think he's far more complex than what can be captured in this kind of thread. 

I asked Andy about this because after all our work, this was profoundly disappointing to read. 

What he actually said (or had been trying to convey - I wasn't present for the interview) was that he (we) made a mistake by personalizing it and going after [JPMorgan Chase CEO] Jamie Dimon and [Goldman Sachs CEO] Lloyd Blankfein as individuals rather than staying focused on the problems with the system. 

Michelle Ringuette
202 341 7057
Random words and unconventional spelling courtesy iPhone 
So what’s the deal??  Is Ringuette secretly working for SEIU while pulling down a paycheck from the American Federation of Teachers? Is this “dual unionism”... or just plain old double-agent spyism? Or has Michelle decided to launch a “strategic initiative” to use the AFT’s resources to defend Andy Stern? Well, whatever it is, it looks like Michelle has some explaining to do!