Monday, February 13, 2012

Andy Stern’s Sugar Daddy

SEIU’s President Emeritus Andy Stern -- who’s always fancied himself as a “maverick” -- has apparently 'broken new ground' by becoming the only “labor leader” in history to be sponsored and funded by a billionaire industrialist.

Readers may remember that just weeks after Stern resigned as President of SEIU, he was appointed to the board of directors of a pharmaceutical company (SIGA Technologies) that’s owned by billionaire Ron Perelman. In his first six months on the board, Stern pocketed 35,000 stock options and $116,094 in cash for attending board meetings.

Then, last month, Stern’s billionaire benefactor poured another giant spoonful of gravy onto Stern’s gravy train. Perelman donated a wad of money to Columbia University in New York City in order to create a custom-made job for Andy!  Here’s how Columbia University describes the newly established “Ronald O. Perelman Senior Fellowship” at its business school:

And here's Andy's page in the Biz School directory, complete with Mr. Sugar Daddy's name:

So who’s Perelman? 

He’s the 64th richest person in the world. Perelman, who's a corporate raider and buy-out specialist, has amassed $12 billion in personal wealth by buying and flipping companies -- and their workers -- for a profit. He’s been married five times, owns two personal jets and a 188-foot yacht, and uses a Sikorsky S-76C helicopter to commute from his lavish compound in Manhattan to his 57-acre weekend getaway in the East Hamptons. Oh, and don’t forget about the $13 million estate in the Bahamas, which is located on a part of an island called “The Billionaire Boys Club.”

So how did Perelman become Andy’s Sugar Daddy? After all... everyone knows that a Sugar Daddy doesn’t hand out his sugar for free.   

Well, back in 2006, SEIU President Andy Stern apparently cut a backroom deal with Perelman that allowed Perelman’s security company -- AlliedBarton -- to escape an SEIU organizing drive that was underway among 10,000 of Perelman’s low-wage workers in Philadelphia. According to reports like this and this, Stern simply pulled the plug on SEIU’s organizing efforts after meeting with Perelman.

And presumably, SEIU’s President Emeritus continues to “protect” Perelman’s companies from SEIU organizing drives in exchange for Perelman's generous support of cold, hard cash.

Andy, of course, has been working extra hard to please his patron. No doubt that Perelman was super happy when Andy began jumping in front of TV cameras with Fortune 500 CEOs to publicly pimp for giant tax breaks for U.S. billionaires -- as he did here and here.

All and all, it’s quite a disgusting story. Corruption. Deceit. Backroom deals. Front-page payouts. A so-called "leader" of America's working class who's sucking off the teat of one of the richest people in the world.