Monday, April 2, 2012

Andy Stern Delivers Philly Payback to Billionaire Sugar Daddy

Remember the recent revelations about Andy Stern and his billionaire sugar daddy, Ron Perelman?

Well, their infamous “bromance” is making more headlines.

Readers may recall that in 2007, Stern cut a secret deal with Perelman that caused SEIU to pull the plug on its effort to unionize thousands of Philadelphia security guards employed by AlliedBarton, one of Perelman’s many companies.

According to this article, “The D.C.-based SEIU split town without warning, leaving openly pro-union workers to face management's wrath.” 

Following SEIU's sudden departure, the security guards decided to join an independent union called the Philadelphia Security Officers Union (PSOU). Hundreds of guards at the University of Pennsylvania are now awaiting an NLRB election, scheduled for April 11th, so they can join PSOU.

And here’s where our story gets interesting. It turns out that AlliedBarton is terrified about the prospect of negotiating with a real union. That's why the company’s executives phoned their favorite company union, SEIU, for help.

What happened next? AlliedBarton's executives handed over all of the guards’ personal contact info to SEIU and announced that AlliedBarton would be “neutral” towards SEIU… but not towards PSOU. One newspaper put it this way:
A March 17 letter from AlliedBarton vice president Jim Gorman sent to Penn guards declared neutrality — not to PSOU, but to SEIU organizing efforts. It pledged, "if a majority of AlliedBarton security officers in Philadelphia choose to authorize SEIU to represent them, we will ... recognize the SEIU as the union representative."

That has drawn the ire of PSOU backers in the Penn security force, many of whom are still bitter from SEIU's last organizing drive in Philly.
Here’s how another article -- entitled “Company Hands Out Employee Names, Numbers” -- describes it:
Why would AlliedBarton Security Services, the Conshohocken-based security guard company, give the names, addresses and phone numbers of its Philadelphia employees to the Service Employees International Union, SEIU Local 32BJ? 

That's a question that the Philadelphia Securities Officers Union posed to David Chapla, director of labor relations…. "Our lawyer asked if we could have a similar courtesy," said Fabricio Rodriguez, who serves as the union's administrator.  So far, he said, the company has declined to reply.

SEIU, armed with the company’s lists of employees, has been visiting the guards' homes. And if it’s anything like what has happened in California, AlliedBarton’s supervisors are inviting purple-shirted SEIU organizers to attend company-run employee meetings to campaign for SEIU.

And Andy Stern -- with his twin titles of "SEIU President Emeritus" and “the Ronald O. Perelman Senior Fellow” -- has made SEIU the ultimate symbol of company-dominated unionism in the U.S. labor movement.