The Progressive Quandary About SEIU: A Tale Of Two Letters To Andy Stern

Source: Steve Early, WorkingUSA, Vol. 12 no. 4, December 2009
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From the abstract:
The terrain of “progressive labor” in the U.S. has shifted dramatically in recent years. The two million-member Service Employees International Union–long associated with the remaking of labor as a force for social justice–has become embroiled in a series of controversies that have alienated past campus, community, and political allies. A union that once commanded almost automatic support in left-liberal academic circles now finds many “friends of labor” arrayed against it, rhetorically at least, and in some cases, actively assisting organizational rivals such as UNITE HERE and the new National Union of Healthcare Workers. The following article examines the recent history of the labor-intellectual alliance that emerged in the mid-1990s, in response to changes in the national American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) leadership. It assesses the current state of relations between labor-oriented academics and key unions associated with the Change To Win coalition that split from the AFL-CIO in 2005.

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