Tag Archives: Service Employees International Union

April 15: NYC took a bridge, Chicago & Seattle took the streets, Portland took Town Hall, and Denver took the cake

Photo by Laura Avant
DENVER, COLORADO- Yes, Denver’s FIGHT FOR FIFTEEN march kept to the sidewalks. When ISO members (organizing the local “15 NOW” group) pushed the boundaries, SEIU marshals criticized them not just for agitating, but for pushing their socialist agenda. Occupy Denver activists held a prominent banner which referenced reigning minimum wage champion Socialist Alternative. Most of the attendees were union members whose representatives have obviously failed to credit the SA party or Seattle Councilwoman Kshama Sawant for the nation’s first $15 minimum wage victory. We fielded questions all evening from marchers eager to know if an SA chapter was brewing in Colorado.

TO BE FAIR, Denver’s march did take an adventurous turn, by Denver standards, but the rally began as might be expected from an event dominated by the SEIU and other corporate unions and their immobile nonprofit cohorts. Denver’s 4-15 rally started in the middle of CU-Denver’s Auraria campus, invisible from any street and unseeable to even partipants arriving, until they turned the corner to find it, behind the Tivoli Center.

Then organizers had a lineup of speakers which stretched well past expectations, trimming the crowd by over a third as supporters opted to slip away due to the unexpected cold front. Next participants were admonished to stick to the sidewalk, even on campus grounds, and applaud the police who’d agreed to permit the march. We were heading to a neighboring McDonalds, at least we were taking the scenic route.

Throughout the rally and march, a brass band played, and members of the local band Flobots led chants and songs. This lent a fun energy but it did preclude ordinary marchers speaking out or centering the vocal messaging on anything more than the generic themes of financial discontent. Even as crowds lingered in front of McDonalds, the band played on, when poignant denunciations might have provided a suitable climax.

Fortunately, a “Silver Brigade” had been deployed to patronize the fast food monster beforehand, to prevent managers from being able to lock the doors when the marchers arrived. McDs managers did lock the doors and they discussed a number of interesting defensive tactics under the noses of our operatives, but the managers were ultimately unable to refuse senior citizens demanding they be allowed to exit. This exit was timed to allow the Fight-for-Fifteen procession to march straight up to the counter, demanding a living wage, etc. Their objections heard, the marchers left and eventually crossed the street and dissolved into shortcuts through the Auraria campus.

(Note: My account of our inside job may appear indiscrete, but I include it purposefully. One, because even with advance knowledge it’s a difficult tactic to prevent, and two, because organizers of successive protests of establishments such as McDs need to include this tactic if they don’t want to remain locked out.)

Photo by Laura Avant
The highlight for me was infusing the event theme with the S-word. Desperate as they were today to fight for a living wage, vowing “we’ll be back” or else to “shut it down”, these union adherants will shortly become the usual Democrats, waving the Hillary banners, as if there was no alternative.

Whose fault is it that America’s minimum wage has been allowed to lapse below the poverty level? Is the responsibility not in part that of the unions’? The SEIU is driving the official “Fight for Fifteen” campaign, but only after socialists have led the way, as they did whenever the labor movement made its gains.

Morons at AFL-CIO say AT&T/T-Mobile merger will benefit union workers

That’s the problem with unions. Collective bargaining is key to making capitalists heed the people, but the big unions are co-opted by back- peddling idiots. Aka, counter-revolutionaries. The AFL-CIO praised this merger because the unionized AT&T will absorb the non-union T-Mobile workforce? Yeah, what’s left of the jobs. Increased monopolization means streamlined payrolls, more pressure to force concessions, and less leverage. In offering this endorsement of a proposed antitrust offense, the AFL-CIO takes its members for chumps. Remember the UFCW betraying the P-9 meatpackers, or the SEIU taking out the nurses’ union? Of course the Democratic Party is chiming in, claiming a merger will help gays, by the same tortured moron math. Americans need their unions, their own political party, and advocacy groups, but they have to start with taking a guillotine to the top. Finding his pro-corporate support uncharacteristic GLAAD members unmasked their leader. This can be a one-strike litmus test. Favor AT&T, mistaken or not, you’re out.

Labor Movement splits over supporting the Democrat health insurance bailout

health_care_reform_clinton_obama AFSCME’s president, Gerry McEntee, has broken with the SEIU in selling Barack Obama’s health care ‘insurance reform’ kool aid. He calls it all a ‘barnyard epithet’ as the press labels it. Would that censored word be BULLSHIT? Politico writes about it all here… Labor chief takes on White House

Look for SEIU, the nation’s largest company union to keep on plugging for whatever Baucus and Obama dish out to ‘their’ workers. Their ‘Health Care insurance Reform’ rallies have been sad and pathetic events though. Instead of supporting booting out the insurance business out of our US medical delivery system, they are actually supporting keeping them inside as The Insiders. And that they have the nerve to call reform!

Supporting the Democrats as their maximo leader forces the union to do is no reform at all. SEIU has really become nothing more than a company union.

Not Health Insurance, Health CARE

health-reform-rally-union-printers-homeNOT HEALTH INSURANCE, HEALTH CARE.
Local Dems are being rallied again by the SEIU and other corporate handlers to ask for Health Insurance Reform. These are the same gate keepers who squelch calls for Universal Health Care, and who stand back from Democrats like Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL) when he labeled his Republican health reform adversaries as callous obstructionists.

The Republicans are not meeting anyone halfway, why do the Democrats begin the negotiations from the center? It’s a rhetorical question of course, because both corporate parties support the health insurance industry. The real question is why DO YOU ask your representatives in the legislature to begin with a compromise? Why do your organizers insist that the grassroots voice temper its demand?

Grayson angered his fellow congressmen by calling them murderers. Was he right? Here’s what he said:

“If you get sick in America, this is what the Republicans want you to do: If you get sick America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly … That’s right, the Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick.”

Asked to apologize for the remark, for besmirching Republicans and trivializing the Holocaust, Grayson offered to apologize to the dead, to the more than 44,000 Americans who die every year because they lack health insurance.

“That is ten times more than the number of Americans who have died in Iraq and who died in 9/11… But that was just once. This is every single year. That’s right. Every single year.”

“I call upon the Democratic members of the House, I call upon the Republican members of the House, I call upon all of us to do our jobs for the sake of America, for the sake of those dying people and their families … I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven’t voted sooner to end this holocaust in America.”

Colorado Springs Union Printers Labor Day event a dead ended march by SEIU to a locked up Democratic Party office building!

Dead_End Good grief what a pathetic event I just attended at today’s Labor Day rally to try to build support for Obama’s health insurance reform’ project! It had all the usual local area Democratic Party tied people out there, and they marched us, after an insipid talk-to rally attended by about 50 people, straight down Union to the abandoned and deserted offices of Mark Udall, in a locked up building fronted by an utterly empty parking lot. The staff for this guy didn’t even have the energy to open up the building for us upon the rally’s arrival!

It was DP poisoned, dead ended organizing by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) at its worst, and the dead end locked up building symbolized perfectly where Obama will lead this crowd in the long haul. To a dead end for any real reform taking place very soon.

This ‘rally’ was utterly underlined by the no-show DP hack, Udall, and the anemic attendees that came out to give their support to …. what? …’health insurance reform’? Now just what is that and what happened to single payer as a goal for real reform as opposed to encouraging a rabid herd of profiteers to still take their profits off the sick and maimed? This was one of SEIU’s 6 Colorado State recent rallies BEHIND the Democratic Party machine they so hope to get a few crumbs from. One such crumb is now called ‘insurance reform’. Forget about American health care reform altogether, or at least keep it hush-hush!

How about these 2 signs for none-inspirational de-motivation for health care reform activists?

Health Insurance Reform ’09 – We Can’t Wait!
(and the even worse:)
Reform Now- Insure People, Not Profits …?

 
Notice the emphasis on INSURANCE put out by these Obama-Lites of the SEIU? They were rallying us to be keeping INSURANCE at the helm of the delivery of American Health Care, even if more than a few of those who chose to attend the event hardly realized that! Very sad and no wonder the Union Movement in the US is dead, dead, dead. Nobody will get inspired by these union hack goals and their insipid rewrite of any decent goals for organized labor to focus its energies on.

The American public is sandwiched in between Right Wing kooks and not even liberal hacks, but flag waving centrist bureaucratic hacks from and allied with the Democratic Party. Thank you, SEIU, for next to nothing here. You are simply not Change that Works, but simply more of the same rotten old dead-ended business unionism that leads to disorganization of the workers you claim to speak for. Change has to be fought for and not compromised into zombie-like existence by hacks like yourselves. It will take much more than this to accomplish REFORM.

Ralph Nader gets it right about the SEIU versus CNA battle

Love a NurseIt is rare for a presidential candidate to even notice the tactics and strategy of the labor unions in America, except to perhaps go after their endorsement. But Ralph Nader recently wrote a commentary about the struggle to get decent Health Care for all Americans, and analyzed the battle between 2 unions that are key components of that struggle.

The SEIU and CNA are the 2 largest unions that have organized nursing service workers in the US, workers that are certainly key one ons the road to getting us all decent medical care coverage. Check out Ralph Nader as he writes about the differences between the 2 unions.

He got it right on, too. Single-Payer Health Care in an Age of Two-Party Politics Sad, but I just don’t see a good future ahead for nurses if the SEIU business unionism gang wins this battle.