Fear of Trump Triggers Deep Spending Cuts by SEIU


SEIU: Say goodbye to your best buddy…

Imagine my distress…

From Bloomberg: In a clear sign that labor unions are bracing for lean times under Donald Trump, the massive Service Employees International Union is planning for a 30 percent budget cut over the next year, according to an internal memo reviewed by Bloomberg Businessweek.

“Because the far right will control all three branches of the federal government, we will face serious threats to the ability of working people to join together in unions,” SEIU President Mary Kay Henry wrote in an internal memo dated Dec. 14. “These threats require us to make tough decisions that allow us to resist these attacks and to fight forward despite dramatically reduced resources.” After citing the need to “dramatically re-think” how to implement the union’s strategy, Henry’s all-staff letter announces that SEIU “must plan for a 30% reduction” in the international union’s budget by Jan. 1, 2018, including a 10 percent cut effective at the start of 2017.

SEIU, which represents nearly 2 million government, health-care, and building-services workers and wields an annual budget of $300 million, is the nation’s second-largest union and arguably the most politically significant. In the past few years, SEIU has mounted organized labor’s most effective political intervention with the “Fight for $15,” a campaign that’s dragged Democrats—from city council members to presidential candidates—further left on the minimum wage. At the same time, it cultivated close ties with President Obama, played a key role in passing Obamacare, and worked hard to elect Hillary Clinton.

Asked about what the memo could mean for its current campaigns, SEIU didn’t offer specifics. “As we prepare to fight-back against the forthcoming attacks on working people and our communities under an extremist-run government, we know we must realign our resources and streamline our investments to buttress and broaden our movement to restore economic and democratic opportunity for all families,” said spokeswoman Sahar Wali. “As part of this process, we are currently looking at possible ways to improve our budgets.”

SEIU, like most of its peers, was already in a state of slow-motion crisis before Trump’s victory. Things will only get worse after inauguration, when organized labor will find itself without a friend in the White House. Unions will instead be up against unified Republican control of the federal government and of half the nation’s state governments, where labor organizers have already suffered some severe blows.

In Michigan, for example, Republicans in 2012 passed a private sector “Right to Work” law that let workers decline to fund the unions representing them, a public sector law doing the same for government employees, and a third law stripping University of Michigan graduate student researchers and home-health aides of their collective-bargaining rights. Afterwards, SEIU’s Michigan health-care local lost most of its membership.

With Republican dominance in Washington, the threats to SEIU will get more grave: Everything from slashing health-care spending to passing a federal law extending “Right to Work” to all private-sector employees could be on the table. One of the most widely expected scenarios is that a Trump appointee will provide the decisive fifth vote on the Supreme Court’s labor cases. The court already ruled in 2014 that making government-funded home health aides pay union fees violated the First Amendment, and a future case could apply the same logic to all government employees, effectively making the whole public sector “Right to Work.” SEIU was bracing for such a ruling earlier this year, in a case called Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, but got an unexpected reprieve when Justice Antonin Scalia’s death left the court tied, four to four. With several similar cases brought by union opponents already making their way through lower courts, it may not last for long.

The Dec. 14 internal memo from SEIU’s president doesn’t specify which threats necessitate planning for a 30 percent cut or how particular programs could be affected. It does reference the next congressional and presidential election cycles, saying the union needs to “focus our resources and energy on the fights that position us to retake power in 2018, 2020 and beyond,” as well as position itself “to take on the forthcoming attacks, absorb the short-term losses and strengthen ourselves to win big in the future.”

Read the rest of the story here.


10 responses to “Fear of Trump Triggers Deep Spending Cuts by SEIU

  1. Inauguration is still 22 days away but he’s already Making America Great Again.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Pingback: Fear of Trump Triggers Deep Spending Cuts by SEIU — Fellowship of the Minds | kommonsentsjane

  3. SEIU is in trouble for the same reasons as the democratic party. Lying to its members about getting them a better life and then picking their pocket as they leave the meeting. Two faced at best. And some people are getting tired of being lied to when they can see clearly that they’re not getting ahead. All this income inequality talk is nothing but a smokescreen. The union fat-cats are in panic mode because they see their gravy train drying up.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. hvgarvey@comcast.net

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Dr. Eowyn:

    Yeah, I’m “distressed, as well.”


    Liked by 2 people

  5. It is no secret that unions have overstayed their visit and have over played their hand.
    The internal memo is nothing but justification in cutting services, but maintaining executive salaries. Members have been treated as chumps for years.
    Their demands has done more damage than help in stimulating employment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glenn…thanks….your words, “over-played their hand,” describes my teacher’s union perfectly: I pay almost $1500 yrly to my teacher’s union. (& husband…in his second job at a community college governed by my same state admin…..pays nearly same.) They negotiate our salaries/health care benefits, but also can run interference betw a wild-eyed/vindictive admin.& a teacher (which, even being awarded in 2 separate yrs for excellence in teaching on the district level, & then 2 yrs in a row at county level…did not protect me from….did not have to call upon the union, but almost—I believe the “threat” of my union representation kept the crazies from my doorstep) (And, BTW—those principals “went away” not long after). That’s what I pay them for….BUT….what they MOSTLY do here in CA is use the money to support their (Democratic) local, state, and national politicians. There was a movement here to pass a law that would allow union members who are NOT politically like-minded with their union to exempt that portion of their “dues” from payment to the unions. But this was judicially defeated in the courts recently 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is certainly a large amount of money that most likely could be better Used for your family. I am sorry your Union failed you also
        I think the final straw for me was when a union started demanding that people who home care for their own family members join the union.
        Then right before that, the teachers union here agreed to be drug tested, since crack usage was big then, to receive a nice raise. When it came time for them to be tested, they reneged on the deal and threw a hissy fit. Telling me, there was some serious usage going on.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Aw,gee! Have to cut back on the charter buses, hotel parties, booze and dope for the “Spontaneous Demonstrators” at anything Pro-American.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Aw, really?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. LOL – Dayem, the parasites might actually have to go out and get real jobs now.

    Imagine my distress.

    Liked by 1 person

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