Nytimes article picture of SEIU workers celebrating with workers coming into work.
Mumbai The results of the Kaiser decertification election or what Steve Greenhouse with the NY Times calls the largest single-company private sector election since Ford Motor more than 60 years ago, were an old foot stomping, ass whipping blowout for SEIU. The scorecard was conclusive: 18290 or 61% to 11364 out of 43000 eligible voters. The results were predictable for lots of reasons, and in fact I had called this on September 2nd’s blog.
So, will there be a rerun election as Sal Rosselli and his remaining band of dissidents has called for? Will the California labor wars finally be over now for SEIU? Should they be? My answer to all of these questions will be NO.
First, let’s talk about the prospects for a rerun election. A friend of mine who has organized in the Los Angeles area for decades mentioned to me a couple of years ago that the current generation of organizers doesn’t understand “NLRB organizing,” because for years – and for good reasons! – the emphasis and success when it has come has been in non-Board work. Well, the first thing to remember about the NLRB is that it may be ostensibly about worker rights, definitely it is not about union rights, and by virtue of policy and mission it is all about collective bargaining. To the degree there are well meaning bureaucrats embedded in the bowels of the NLRB still, they really, really believe in the value of collective bargaining to achieve labor peace and to protect and advance the interests of workers and their employers.
Here you have a situation where the following is true:
New Orleans There’s an old saying down in this part of the country that “if you roll around with the dogs, you’re going to get fleas.” True that! For many months I’ve bitten my lip as I’ve watched the neo-McCarthy efforts of the right try to sidetrack the early, breathtaking nomination of Craig Becker, a brilliant and experienced labor lawyer, to a position on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Since part of the dirt these dogs were slinging supposedly came from my finger tips hammering out these blogs, it made sense to give this mess a wide berth and hope Becker was not pulled into this pen with these dogs and the fleas kept their distance.
While the Senate was voting on the question of closure for Becker’s nomination before the city snowed under (52-39 falling short of the 60 needed to block more mess), I was inundated by some of the conservative bloggers asking me if Becker was bending the facts in response to a query from Senator McCain about whether or not Becker had ever worked for ACORN. Some Republican Senators are still dancing around this totally discredited storyline.
Craig Becker answered – truthfully! – “no,” he had not worked for ACORN. Ever!