Andrew Stern’s sudden resignation as International President of the Service Employees International Union (“SEIU”) took the labor world by surprise and sparked debate about his legacy and the future of the nation’s largest and most politically powerful labor union.  The selection of SEIU Executive Vice-President Mary Kay Henry as his successor has sparked an equally intense debate about the direction she is likely to take SEIU in the future.  Many had assumed that Anna Burger, SEIU’s Secretary − Treasurer and Chair of Change to Win − not to mention Stern’s longtime protégé − was all but guaranteed the job.  However, Henry’s candidacy grew support among the members of SEIU’s Executive Council when she promised to “heal rifts” within the union caused by internal debate over Stern and the long-term viability of his organizing philosophy. The SEIU Executive Council’s rejection of Burger seemed to signal a desire at the top of SEIU for a genuine change of direction.  Yet, in the days following her election, Henry has sent mixed signals about her true intentions.

Continue Reading Mary Kay Henry: A New Direction For SEIU, Or Business As Usual?

On Tuesday, February 4th, the United States Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (“HELP”) Committee called a rare hearing to question Craig Becker, President Barack Obama’s nominee for the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”). While Becker was approved by the HELP Committee last year in a 15-8 vote, Arizona Senator John McCain (R.) placed a hold on his nomination, keeping a Senate vote from taking place. Therefore, the White House resubmitted his nomination and the Committee voted on Becker again yesterday, before a confirmation vote in the full Senate.

Continue Reading Controversy Over NLRB Nominee Craig Becker Heats up as Proponents and Opponents Race to the Finish Line