The New York Times and Wall St. Journal both cover the incredible events at Saturday’s Labor Notes conference in Michigan, where Andy Stern of SEIU International sent busload of male staffers to chase and harass RNs from the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, in retaliation for CNA/NNOC defeating them in a controversial “company union” vote last month in Ohio. Fortunately the targeted RNs were able to escape out a back door, but other conference-goers were not so lucky, with one woman sent to the hospital, and others punched, kicked, slapped, and shoved
This is obviously a dark day for the labor movement. Andy Stern needs to learn that this kind of harassment of women is NEVER okay. And it is NEVER, EVER okay to orchestrate an action that is so stressful that members have a heart attack and die.
RNs will never forget this day, nor is it now likely that any RN in the country will want to organize with SEIU after this kind of display.
As a first step, Andy Stern needs to apologize to all involved, pay the hospital bills of the injured woman, and promise to never use violence again. Instead, shamefully, SEIU is going back and forth between denying the violence and attempting to justify it. You can watch first-person accounts from some of the RNs targeted for harassment.
“The A.F.L.-C.I.O. president, John J. Sweeney, denounced on Tuesday what he said was “a violent attack orchestrated” by the Service Employees International Union against members of other unions at a conference on Saturday in Michigan.
The service employees’ union sent busloads of members from Ohio to the labor conference in Dearborn to confront leaders and members of the California Nurses Association. The service employees say the nurses sabotaged a major service employees’ unionizing drive last month.
Others at the conference said the fighting began when service employee members and officials tried to barge into the conference in a hotel banquet hall. Chris Kutalik, editor of Labor Notes, a magazine sponsoring the conference, said a retired member of the United Automobile Workers was pushed, banged her head against a table and was taken to a hospital for a head wound.
“There is no justification, none, for the violent attack orchestrated by S.E.I.U.,” Mr. Sweeney said in a statement. “Violence in attacking freedom of speech must be strongly condemned.”
Today’s Wall St. Journal takes their own look, at SEIU’s attack (reg. req’d)
“On Saturday, a scuffle broke out between members of the SEIU and participants in a labor solidarity conference in Detroit at which the executive director of the California Nurses Association was scheduled to speak. One attendee was sent to the hospital after cutting her head on a table, according to Chris Kutalik, editor of the magazine Labor Notes, which organized the conference.
Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the 66,000-member nurses’ association, decided not to appear at the conference because of tensions between the unions. “Our folks are extremely upset about what happened,” she said. “This is a nasty campaign.”
Mr. Sweeney condemned the confrontation. “There is no justification — none — for the violent attack orchestrated by SEIU,” he said in a statement. Mr. Sweeney called on leaders of both unions to meet to resolve their differences.”
Andy Stern attempted to destroy the labor movement n 2005 by splitting the AFL-CIO, he is undermining the progressive labor movement with series of corporate partnerships you can learn more about here, and now his actions threaten to hurt the reputation of every labor union. Here’s why Andy needs to apologize and make restitution.
“More significantly, such fighting could tarnish the image of unions, which have been trying to stem the decline in membership and attract more workers, say labor experts.”
Andy Stern must apologize and make things right.