I followed an ad on Raw Story, pictured here. SEIU, bad? Huh? Turns out that some more radical unions think SEIU is a "corporate union," a little too cozy with the bosses. Friction is no stranger to the labor movement, both within and without the ranks, but what I read next seemed like a violent throwback to the Legbreaker Era.
Turns out there was a mini-riot Saturday in Dearborn, Mich. at the Labor NotesConference on union democracy when the SEIU bussed in some goons. Or, from the SEIU viewpoint, the radical wing-nuts turned and ran when faced with a brave protest from real trade unionists.
Here's the press release from The California Nurses Association, a competing union:
RNs Condemn Violent Service Union Attack at Michigan Event - Hundreds of SEIU Staff Bused in to Smash Into Meeting to Attack RNs and Break Up Conference on Union Democracy
The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee tonight condemned a brutal assault by busloads of purple cloaked staff of the Service Employees International Union who smashed into a conference of union members Saturday night in Dearborn, Mi. and physically assaulted women and union members who stood in their path.
"I am deeply concerned about this heightened attack on women and nurses, directed by SEIU President Andrew Stern," said CNA/NNOC Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro, who was scheduled to speak about the campaign for genuine healthcare reform at the banquet.
DeMoro cancelled her appearance at the event to coordinate support for CNA/NNOC leaders in California after Stern and SEIU began sending roving bands of staff to the homes of CNA/NNOC RN board members in California Thursday and Friday, stalking and harassing them.
"There is an ugly pattern here of physical abuse and tactics of intimidation that have no place in either our labor movement or a civilized society," DeMoro said.
SEIU MEMBERS STAND UP FOR THE FUTURE OF THE LABOR MOVEMENT AND THE INTERESTS OF ALL WORKERS
Dearborn, MI—Hundreds of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members from across the country joined in protest tonight, renouncing recent actions by the California Nurses Association (CNA) to interfere in other unions’ organizing efforts. SEIU members made their voices heard during the Labor Notes Conference in Dearborn, Michigan, where CNA Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro was scheduled to speak but cancelled at the last minute, anticipating the scrutiny her actions were expected to receive. Below is a statement from SEIU Executive Vice President Mary Kay Henry:
“Tonight, SEIU members stood up for the future of the labor movement and called on the California Nurses Association to stop fighting with other unions and start helping us build a stronger labor movement to help all workers reclaim the American Dream."
Mainstream coverage? Nil. The Boston Herald ran the AP coverage merely to use the cutsie-pie headline: "Nurses nurse injuries after nurse attack." The link is dead at the Herald's Web site, AP doesn't have a copy online ... poof! Down the Memory Hole.
In sum, don't count on organized labor or real healthcare reform. Between inter-union squabbling (whether secretly provoked by crypto-anti-labor forces or not) and the money/power available to destroy any attempts at radical reform, both are dead. And we are in big trouble.
PARIS (Reuters) - French officials criticized Chinese security staff on Tuesday for the way they handled the Olympic torch relay in Paris a day earlier, scrapping several planned stages and frequently putting the torch on a bus.
The Chinese officials, who included tracksuit-wearing security operatives who ran alongside each torch-bearer, were apparently reacting to pro-Tibet and human rights protests along the route, but some French officials felt they went too far.
The attitude of the Chinese authorities and their constant prevarication and procrastination made our task more difficult because it slowed down the procession's normal progress," Pierre Mure, director of public order and traffic at Paris police, told TF1 television....
One of the Chinese officials running in the procession extinguished the torch just as two-time Olympic judo champion David Douillet was preparing to hand over to the next athlete, judo world champion Teddy Riner.
"It is incomprehensible. It is as if someone spat in my face," said Douillet, who is head of the French Olympic Committee's athletes' commission.
"They have trampled on the Olympic rings. They have trampled on the athletes who carry the values of the Olympic Games," Douillet told LCI....
Douillet later told RTL radio the Chinese officials did not know how to cope with what was happening, dismissing the tracksuit-clad security operatives as "robots or watchdogs".
"Given what happened yesterday, the athletes are asking themselves one question: how will they be treated in Beijing?"
Exactly. As they puke up smog. What's the Mandarin for "clusterfuck"?
Thanks, ** Aunt Liz! **