February 22, 2011

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Another well funded and powerful organization which has strong ties to George Soros is the Service Employees International Union, known better by their initials - SEIU. Along with the AFL-CIO, SEIU backed Barack Obama with a huge influx of cash during his 2008 Presidential campaign and is credited with bringing in near unanimous support at the polls.

With 1.8 million members across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) ranks among the largest and fastest-growing unions in North America. It has more than 300 local affiliates and 25 state councils. Giving voice to its wish to radically transform an American society that it deems rife with inequity, SEIU’s mission is "to improv[e] the lives of workers and their families and creat[e] a more just and humane society.” Classifying Women and minorities as the most aggrieved victims of discrimination and maltreatment, SEIU notes that 56 percent of its members are women and 40 percent are “people of color.”

SEIU members work in four service industry “divisions”:

Hospital Systems: As America’s largest union of health care workers, SEIU represents more than 900,000 caregivers and hospital employees, including  some 110,000 nurses and 40,000 doctors in public, private, and non-profit medical institutions.

Long-Term Care: SEIU is the largest union of long-term care workers (including 350,000 home care workers and 150,000 nursing home employees) in the United States.

Public Services: The second largest union of public service employees, SEIU represents 850,000 local and state government workers, public school employees, bus drivers, and child care providers.

Property Services: SEIU is the largest property services union, with 225,000 workers who clean, maintain, and protect commercial and residential office buildings.

The current President of SEIU is the former New Leftist Andrew Stern, who advanced to the Union’s top post in 1996 when his predecessor, John Sweeney, became President of the AFL-CIO.  At the outset of his tenure with SEIU, Stern told his members that he expected "every leader at every level of this union -- from the international President to the rank-and-file member -- to devote five working days this year to political action."

In effect, this was a mandate for those union leaders to work in support of the Democratic Party. Stern sits on the Executive Committee of America Coming Together, a Democratic Party auxiliary funded by George Soros. Moreover, SEIU is a major component of the so-called “Shadow Democratic Party,” a nationwide network of more than five-dozen unions, nonprofit activist groups, and think tanks whose agendas are ideologically to the left, and which are engaged in campaigning for the Democrats. Designated as a “527 organization” (so named in reference to Section 527 of the U.S. tax code), SEIU is not required to register as a “political organization” with the Federal Election Commission, and consequently may collect as much  “soft money” as it wishes, with no limits on how much it may receive from individuals or corporations. This money, in turn, is funneled to Democratic candidates, political action committees, and other “527” groups pursuing similar agendas.

In November 2003, SEIU endorsed then-presidential candidate Howard Dean, sending thousands of volunteers to work on his behalf in states where early primaries were scheduled. After Dean dropped out of the race in early 2004, Andrew Stern played a major role in persuading the Democratic presidential nominee, John Kerry, to pick as his running mate Senator John Edwards. As of June 2004, SEIU had already committed $65 million toward the effort to defeat incumbent President George W. Bush in that year's November election. (This money was used to finance voter registration drives, voter “education” initiatives, get-out-the-vote campaigns, and the efforts of some 2,000 political organizers working full-time against President Bush in 17 key battleground states. Moreover, the Union pledged to supply 50,000 “volunteers” from its membership rolls just prior to, and on, election day.)

SEIU’s membership growth is heavily dependent on the public (i.e., government) sector, where 37.2 percent of employees are currently unionized (as compared to only 8.2 percent of private sector workers). Since the middle of the twentieth century, union membership in the private sector has declined by more than 80 percent; only in the public sector have unions grown during this period. Because this is precisely the niche in which SEIU dwells, the Union has a vested interest in helping to elect Democratic leftists who will press to make government ever-larger, so that it can produce an ever-increasing number of union-dues-paying jobs for welfare workers, socialized medicine healthcare workers, Medicare nursing home workers and the like. (SEIU advocates a taxpayer-funded, government-run program of socialized medicine, which it dubs “increase[d] access to quality, affordable health care.”) Under Andrew Stern’s leadership between 1996 and 2006, SEIU membership grew by nearly 900,000. 

Representing more immigrants than any other union, SEIU also seeks to “ensure [that] immigrant workers have a shot at the American dream.” Toward that end, it supports the legalization of illegal aliens, whom it characterizes as “hard-working, tax-paying immigrants.” SEIU is a sponsoring organization of the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride Coalition, which seeks to secure amnesty for illegal aliens, and favors policy reforms that will diminish or eliminate future restrictions on immigration. SEIU views such immigrants as a potentially plentiful source of future SEIU dues-paying members.

As the largest union of child care workers in America (representing more than 200,000 people who work in child care and early education), SEIU seeks to “improve funding for child care and early education, and expand parents' access to affordable, quality care.” In short, it favors the expansion of taxpayer-funded programs that finance such services.

Viewing the United States as a nation where discrimination against minorities and women is widespread, SEIU endorsed Pay Equity Now! -- a petition jointly issued in 2000 by the National Organization for Women, the Philadelphia Coalition of Labor Union Women, and the International Wages for Housework Campaign -- to "expose and oppose U.S. opposition to pay equity" for women. The petition charged that: "[T]he U.S. government opposes pay equity -- equal pay for work of equal value -- in national policy and international agreements … [U]nderpaying women is a massive subsidy to employers that is both sexist and racist."

To boost its effort to create an ever-expanding supply of social activists and labor union leaders, SEIU recently launched an “Institute for Change,” which seeks “to advance social and economic justice by helping SEIU locals develop their leaders, strengthen their organizations, and increase the power of the labor movement.”

SEIU has also taken a stand on matters of national security: In 2004, the Union endorsed the Civil Liberties Restoration Act, which was designed to roll back, in the name of protecting civil liberties, vital national-security policies (such as the Patriot Act) that had been adopted after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

SEIU Local 1199, based in New York City, is one of New York's most powerful and militant labor unions. With more than 300,000 members, it is the world’s largest union local. Sixteen years after its 1932 founding, it was investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee for Communist "infiltration."

At a March 2007 meeting, Local 1199's executive vice president Steve Kramer spoke enthusiastically about the role which the Communist Party USA played in building up his union. When the Communist Party split in 1991, several Local 1199 officials took many comrades into the breakaway group, Committees of Correspondence. One of those officials, Rafael Pizarro, also went on to help found the New Party, a Marxist organization that Barack Obama joined in Chicago in 1995.

From 1972 to 1994, the late Merrilee Milstein -- a hard left activist who was married to Communist Party member Brian Steinberg -- served as Local 1199's vice president.

SEIU has extensive ties to the community organization ACORN. Between 2005 and 2008, the union spent $9 million on ACORN training programs and organizing services. Moreover, SEIU hired ACORN founder Wade Rathke to lead the union's national organizing programs.

In 2008 the SEIU supported Barack Obama's presidential candidacy. The union spent approximately $60.7 million to help elect Obama to the White House, deploying some 100,000 pro-Obama volunteers during the campaign (including 3,000 who worked on the election full time).

In recent years, the SEIU has been plagued with a number of financial scandals, In 2008, for instance, Tyrone Freeman, head of the union's largest California local, misappropriated hundreds of thousands of SEIU dollars. In response, the union ousted Freeman and demanded that he return the money in question.


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