From the desk of Stephen Cabot: The Service Employees International Union, one of the most powerful in the United States, has elected a new president, Mary Kay Henry, who appears to be even more aggressive and determined than was her predecessor, Andy Stern, though he, too, was a force to be reckoned with.
The SEIU has 1.8 million members and a considerable fortune at its disposal for organizing efforts and political campaigns. In particular, Ms. Kay intends to use that money to organize workers in the biotech, banking, public sector, and health care industries to a much greater degree than was undertaken in the past.
Ms. Kay also plans on utilizing $4 million for a so-called “innovation fund” to locate new organizing targets. In addition, she intends to spend an equal amount, plus an already allocated $10 million, to elect union friendly governors in such states as Ohio, Florida, New York, Connecticut, California, Arizona, Ohio, and Illinois.
Those funds, though impressive, pale when compared to the $250 million that the SEIU spends annually on organizing campaigns. Just since the beginning of April, the union has organized 22,000 workers!
It is apparent that the SEIU poses an enormous threat to Corporate America and the nation’s nascent economic recovery. With an enemy poised and so well-funded to commence an enormous attack, it is essential that Corporate America prepare itself with the necessary strategic action plans. If properly prepared, non-union companies can remain union free. Unionized companies can negotiate from positions of strength. And others can successfully decertify unions already in place. If strategic action plans are not put in place now, Corporate America can expect to experience countless deleterious effects to profitability and productivity.