(H/T: @presjpolk) Background: back during the largely unlamented Granholm administration, Michigan allowed SEIU to ‘organize’ caregivers who were only taking care of adult disabled friends and family members. And by ‘organize caregivers’ I mean, of course, ‘raid government disability checks for phony union dues.’ It was a great scam, frankly: the money got deducted right from the Medicare or Medicaid check, the ‘members’ affected never got hit up for money directly, and the amounts per paycheck were small enough (this article gives $30/month as one example: it may be, in fact, the high-end) that people didn’t squawk too loudly. Smart parasites know not to hurt the host too badly.
But then 2011 Rick Snyder became governor, and he promptly started deworming Michigan. The technique was and is simple (Scott Walker used the same trick in Wisconsin): Snyder simply stopped making the process mandatory, and then waited to see what happened. And what happened? Continue reading SEIU takes it on the chin in Michigan.
…and, frankly, gets snookered on the deal: “The DNC initiated an $8 million loan with the Amalgamated Bank of New York on Aug. 10, the report shows, accounting for the majority of the committee’s overall debt of $11 million.”
Well, at least in the short term. It would normally be a wonderment about why Amalgamated Bank would throw eight million at a fundraising entity that currently ‘enjoys’ a cash reserve of 7.1 million – but that’s if you don’t know that Amalgamated is owned by SEIU. The money’s not the biggest news in this deal, in other words: both the SEIU and the DNC expect it to be frittered away in the campaign days to come, and that the DNC will have a big, fat debt at the end of it. What this is is a reasonably unobtrusive way for SEIU to get its hooks into the DNC… which could be useful in the future, particularly if Obama’s existing control of the organization becomes a moot point after January of next year…
The n-dimensional geniuses over at SEIU (Michigan) have decided to link up with the Occupy Ringworm people in declaring November 17th to be Bridge Action Day – which should, of course, be more accurately characterized as Bridge Inaction Day. The idea is that all these public sector union folks will take an unofficial day off from their jobs – which are probably a lot more secure than the average private sector person’s – and use their paid-for leisure to block some Michigan bridges, which will of course keep ordinary Michigan workers from getting to work on time. This is apparently to show… solidarity… with the people whose day SEIU is ruining. No, don’t think about it too hard: you’ll just get a migraine from the resulting irony fumes.
Trust me on this.
Anyway, couple that with the inevitable copycat ‘direct actions’ – and, of course, this charming promise to firebomb Macy’s – and it becomes increasingly obvious that tomorrow might be an excellent time to telecommute to work. Assuming, of course, that you still have a job that will let you do that, thanks to this marvelous economy that the Democrats have given unto us…
Background on this: the SEIU was forced to cough up a copy of its “Contract Campaign Manual” as part of a court case – and it’s an interesting little document. The whole thing reads, as F. Vincent Vernuccio notes in the Washington Times, as a step-by-step checklist on how to manipulate… just about everything, really… in the course of forcing favorable negotiation terms. Mostly because that’s what it actually is.
Union members sometimes must act in the tradition of Dr. Marin Luther King and Mohatma Gandhi and disobey laws which are used to enforce injustice against working people.
It may be a violation of blackmail and extortion laws to threaten management officials with release of ‘dirt’ about them if they don’t settle a contract. But there is no law against union members who are angry at their employer deciding to uncover and publicize factual information about individual managers.
Ben Smith reports that “the Service Employees International Union plans to use its giant political operation to try to build a grass-roots movement of public protest and organization” – which is pretty much all that you have to read of that article, frankly. This is not a slam on Ben; Politico probably doesn’t look kindly on one-sentence articles, and writers need to eat. If your employer wants multiple paragraphs, you give your employer multiple paragraphs.
Still, the use of the phrase “plans to use” and “try to build” gives the whole game away. The tacit admission here is that the SEIU (and the rest of Big Labor) doesn’t actually have the populist support that the Left routinely [claims] to have; something that was glaringly put on display in the last few months in Wisconsin. While groups like these do have the ability to dump large numbers of its members into various anti-reform demonstrations (and near-riots), the results were neither successful in accomplishing any sort of meaningful change, nor in becoming self-perpetuating. For an example of the failures in the first category, note the Prosser/Kloppenburg election – particularly, the interesting fact that Kloppenburg received both less outside money than Prosser did, but more big-donor outside money in proportion. For an example of the latter, note the drastically-reduced protester footprint in Madison, now that they are no longer being artificially stimulated. Continue reading SEIU’s populist Cargo Cult plans.
The good news is, of course, that they’re going broke: as Classical Values, Big Government, & DRScoundrels helpfully note, in 2009 SEIU was $85,000,000 in debt, with fully one-third of its assets tied up in real estate (its headquarters) and the rest not-really-offsetting the debt. It’s been a while since I read a balance sheet, but it’s not pretty: and it explains a couple of things handily, like Andy Stern’s sudden leaving of SEIU and that bizarre incident last summer involving the Bank of America official and his kid (SEIU owes $81,000,000 to Bank of America). The 2010 report should be due out at the end of the month (you will be able to search for it here); it should make for fascinating reading.
The bad news? SEIU’s going broke, which means that its leadership is probably feeling like they’ve been cornered and are now beset by enemies. As SEIU’s leadership is mostly made up of anthropomorphic rats (without any of the rat’s better qualities) , this almost ensures some sort of lashing out in April. Which is probably going to be literal: SEIU is called the “Purple People Beaters” for a reason…
Please note, not every SEIU healthcare fund*. The specific one doing the abandoning is a New York fund for 1199 SEIU, which parent organization lobbied heavily for Obamacare… let us briefly walk this one through. SEIU needs more members if it wants to cover its underfunded obligations. So it went heavily for Obamacare. Obamacare includes mandates on expanding coverage for dependents to age 26. Rates went up – the health care provider claims that this is unrelated to the previous sentence, but the union itself is using the dependent coverage situation to explain away the situation – so the fund dropped coverage of minors as being too expensive. And, as the topping on the cake: this hits lower-income workers the hardest, of course.
The union wants to blame New York state for not increasing its coverage of the union’s obligations, but is taking the time to also insist that it’s NOT BECAUSE OF OBAMACARE. Megan McArdle would like to know why they’re writing explanation letters otherwise; I’ll just note that if SEIU spent more dues money on helping their members and less money on being a raddled shill for the Democratic party then they would have been able to cover the rate hike. In fact, they can still do that.
Not that SEIU will. It’s still barely easier for them to lobby for taking other people’s money. Besides, nobody at the national administrative level is going to be harmed by this, anyway.