Historian Paul Moreno, author of the superb Black Americans and Organized Labor, argues that SEIU leader Andy Stern has successfully positioned the labor movement to reap major spoils from its cozy relationship with the state:
When Andy Stern announced his retirement as head of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the “Change to Win” federation, he took a generous retirement package with him, and left his union $85 million in debt, having spent $61 million to elect President Obama and a Democratic Congress.
A good case can be made that he earned every penny of that package, and has left Big Labor stronger than ever.
Organized labor is engaged in its most audacious offensive since the New Deal. And Andy Stern has put it in an advantageous position because he learned the age-old lesson of American organized labor: politics pays. He’s not running off with an early inheritance. He’s returning to his movement’s first principles.
Read the rest here.