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SEIU and the “persuasion of power;” Update: St. Louis thuggery on tape

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By Michelle Malkin  •  August 6, 2009 11:44 PM

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In May, I told you how the Service Employees International Union’s $61 million investment in Barack Obama paid off with cabinet appointments, executive orders, key personnel slots, and legislative goodies.

Now, the SEIU thugs are looking out for The Boss. In Tampa, Florida and St. Louis today, the Purple People turned out to give cover to members of Congress targeted by Tea Party activists and town hall protesters. For the first time, the town hall protests were marked by physical aggression. More on the St. Louis arrests of confrontational Obamacare activists here. (Just like Obama wanted: “In your face.”) This is no coincidence.

I’m excerpting a portion of my Culture of Corruption chapter on the SEIU. This is what you are up against.

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EXCERPTED FROM Chapter 7, “SEIU: Look for the union label,” Culture of Corruption

“The persuasion of power”

Asked about his organizing philosophy, Andy Stern summed it up this way: “[W]e prefer to use the power of persuasion, but if that doesn’t work we use the persuasion of power.”

Stern and his shock troops have bullied companies from private equity firms to Burger King to food management company Aramark, who have resisted SEIU’s attempts to organizer their workers. The Purple People have organized aggressive protests and a “War on Greed” campaign to pound the employers into submission. One of the besieged targets, security provider Wackenhut Services, battled SEIU’s attempts to gain exclusive representation for its employees. The company already ten other unions representing its workers. Initially unbowed by a massive, malicious negative publicity campaign against them, Wackenhut blew the whistle:

The SEIU seeks membership growth through aggressive “corporate campaigns” that have a blunt message to employers, “Let us unionize your workforce or we will destroy your reputation.” This tactic has been used against a number of organizations to include Wal-Mart, Kaiser Permanente, Advocate Health Care, Catholic Healthcare West, and Sutter Health.

SEIU is attempting to coerce The Wackenhut Corporation and WSI to recognize it as the “exclusive” collective bargaining representative throughout Wackenhut. Wackenhut declined to enter into such an agreement. The SEIU responded with a corporate campaign that is intended to damage WSI’s reputation and relationships with our clients. Their campaign tactics include distributing misinformation, distortion and omission of fact through the media, conducting demonstrations in proximity of work sites in an effort to disrupt normal client operations, and aggressively attempting to intimidate or influence clients.

But after filing a racketeering lawsuit against the SEIU, a weary and drained Wackenhut entered into an agreement allowing its employees in nine cities to choose SEIU as its bargaining representative. Behold the “persuasion of power.”

Showing an appalling lack of concern for the well-being of its members, the SEIU upped the ante in a representation battle with the University of Miami in 2006. The union fought tooth and nail against a true, democratic unionizing election for campus janitors using a secure, federally monitored secret ballot. Stern personally escalated the dispute, joined the fasters, and demonized then-university president Donna Shalala (yes, that Donna Shalala of Clinton yore). She lashed back:

We are devastated that the union is risking the health and well-being of our students and the Unicco employees by sanctioning an activity as drastic as a hunger strike. Hunger strikes have never been used in this country to oppose an election. We have urged both parties to continue daily discussions until this issue is resolved. A free election for or against unionization is a federal statutory right.

In the end, the SEIU relented to a federally monitored election. But at what price? Five SEIU members were hospitalized, one with a minor stroke. Wackenhut Corporation chief operating officer Paul Donahue, expressing sympathy for the University of Miami’s plight, saw the big picture:

The bullying, protesting, harassment, contrived events and demands will continue indefinitely because the union has millions of dollars in dues money from hard working janitors and other service workers which can be spent on ruining the reputation of businesses instead of bettering the lives of those workers that contributed.

Indeed, no one has felt the blunt force – and physical danger — of Stern’s “persuasion of power” more than workers themselves.

In Oakland, Stern and his Washington crew imposed a trusteeship on a 150,000-member local that had publicly opposed SEIU strong-arm tactics. The D.C.headquarters (knee deep in ethical mud) accused the local – known as SEIU United Healthcare Workers West (UHW West) – of financial malpractice and misconduct. The local fought back, charging the Beltway union leaders with manufacturing the allegations to retaliate and to distract from Washington mismanagement. The UHW West president, Sal Rosselli, quit the SEIU Executive Board, and formed a new union in February 2009, which declared: “We’re tired of SEIU’s hostile tactics, threatening phone calls, their collusion with employers and governors like Blagojovich, and the corruption of Stern’s appointees like Local 6434 head Tyrone Freeman in Los Angeles, disgraced SEIU Executive Vice President Annelle Grajada, and the appointees who have just taken over what had been our local. We don’t trust them with our contracts, we don’t trust them with our dues—we just don’t trust them.”

In Philadelphia, Stern engineered the hostile takeover of a 150,000-member union representing garment and hospitality workers. Workers United had broken off from the national UNITE HERE union of 450,000 workers. Progressive New York Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez, citing SEIU’s agreement with Workers United, called Stern “hellbent on using classic corporate raider tactics to bring a huge portion of the U.S. labor movement under his absolute control.” The pact included discounted member dues and legal and financial assistance to aid the breakaway group’s efforts to take control of the Amalgamated Bank, the nation’s only union-owned bank. One union official called the power grab “a breathtaking form of imperialism…”

Know your enemy.

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Gateway Pundit has SEIU thuggery at a town hall meeting on tape. One SEIU member arrested in attack on Tea Party activist.

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