Monday, February 9, 2009

Who is Eliseo Medina?

On paper, he is almost the Perfect American Labor Union Success Story.

Immigrant. Worked in the fields picking grapes. Walked the streets with Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta and helped to build UFW. Resurrected a moribund SEIU chapter in San Diego. First Hispanic-American to serve on a national union at the cabinet level. Etc., Etc.

How much of that bio, though, is actual truth, and how much of it is self-serving claptrap?

Let's see what a former SEIU International insider, Andy English, has to say on the subject:
While Medina has an admirable history, its clear that long ago he sold his soul to Andy Stern. The majority of managers I met in SEIU international never worked a blue collar job or any kind of working class job, and had no interest in listening to workers (polls and focus groups were all they cared about). They were arrogant, conceited, obnoxious, convinced they were right about everything, and that they were the “cool kids” that everyone else had to bow down to. Anyone with experience in another union, and with working class experience outside of SEIU was considered suspect, and if they showed the slightest hesitation about drinking the purple kool-aid, they were marked for elimination. SEIU prefers to hire and promote people who know nothing about unionism besides the SEIU line and will drink the kool-aid because they don’t know any better.

So if anyone reading this is thinking about going to work for SEIU international, be prepared to conform and sell your soul too or they will find a way to get rid of you.
Read the whole article for the complete backstory of this one individual's story whilst working for Our Glorious Maximum Leader and his purple-shirted aotomatons.

One quick additional pull from that article really stands out in regard to the UHW struggle:
To me a union is not just an institution - the union is the unity of the workers in the shop, be it a factory, a hospital, a nursing home or whatever. UHW members are clearly united behind their leadership. By attacking UHW to crush dissent within the organization, SEIU international is attacking the workers and engaging in union-busting. By backing this union-busting as the top leader of SEIU in California, Medina is scabbing on the working class movement. His loyalty is to Stern, not to the working class.

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