Saturday, November 29, 2008

'Nation' interview with SEIU and CtW Leaders

By Ben Trott

Nation editor, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, recently met with Andy Stern, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Anna Burger, Chair of the Change to Win Federation. In the article she wrote the following day, she noted the optimistic approach taken by both to the current conjuncture – concentrating less on some of the controversial figures being appointed to senior positions within the Obama administration, and more on the opportunities of the moment.

Progressives, it was argued, need to work together, particularly in the initial months of the new administration between inauguration in January and August. Stern dreams of winning a stimulus package, universal health care, and green jobs. The SEIU are focussing on the
Employees Free Choice Act (allowing workers to unionise if a majority sign up in any workplace) and health care reform.

Part of the SEIU’s strategy for achieving their goals during the administration involves ensuring
electoral accountability, pledging to support and run candidates against those who fail to live up to promises or expectations – rather than simply automatically supporting Democratic incumbents.

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