Posts tagged “SEIU

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and the Democratic Socialists of America

Last week, President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Dolores Huerta, an 82-year-old labor activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers union.

Many questioned the President giving Ms. Huerta such an honor,  given she  is also an honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America (along with Cornel West, Gloria Steinem and Frances Fox Piven, among others).  Huerta has also praised the likes of Hugo Chavez and Cuba for their approaches, speaking fondly of Chavez’s regime in front of high school students and talking about how Cuba is a “model for society”.

The Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis previously praised Dolores Huerta, whom she called “my teacher, my role model and mi hermana“.   In speaking at the reception for the Freedom Medal for Ms. Huerta, Solis noted that Huerta was being honored not just for her work with United Farm Workers but that, “It’s about everything she’s done, all her traditions and her values”.

This, of course, makes sense when one looks back at the history of Hilda Solis and finds her as a keynote speaker at the 2005 Democratic Socialists of America conference whose theme was “21st century Socialism”.

On Friday evening, a panel consisting of ACORN chief organizer Wade Rathke, Kent Wong of the UCLA Labor Center and Roxana Tynan of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy looked at the level of struggles nationwide. Saturday evening delegates recognized the contributions of DSA vice chair and Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson, Occidental College sociologist and longtime DSAer Peter Dreier and insurgent California Congress member Hilda Solis (D) who in turn provided in-depth perspectives of the political scene. 

Also elsewhere noted in the account:

Mike would have been impressed by the new mayor of our 21st century city of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa. He was a union organizer. He was the head of the ACLU. He came out the barrio and grew up very poor. His father was an alcoholic, beat his mother—he overcame incredible obstacles. He dropped out of high school, and went back and then graduated from UCLA. He worked his way up through the labor movement and then was elected to the state legislature, becoming Speaker of the Assembly. When he was term-limited out of the legislature he ran for the LA City Council and was elected. When he ran for Mayor the first time in 2001 he lost, but he ran again and won in 2005. Now we have a progressive mayor, thanks in large part to this impressive network of grassroots organizations, labor unions and community and environmental organizations. Many of them have lifted up some of their leaders into positions of electoral power. It’s a network of activists that work closely with elected officials, like Congresswoman Hilda Solis, and it’s just remarkable what L.A. has become.

In a report submitted to the Communist Party in November 2000 Evelina Alarcon, Vice Chair CPUSA and Chair Southern California District, commented on helping Hilda Solis get elected to Congress:

The monumental victories which are occurring in Los Angeles electorally and in the workplace are because of the coalition building that the labor movement is doing with the Latino and African American community. In Los Angeles, the Labor Federation not only targeted three congressional districts but it had organized 250 volunteers to help State Senator Hilda Solis win her Congressional seat by turning out the union household and Latino vote…

We in the Party can also be proud because our members were involved in all the targeted electoral efforts.

Solis went on to join the Congressional Progressive Congress(CPC) and later became Vice Chair, Liason to Women’s Caucus.  The Congressional Progressive Caucus was founded in 1991- by Bernie Sanders-the openly socialist then Congressman from Vermont, by the DSA and by Washington DC based “think tank”  Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).

DSA continues to work closely with the Congressional Progressive Caucus:

Since 1982, DSA has been working for progressive change. As a national organization, DSA joins with its allies in Congress’ Progressive Caucus and in many other progressive organizations, fighting for the interests of the average citizen both in legislative struggles and in other campaigns to educate the public on progressive issues and to secure progressive access to the media.

In June 2008, Solis sent a caseworker from her East Los Angeles office, Elana Henry, to represent her at a workers’ rights forum organized by Socialist International, which has close ties to the DSA.  On a previous occasion twelve years earlier, Solis sent another representative to serve on her behalf at a major Communist Party USA event.

Throughout Solis’ tenure in Congress, labor unions–most notably the Teamsters Union, the SEIU, and the Laborers’ International Union of North America–were responsible for nearly 60 percent of her Political Action Committee (PAC) donations.

In 2008, Hilda Solis served on Barack Obama’s National Latino Advisory Council along with another DSA honorary chair and SEIU vice president Eliseo Medina.

Michelle Malkin wrote:

“While in Congress, [Solis] opposed strengthening the border fence, supported expansion of illegal alien benefits (including driver’s licenses and in-state tuition discounts), embraced sanctuary cities that refused to cooperate with federal homeland security officials to enforce immigration laws, and aggressively championed a mass amnesty. Solis was steeped in the pro-illegal alien worker organizing movement in Southern California and was buoyed by amnesty-supporting Big Labor groups led by the Service Employees International Union.”

When Solis was named to be  Secretary of Labor, Communist Party USA’s People’s Weekly World actually states that she was suggested by Andrew Stern of the SEIU.

One labor source said Solis’ name was put forward by Service Employees President Andrew Stern, whose union — along with the Change to Win coalition — endorsed Obama’s presidential candidacy long before the AFL-CIO did.  SEIU is the biggest union in CTW.

Indeed Stern put out an SEIU video lobbying for her confirmation.

Why does it matter that the Secretary of Labor might be a socialist?

One can examine a little of what that 2005 DSA ’21st century Socialism” conference said about socialism, according to Democratic Left magazine.  This conference account is a fascinating window into the 2005 plan for the future-how  “this democratic socialist organization could grow in numbers and influence”.  The conference description not only mentions Solis, but also ACORN, SEIU, Working Families Party, helping unions, using the anti war movement, expanding its faculty and campus contacts to “identitify and support potential campus activists”.

Hence, reforming capitalism is difficult and it often can’t be done at all without mass political mobilization and social unrest. This structural inequality erodes the promise of political democracy, perhaps nowhere more obviously so than in the United States. Voting under capitalism doesn’t include the right to decide on what corporations should do, whom they employ or who gets the profits.

Liberal freedoms can only be fully secured in a socialist society, where property rights no longer take precedence over political, civil, and social rights.


It shows that private corporate property has become a constraint on the development of technology


building alternative institutions takes a great deal of time. The fight against capitalism—and the fight to limit the likelihood of violence in defense of capitalism—will have to take place both inside and outside existing states.

Our job right now is work to for reforms of every kind—social, economic, and political—that will exist within capitalism but will work against capitalism and for the majority
of people. We can’t expect the tiny U.S. socialist movement to jump from minority to majority status any time soon, and we have to work with people more politically moderate than ourselves to achieve even partial goals. But as radicals we embrace not only electoral politics but also industrial struggles, strikes, civil disobedience, and direct action

Given that many workers, particularly in the U.S., don’t even think of themselves as “working class,” socialists insist on the ideal of class unity in order to distinguish the common interests of people who are otherwise divided into separate interest groups

In an article in DSA’s Democratic Left, Spring 2007, DSA National Political Committee member David Green wrote:

Our goal as socialists is to abolish private ownership of the means of production. Our immediate task is to limit the capitalist class’s prerogatives in the workplace.

In the short run we must at least minimize the degree of exploitation of workers by capitalists. We can accomplish this by promoting full employment policies, passing local living wage laws, but most of all by increasing the union movement’s power.

If the goal of the socialist is to get rid of capitalism and “private ownership of the means of production”, then what can we expect from officials that hold those views in the administration?

One might ask are there other Socialist appointments or alliances within this administration?

Trevor Loudon raised interesting questions here  in 2009, examining the several critical positions within the administration including the then “Manufacturing Czar” and the former “Energy Czar”/Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy.


SEIU, Anarchist, Occupy Training Manuals, including children’s guide to anarchy

Via the Blaze-

The Blaze discusses an array of SEIU (Service Employees International Union) , Occupy and Anarchist training manuals which detail how to take actions and push to get what you want.

Amongst the worst,  the SEIU manual, which :

details how legal, political, media and regulatory pressure can all be exploited to manipulate employers and help the union realize its goals. It encourages, in a not-so-subtle way, the blackmailing of employers with whom it disagrees by first damaging their reputations, and encourages placing “outside pressure” to jeopardize “relationships between the employer and lenders, investors, stockholders, customers, clients, patients, tenants, politicians, or others on whom the employer depends for funds.”

One of the most telling passages of the SEIU manual reads:

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.

Perhaps the most morally offensive of them all, an anarchist’s guide book for children.  “A Rule is to Break” A Child’s Guide to Anarchy“ guides children on being their ”best self” by breaking the rules.

And who should give you a definitive review of the value of this book but Bill Ayers!

“… A delight to read! A children’s book on anarchy seems somehow just right: an instinctive, intuitive sense of fairness, community, and interdependence sits naturally enough with a desire for participatory democracy, feminism, queer-rights, environmental balance, self-determination, and peace and global justice.” – Bill Ayers / author (’To Teach: The Journey in Comics‘ and ’Fugitive Days’), teacher, Barack Obama’s alleged terrorist pal, and grandpa.

HT  Maddley Burns

Occupy: personal army for SEIU and ACCE

On Tuesday, several hundred people, including members of Occupy,  showed up outside the Merchant’s Exchange Building in downtown San Francisco, where Wells Fargo was holding a shareholders meeting.  Claiming they were protesting the bank’s alleged “greed” and involvement in foreclosures on homes, the group gave speeches outside the building, banged drums, and some tried to get into the meeting. Some were able to get in briefly but were then removed as they rose to disrupt the meeting once it started.  According to Wells Fargo, the meeting proceeded as scheduled.

“Let my hard-earned money speak for itself,” said shareholder Ralanda King, as quoted by ABC. “I expected to be let in, as my right as a shareholder. I came over 2,000 miles to come to this meeting only to be held back.”

According to SF Gate:

Nine protesters were arrested outside the building on charges including trespassing and resisting arrest, said police spokesman Sgt. Michael Andraychak. All were cited and released except for two, who were booked on charges of attempting to hit sheriff’s deputies, he said.

While it didn’t really disrupt the conduct of the meeting, it did apparently disrupt the surrounding businesses and people, says My Political Intervention:

The blockade, intended to disrupt shareholders from attending the meeting, largely succeeded in becoming a nuisance to those that worked in the area. Anyone that attempted to pass through the chain of people were interrogated as to their profession and  how much money they made. In one instance, a woman had to arguably explain that she worked for a non-profit before Occupy SF allowed her to go to work.

Was this group a spontaneous grass roots flood of anger from the run of the mill person in the street?

Well, no not really.   Check the pictures:


SEIU operatives waiting to board buses to go to protest

Flatbed for speeches provided by SEIU

Chinese Progressive Association-another union with red flags












In additon to SEIU and the Chinese Progressive Association, there were signs from the CWA, Causa Justa, Code Pink,  and Occupy.  Oh and the “pro fabulous anti capitalist” Queer Feminist Bloc.



The numbers, however,  were mostly SEIU women; once they left, numbers dropped appreciably.

Even Ralanda King, the random quoted shareholder who came  just for the meeting? Democratic politician and operative from Philadelpia.

No grassroots to be found.

As My Political Intervention notes, this effort was at least in part organized by ACCE – Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE). While some may not be familiar with ACCE, that is at least in part because they changed their name. ACCE used to be known as ACORN. ACORN derivatives can be found at many of the other Occupy operations, most notably New York, where it is manifest in the involvement of NYCC (New York Communities for Change) and the involvement of members of the Working Families Party.

ACCE was involved with a similar protest against Bank of America in November, 2011 where people stormed inside the bank building at ACCE’s behest.  In this video of the event by Lee Stranahan, you can see the organization behind their actions.

But didn’t this all stem from outrage of the people in the Occupy movement?

Well again not exactly.

These efforts by the SEIU and others against the banks such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America have been going on for awhile and predate the Occupy movement. They don’t just involve actions outside of office buildings but marches on the private homes of people.

Check this article from May 2010, where 14 buses of SEIU thugs went to the house of the deputy general counsel for BOA and frightened his teen aged son who called next door neighbor, reporter Nina Easton in a panic.

Easton asks raises interesting points in her article:

What’s interesting is that SEIU, the nation’s second largest union, craves respectability. Just-retired president Andy Stern is an Obama friend and regular White House visitor. He sits on the President’s Fiscal Responsibility Commission. He hobnobs with those greedy Wall Street CEOs — executives much higher-ranking than my neighbor Baer — at Davos. His union spent $70 million getting Democrats elected in 2008.

In the business community, though, SEIU has a reputation for strong-arm tactics against management, prompting some companies to file suit.

Now those strong-arm tactics, stirred by supposedly free-floating (as opposed to organized) populist rage, have come to the neighborhood curb. Last year it was AIG executives — with protestors met by security guard outside. Now it’s any executive — and they’re on the front stoop. After Baer’s house, the 14 buses left to descend on the nearby residence of Peter Scher, a government relations executive at JPMorgan Chase (JPM,Fortune 500).

Targeting homes and families seems to put SEIU in the ranks of (now jailed) radical animal-rights activists and the Kansas anti-gay fundamentalists harassing the grieving parents of a dead 20-year-old soldier at his funeral (the Supreme Court has agreed to weigh in on the latter). But that’s not a conversation that SEIU officials want to have


SEIU has said it wants to organize bank tellers and call centers — and its critics point out that a great way to worsen employee morale, thereby making workers more susceptible to union calls, is to batter a bank’s image through protest. (SEIU officials say their anti-Wall Street campaign has nothing to do with their organizing efforts.) Complicating this picture is the fact that BofA is the union’s lender of choice — and SEIU, suffering financially, owes the bank nearly $4 million in interest and fees. Bank of America declined comment on the loans.

In fact in March 2011, multiple news organizations including Business Insider and the Blaze reported on a tape of a speech from SEIU leader Stephen Lerner speaking at the Left Forum (a Leftist planning conference) about a plan to “destabilize the country” by bringing down banks and Wall Street, to cause a redistribution of wealth. This plan would have “community groups and other activists” taking the lead. Lerner noted how we have to take what we are doing now in Madison to Wall Street and do the same thing there.   Sound familiar?

Occupy,  you weren’t co opted by the unions and the far Left, you’ve been their creation since the beginning. How does it feel to be ACORN and SEIU’s “personal army”?