The SEIU-critical blog Stern Burger with Fries is reporting on an apparent firing within halls of purple palace. Apparently, the SEIU’s new queen, Mary Kay Henry has lopped the head off of long-time SEIU staffer Stephen Lerner:
The high-level firing appears to confirm that the 1199 Ohio group including Tom Woodruff and Scott Courtney is consolidating power at SEIU, and Tasty is told that the issue came to a head over a dispute about the national unions organizing budget: Would SEIU spend millions of dollars on a multi-city campaign to organize low-paid workers and attack the banks as Lerner wanted, or would the money be spent on more traditional organizing targets and on propping up the UHW trusteeship in California, where SEIU has already sunk tens of millions of dollars? Other sources tell Tasty that several key SEIU staffers feared Lerners campaign would be more of the same smoke-and-mirror, media-driven gambits that have soaked up tens of millions of dollars without resulting in new members OR additional credibility for SEIU in the area of financial reform.
The pink-slipping of Stephen Lerner highlights the serious turmoil inside Mary Kays purple palace as staff leaders jockey for power and control over millions of dollars of budget money that is… your dues dollars. Tasty hears that Stephen Lerner is not the only staffer whos likely to get the axe, and that other staffers are likely to quit their jobs and follow Lerner out the door. Meanwhile, Lerners firing creates another vacancy on SEIUs International Executive Board Lerner was one of the International staffers who also sat on the board, which Mary Kay will have to fill. Stay tuned for more!