SEIU has seen its liabilities skyrocket during the past decade. The union’s liabilities totaled $7,625,832 in 2000. By 2009, they had increased almost by a factor of 16, to $120,893,259. Meanwhile, SEIU’s assets barely tripled, growing from $66,632,631 in 2000 to $187,664,763 in 2009. A significant portion of SEIU’s current assets are from IOUs from hard-up locals.
SEIU is $85 million in debt, down from its 2008 high of $102 million, and has been forced to lay off employees. Mr.[Andy] Stern has led protests against Bank of America, calling for the firing of Chief Executive Ken Lewis. Yet the union owes $80 million to Bank of America and $5 million to Amalgamated Bank, which is owned by the rival union Unite-Here.
Craig Becker, formerly SEIU’s associate general counsel and adviser to the ACORN affiliate SEIU 800 in Chicago, is now on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Mr. Obama made a recess appointment of Mr. Becker after he failed to be confirmed by the Senate. This was a significant win for organized labor. Mr. Becker has hinted at having the NLRB enact card check without a vote in Congress.
SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger sits on the Obama administration’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. Mr. Stern himself was appointed by Mr. Obama to its deficit commission. (Mr. Stern has said he will stay in that post after he steps down from SEIU.)
Mr. Stern’s abrupt resignation has led many to question his motives and ponder his next steps. Whatever the answer, one thing is certain: He leaves SEIU – especially its pension funds – swimming in red ink. Sadly, it will be the union’s rank-and-file members who will be paying for Mr. Stern’s profligacy well into the future.