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Settlement reached between SEIU and UNITEHERE

08.20.10

AUGUST 2010 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Settlement reached between SEIU and UNITEHERE

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, July 28th- The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Workers United and UNITEHERE announced they have reached a settlement agreement on behalf of the unions’ members and elected leadership that will bring to a close the protracted dispute between the unions.

The agreement was reached after months of negotiations, and resolves all issues related to jurisdiction and asset distribution and establishes a process for determining the rightful bargaining representative for the remaining disputed units. There has been a dispute between the unions for several years after members of UNITEHERE voted to disaffiliate and rename themselves “Workers United” and join the SEIU. Workers United members work within the garment industry. The agreement was signed by the parties on July 25th.

The recently elected SEIU national President Kay Henry, who replaced Andy Stern, made settling the dispute a top priority of her administration.

“Working families all around this nation are facing the most profound crisis since the Great Depression. There are 26 million people out of work and far too many who are facing cutbacks, layoffs, and benefit reduction. When hardworking people are losing the roof over their head or borrowing money to pay for groceries, we know we have more work to do. This moment calls on all of us in the American labor movement to dedicate ourselves to being part of the solution,” said Ms. Henry.

“Despite the tensions that have existed between our unions over the past months, John Wilhelm, Bruce Raynor and I have worked together to find common ground and we’ve been able to put our differences behind us. We agreed that we cannot be spending our time fighting one another over workers who are already represented when there are far too many people who want and need a voice on the job. Our resources and our attention must be put toward solutions for the crisis workers face right now.”

“We need to drive change for people in this country. None of us can go it alone. Moving forward, SEIU plans to link arms with our allies in labor and the progressive movement and forge stronger relationships with communities to be more aggressive force pushing for the demands that help working people on the job, at the bargaining table, and with public policy makers all around our country,” Ms. Henry added.

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