Union Perpetrates Hostile Take Over of Another Union

By: Warner Todd Huston

Puerto Rico’s teachers union seems to have been aced out of their position as the union organizing the teachers of that Island nation by a hostile takeover. It seems that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) cozied up to the embattled Puerto Rican Governor and was able to convince him to simply hand over all the teachers on the Island to the SEIU — quite regardless of the fact that they already belonged to the existing teachers union, the Federacion de Maestros de Puerto Rico (FMPR).

This reminds me of 1920′s Chicago as various Mob bosses battled for control of the Windy City. Seriously, who isn’t shocked by the fact that one union (the SEIU) can just roll in the back door of government and steal the members of another union (the FMPR) by arm-twisting a pliant politician? The only thing we lack here is the tommy guns in the streets!

For their part the FMPR is trying to fight this hostile take over of their union by organizing a coalition to oppose this presumptuous attack by the SEIU on their position as the union of Puerto Rico’s teachers.

The FMPR has been trying to work out a new contract for three years with the government of Puerto Rico and it appears that the government is using the SEIU to break the FMPR. And, here we have the SEIU stepping in to assist the government to break the union.

According to the New York Daily News, the Governor told Rivera (Dennis Rivera of the SEIU) that the teachers’ union is “yours to take.” Previously El Diaro-La Prensa reported that Rivera had discussed the teachers union with Acevedo in addition to possible SEIU monetary support for the Governor, who has recently been indicted on corruption charges.

The Puerto Rican government declared the teachers’ strike illegal, based on the vote alone — the actual strike was not called until late February 2008 — and moved to decertify FMPR. Almost simultaneously, SEIU announced that the Island’s union of school principals and supervisors was affiliating with SEIU — and would attempt to take over the teachers’ union.

This shows the rather unethical lengths that the SEIU will go to gather power unto itself. The SEIU is willing to trample on fellow unionists, make sweetheart deals with governments in closed door, back rooms, and steal members from other unions.

With this hostile take over of the Pureto Rican teachers union, it seems as if Andy Stern, president of the SEIU, has seen “The Untouchables” far too many times.

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