Andy Stern

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Andy Stern
Andystern.JPG
President of the Service Employees International Union
In office
1996–2010
Preceded by Richard Cordtz
Succeeded by Mary Kay Henry
Personal details
Born (1950-11-22) November 22, 1950 (age 66)
West Orange, New Jersey,
U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jane Perkins (Divorced)
Children Matt
Cassie
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania
Religion Judaism[1]
[2]

Andrew L. "Andy" Stern (born November 22, 1950), is the former president[3][4] of the then 2.2.million member Service Employees International Union (SEIU).[5][6] He is now President Emeritus of SEIU, which grew by more than 1.2 million workers during his tenure. Called a “courageous, visionary leader who charted a bold new course for American unionism,” [7] Stern has been featured on 60 Minutes[8] and CNN,[9] as Fox News Power Player of the Week[10] and on the covers of the New York Times Magazine,[11] Fortune,[12] and Businessweek.[13] Under Stern's leadership SEIU became the largest union in the AFL-CIO, and the fastest growing union in the world. Then after promoting a debate on the future of American labor, in a bold move, SEIU left the AFL-CIO with six (6) other unions and formed a new labor alliance-Change to Win.[14][15] Stern is currently a senior fellow at Columbia University.[16]

Stern has been described by CBS News as the "most important labor boss in America."[17] Stern is unapologetic about holding private equity firms accountable, questioning business and political leaders practices, and competing to build SEIU's membership: "We like to say: We use the power of persuasion first. If it doesn't work, we try the persuasion of power".[18] Stern supported federal legislation to create universal health care-Obamacare, expansion of union ranks via the Employee Free Choice Act,[19] and regulations on business, profit sharing and retirement security for employees and more equitable tax policy.[20]

He was a Presidential appointee on the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, best known as Simpson-Bowles.

He is Chair of the Board of the Broad Center, and a Board Member of the Open Society Foundations, and the Hillman Foundation. In March, 2010, Stern was the Alice B. Grant Labor Leader in Residence at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations,

He is the author of two books, A Country That Works (2006) [21], and Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream (2016).[22] The FT wrote in its review of Raising the Floor, "Technology, as Stern sees it, overwhelms everything else, including the American dream itself. While he is persuaded that automation and information technology will make many jobs obsolete and thereby hurt workers, he does not suggest holding back technological change. He looks for policies to make the unpredictable lifestyle of a gig worker more tolerable — above all, universal basic income, where a regular cash amount is given to every citizen regardless of whether or not they work." [23]

Early life and career[edit]

He grew up Jewish in West Orange, New Jersey, where his father was a lawyer. He began college as a business major at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business but ultimately graduated in 1971 with a B.A. in education and urban planning.[24][25] Stern began his career as a welfare caseworker and member of the SEIU Local 668 in 1973, eventually being elected president in 1977 of his Pennsylvania local.[25] In 1980, he was elected, as the youngest member in its history, to the union's international executive board, and in 1984 the union's then-president John Sweeney put him in charge of its organizing efforts.

In 1996, Stern was elected to the presidency of the union. After launching a national debate aimed at uniting the 9 out of 10 American workers who have no organization at work, SEIU, along with the Teamsters, announced on July 25, 2005 that they were disaffiliating from the AFL-CIO.[26] Stern led SEIU out of the AFL-CIO and founded Change to Win,[27] a six-million-member federation of seven major unions "dedicated to giving workers a voice at their jobs".

Stern was a senior fellow at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute from 2010 - 2011. Since 2011, he has been a Senior Fellow at the Richmond Center, Columbia University

In 2016, Stern authored a book with Lee Kravitz entitled "Raising the Floor" in which he makes the case for a universal basic income.[28]

Internet and new media[edit]

Stern has embraced political organizing via the Internet in the wake of the Howard Dean campaign, which his union endorsed. In fall of 2005, he launched an online contest called Since Sliced Bread that awarded $100,000 for the best new economic idea in America. Since 2005, Stern has been a contributing blogger at The Huffington Post[29]

Stern has been a key figure in financing the online grassroots "netroots" community, along with Dean, George Soros, Simon Rosenberg, and Andrew S. Rappaport, to funnel a progressive agenda to liberal bloggers.[30]

Through Stern's initiative, a New Media team was formed at SEIU in the late summer of 2008. The union's website was completely redesigned and relaunched shortly after.[31]

A Country That Works[edit]

In the book, A Country That Works[32] (Free Press), Stern calls for unions to be the dominant vehicles for the promotion of social reforms, including espousing the benefits of increased taxation on the wealthy and universal health care. On October 3, 2006, he appeared on The Colbert Report [33] to promote his new book A Country That Works. On October 4, he appeared on Democracy Now![34] to promote the book.

Family[edit]

Stern is divorced from Jane Perkins, a former head of the environmental network Friends of the Earth.[35] They had two children, Matt and Cassie. Cassie died in 2002.[1] He is engaged to be married in 2017 to Jennifer Johnson, Communications Director at the Center for Food Action in New Jersey.

Political influence[edit]

During the years of Stern's leadership, the SEIU became the largest political action committee in the United States,[36] and funneled vast amounts of financing to the Democratic Party and its candidates, far outnumbering the contributions of other unions during the last two election cycles. SEIU contributed $65 million to the 2004 presidential campaign of John Kerry.[37] The union spent another $85 million on Democratic candidates in 2008; $60 million going toward the election of President Barack Obama,[38] with a significant chunk of that money funding door-to-door canvassing and other GOTV efforts,[39] as well as voter registration.

Stern has been the most frequent visitor to the White House since Obama's election.[40][41] Between Inauguration Day and February 23, 2011, Stern visited the White House 53 times.[42]

Stern is referred to as one of "the chief architects of healthcare reform" in Modern Healthcare magazine, ranking in the top 10[43] of the 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare. Stern has been named to Modern Healthcare's annual "movers and shakers in healthcare" list for five years in a row. SEIU poured millions into a group called Health Care for America NOW!, which, at times, fought strongly for universal healthcare including single payer. Stern was an ardent supporter of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.[44]

Controversy[edit]

"He's arguably the most important labor leader we've had in a long time: aggressive and controversial," says Philip Dine, an authority on labor issues and author of the recent book State of the Unions.[45] On January 27, 2009, SEIU placed UHW West under trusteeship and dismissed 70 of the local's executives, including president Sal Rosselli.[46][47] Rosselli and other ousted leaders reformed under the National Union of Healthcare Workers and pushed for UHW West members at 60 facilities to vote to decertify SEIU.[48] SEIU filed a lawsuit in mid-2009 alleging that UHW West and NUHW officials embezzled millions of dollars.[49] In 2009 Former Labor Secretary Ray Marshall issued a report, "Acting as hearing officer, Mr. Marshall found that the local's president, Sal Rosselli, and other union officials had improperly transferred union money to a nonprofit group to use in a feud with the parent union. Mr. Marshall also concluded that the local had wrongly hidden $500,000 from the parent union by placing the money into a lawyer's trust account." On March 26, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court ruling that a jury awarded, "... individual judgments ranged from $31,400 to $77,850, and NUHW was assessed damages of $724,000".

Resignation[edit]

Stern announced on April 13, 2010, that he would be stepping down as president of the SEIU].“There’s a time to learn, a time to lead, and then there’s a time to leave. And shortly, it will be my time to retire… and end my SEIU journey.” Andy Stern, April 14, 2010. The conservative blog RedState grudgingly acknowledged Stern's importance at the time of his resignation, "

  • built an empire of purple-clad followers
  • taken a relatively obscure union of janitors and doormen and turned it into the largest and most powerful private-sector union in America while almost all others have been failing
  • torn apart the AFL-CIO in attempt to make it into something it didn’t want to be
  • put a President of the United States into the Oval Office
  • and, most importantly, fulfilled one of the union movement’s main objectives: nationalized health care

Not only did Andy’s SEIU push for nationalized health care more than any other union, when it looked like ObamaCare was finished a few months ago, on January 20th, Andy Stern is the guy that provided Democrats with 'a path forward'." [50]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Duke, Lynne (January 3, 2006). "Love, Labor, Loss. A Child's Death Stirred Andrew Stern To Challenge Himself -- and Unionism". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  2. ^ "Andrew L. Stern." Marquis Who's Who, 2009. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale, 2009. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC. Fee via Fairfax County Public Library, accessed 2009-08-12. Document Number: K2016166524.
  3. ^ "Andy Stern - SEIU - retirement". Mediaite. 2010-04-14. Archived from the original on 15 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  4. ^ "Andy Stern, SEIU International President". SEIU. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  5. ^ "National Labor Organizations with Membership over 100,000". Infoplease. Pearson Education. Retrieved 2009-08-12. Members Union1 2,731,419 National Education Association of the United States2 1,505,100 Service Employees International Union  U.S. Department of Labor
  6. ^ "Afl-Cio". Afl-Cio. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  7. ^ Duke, Lynne (2006-01-03). "Love, Labor, Loss". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-11-13. 
  8. ^ "Andy Stern: The New Boss". Retrieved 2016-11-13. 
  9. ^ CNN, From Drew Griffin. "Labor union tells lawmakers: We're watching you - CNN.com". www.cnn.com. Retrieved 2016-11-13. 
  10. ^ "Power Player: Andy Stern". Fox News. 2016-11-13. Retrieved 2016-11-13. 
  11. ^ Bai, Matt (2005-01-30). "The New Boss". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-11-13. 
  12. ^ contributor, By Rik Kirkland , Fortune. "SEIU union boss Andy Stern is the new face of labor - October 16, 2006". archive.fortune.com. Retrieved 2016-11-13. 
  13. ^ Shuler, Andrew Stern, Liz. "Reinventing the labor union - Next:Economy". conferences.oreilly.com. Retrieved 2016-11-13. 
  14. ^ "Labor Pains: AFL-CIO Loses Largest Union, Teamsters". CNS News. 2008-07-07. Retrieved 2016-11-13. 
  15. ^ Bai, Matt (2005-01-30). "The New Boss". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-11-13. 
  16. ^ http://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/news/item/7224682/Andy+Stern+Named+Senior+Fellow+for+Richman+Center
  17. ^ Font size Print E-mail Share Page 1 of 3 By Daniel Schorn (2006-05-14). "Andy Stern: The New Boss - 60 Minutes". CBS News. Archived from the original on 4 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  18. ^ Kaminski, Matthew (2008-12-06). "Weekend Interview: Union Boss Andy Stern - WSJ.com". Online.wsj.com. Archived from the original on 31 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  19. ^ "SEIU's Andy Stern to lead Goldman Sachs protest - Victoria McGrane". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  20. ^ "SEIU Press releases - Service Employees International Union". old.seiu.org. Retrieved 2016-11-13. 
  21. ^ Stern, Andy (2006-10-03). A Country That Works: Getting America Back on Track (1St Edition edition ed.). Free Press. ISBN 9780743297677. 
  22. ^ Stern, Andy; Kravitz, Lee (2016-06-14). Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream. PublicAffairs. ISBN 9781610396257. 
  23. ^ "Subscribe to read". www.ft.com. Retrieved 2016-11-13. 
  24. ^ Kaminski, Matthew (December 6, 2008). "Andy Stern - Let's 'Share the Wealth' - America's most powerful union boss says Europe offers a good economic model". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  25. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  26. ^ Edsall, Thomas B. (July 26, 2005). "Two Top Unions Split From AFL-CIO, Others Are Expected To Follow Teamsters". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  27. ^ "About Us". Change to Win. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  28. ^ http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/a9758f1a-e9c0-11e5-888e-2eadd5fbc4a4.html#axzz47iwNQoY4
  29. ^ "Andy Stern". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  30. ^ Bai, Matt (2004-07-25). "Wiring the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy". The New York Times. 
  31. ^ "Site Profile for seiu.org (rank #14,105)". Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  32. ^ "A Country That Works: Getting America Back on Track by Andy Stern - Powell's Books". Powells.com. 2009-08-12. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  33. ^ October 3, 2006 - Andy Stern, retrieved 2016-11-13 
  34. ^ "October 04, 2006". Democracy Now!. 2006-10-04. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  35. ^ ""Can This Man Save Labor?" "Business Week", 13 Sept. 2004". Businessweek.com. 2004-09-13. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  36. ^ "Top Organization Contributors | OpenSecrets". www.opensecrets.org. Retrieved 2016-11-13. 
  37. ^ Kirkland, Rik; Contributor, Fortune (2006-10-10). "The new face of labor". CNN. 
  38. ^ "Unholy Union by Stephen Spruiell on National Review / Digital". Nrd.nationalreview.com. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  39. ^ "SEIU's Data Footprint In 2008 - Politics - The Atlantic". Politics.theatlantic.com. 2009-10-06. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  40. ^ Zeleny, Jeff (October 31, 2009). "White House Visitor Log Lists Stars and C.E.O.'s". The New York Times. Retrieved April 25, 2010. 
  41. ^ Davis, Susan (2009-10-30). "SEIU's Stern Tops White House Visitor List - Washington Wire - WSJ". Blogs.wsj.com. Archived from the original on 5 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  42. ^ Carney, Timothy (2011-02-23) Obama's top funder also leads the nation in White House visits, Washington Examiner
  43. ^ "SEIU's Andy Stern Named in Top Ten Most Powerful People in Healthcare". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2016-11-13. 
  44. ^ "SEIU Launches New Ad In Special Election, Promoting Stimulus -- And Obama". TPM. Retrieved 2016-11-13. 
  45. ^ "Departing SEIU Chief Stern Grew, Split Big Labor". NPR.org. Retrieved 2016-11-13. 
  46. ^ Raine, George (2009-01-28). ""SEIU Takes Over West Coast Union", San Francisco Chronicle (January 28, 2009)". Sfgate.com. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  47. ^ Steven T. Jones, "Union Showdown", San Francisco Bay Guardian (January 28, 2009)
  48. ^ "George Raine, "Ousted SEIU Leaders Push Decertification Vote", San Francisco Chronicle (February 3, 2009)". Sfgate.com. 2009-02-03. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  49. ^ Shaw, Randy. "Randy Shaw, Beyond Chron (April 12, 2010)". Beyondchron.org. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  50. ^ WorkPlaceReport (2010-04-15). "The Exit Interview: Andy Stern changed America forever...and he's bored. | RedState". RedState. Retrieved 2016-11-13. 

External links[edit]

Trade union offices
Preceded by
Richard Cordtz
President of the Service Employees International Union
1996–2010
Succeeded by
Mary Kay Henry