April 13th, 2010
03:47 PM ET
13 years ago

Reports: Big labor leader to step down

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/13/art.stern.gi.jpg caption="Stern, a top Obama ally, is stepping down from his post as head of the SEIU, according to reports."] (CNN) - Andy Stern, the head of one of the most powerful labor unions and a top ally of President Obama, is resigning his post, according to a report from the Washington Post.

Stern has been at the helm of the 2.2 million-member Service Employee International Union since 1996 and initiated the then-controversial move to split with the AFL-CIO in 2004. He went on to found the Change to Win labor federation in 2005 - a federation of six major unions which heavily supported President Obama's election bid.

A spokeswoman for the SEIU would not confirm or deny the reports, but said Stern will
address these rumors at the close of the SEIU Executive Committee meeting this week."

SEIU also played a key role in the health care debate over the last fall, spending millions of dollars promoting the Democrats' plan on the airwaves and pressuring House Democrats in swing states to support the legislation.

Filed under: Andy Stern • Popular Posts • SEIU
soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. Ron in California

    Must be getting a big job in the Obama administrarion.

    April 13, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. kisianik

    As someone said in the other blog
    "Yeah it should be easy to let corporations push us back into child labor, no safety laws, no compensation for work injuries, no bathroom breaks, 12 to 14 hour work days 6 days a week, at ever-smaller wages. I'm sure we could figure that out. Get real. You may not like to work in a union environment, but all you have to do is look around you to see what unions have done for you. At least have the grace to acknowledge it."

    People tend to forget those things when they have something on the table. None of the unions is fault free, same as none of us humans are!
    However, one should look deeper into the issue before blaming unions for all problems.
    It was shameful campaign in the past against auto industry unions, blaming them for all financial problems of Big Three.
    The best it said by WiKi on this matter:
    "The Big Three have suffered from perceived inferior initial quality and reliability compared to their Japanese counterparts, which has been difficult to overcome. They have also been slow to bring new vehicles to the market, while the Japanese are also considered the leader at producing smaller, fuel-efficient cars"
    Quality and innovation are to blame for demise of American car, not unions.

    Examples like this are easy to spot in every industry, the ones have to just use their brains, not emotions!

    Regarding the big news... It is unclear what will happens next with SEIU, most likely nothing, someone else equal to Stern will take that chair (or maybe Stern will be there as Putin and Medvedev in Russia).

    Enough said.

    April 13, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. El Gordo

    You Conservobots love to string words together in the strangest ways. "Obama-bot Union thug mobsters" "Obozo the Socialist Clown" "the Radical Liberal Party" These silly propaganda phrases only resonate with others like yourselves.

    Those who hate unions say that they are making America non-competitive in the world economy. In short, it bothers you that Americans are making too much money. Strangely, none of you has volunteered to be the first person to take a patriotic pay cut. What's wrong, Conservatives? Don't you want to set an example for us. Perhaps the Tea Party folks can get up a petition where millions of patriotic Americans volunteer for 25% pay cuts so America can be more competitive. THAT will show those unions that we don't need them any more.

    April 13, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. put with the bad . . . .

    If things keep going like they have been all the garbage that got that THING into the white house will be gone.

    April 13, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    Nothing gets the people who love to vote against their own interests riled up like mentioning the unions.

    April 13, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. barbara

    Thank you Lord Jesus....

    April 13, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  7. inofritzn

    Hope he falls down from his post... very very hard

    April 13, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  8. michaelam

    First: , as a member of SEIU, rumor has it that Mr. Stern wants to retire, people do that, in fact, it's a part of life....There is no need for some whacky, tin-foil hat, conspiracy theory.
    Second: No where in the article does it state that Mr. Stern no longer agrees nor supports President Obama, quite the contrary.
    Third: Mainly directed at Washington DC Insider, but also to those that share his narrow minded views. One can only look at the most recent mine accident for and realize that Unions are still very much needed and relevant. When one works in an industry that is dangerous in nature, the need to unionize is even far greater.

    Turn off Fixed News and the AM hate mongers and form your own opinions based on FACTS!

    April 13, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. abl

    All the labor unions supported Obama, not just the largest of them. So did most of the electorate. And it worked! He won.

    April 13, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  10. Eddie B.

    Why is CNN making this an Obama issue. This is irresponsible! The SEIU supports Obama completely and just because the head is resigning has nothing to do with him. Silly!!!

    April 13, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  11. Mike

    Investigators must be getting close to all the corruption and extortion that media has reported allegedly associated with SEIU.

    April 13, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. truth

    CNN is no better than Fox news. These evil Republicans are looking for a reason to hate. And CNN manages everytime to play to the radical right. "Big Ally to Obama Quits" is the main headline. Yet the title of the small headline reads "Big Labor Leader Steps Down. " I just wish more people would pay close attention to CNN. I know the Fox lovers will appreciate CNN rhetoric. However, peacemaking, fair minded, committed citizens will find other news to watch.

    April 13, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. yoyolite

    Obama victim please get a life and stop making inane statements that does not coincide with what you are reading. Maybe you should stick to listening to Fox noise where reading and thinking are not needed. People retire every day. Why is is that everyone connected to Pres. Obam in right wing eyes are suspects. You guys and your conspiracy theories are wearing thin.

    April 13, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. Nick San Diego

    The Unions were;nt perfect, but what is. Everyone owes something to them, even if one never belonged.
    In 1947 the UNIONIZED labor force was at 35% and everyone had good pay,overtime,health,glasses,dentistis for themselves and their families.The non union companies were forced to keep pace thanks to the unions.
    A family lived pretty good with just a single worker in the house.
    Since the late 1970's union workers declined to what we have now 7% and look at whats happened to ALL WORKERS.
    Now we have 2 workers in every household and are you better off now. HELL NO

    April 13, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. Clint

    Big Corporations and mining bosses are delighted. The fools that are anti union bend over and ask for more. Being raped by big business must make some of the lowly stooges that cater to them feel important.

    April 13, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  16. Nick San Diego

    Oh for the dummy that said the unions are killing the American economy.
    I think you mean Wallmart at $7 an hour.
    Geeze we were paid that 35 years ago. WAKE UP

    April 13, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  17. U.S. Common Sense

    "SEIU also played a key role in the health care debate over the last fall, spending millions of dollars promoting the Democrats' plan on the airwaves and pressuring House Democrats in swing states to support the legislation."

    And people were complaining that the Surpreme Court ruling would allow companies to invest in campaigns.

    April 13, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  18. Tay

    You right wingnuts on this stream truly amaze me at how stupid you really are. Please go back to fix news and continue to beleive the lies your being told. Go ahead and live your life in fear.

    April 13, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  19. Marge

    So and why is that so important. The man is probably retiring. And there sure as Hades won't be a tea bag or radical member of the republican party taking over. But oh wait...CNN is hinting that...gee you sure are republican butt klssing arent you no wonder you are the bottom of the heap. Can you go lower.

    April 13, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. kentuckygirl

    Chris l–really? "Physical removal due to the coming revolution"? How scary do YOU sound? Our republic is based on a peaceful transition of power through voting. The current leadership was fairly voted into their positions...meaning a majority of people do want them in office...maybe not you, but a majority nonetheless. You cannot advocate revolution just because you're in the minority for a while.

    And on topic...interesting...though I despise Glenn Beck, one can't help but wonder if he did somehow tip the scale here...but we don't have nearly enough information to determine why this man is stepping down.

    April 13, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. Betty

    Goodbye to another scum bucket!!! He is guilty of supporting a radical to be in the White House. How dare him to think anyone is going to give a big rats A-S when he walks out the door. Now if all of Obama's "misfits" leave it would make a more wonderful country to live in. I just read where Kenya is attempting to let the American people know that Obama is a "son of their soil", so why did Obama pull the wool over so many caring eyes? Obama has been a "nut case" from the day he walked thru the white house doors. One thing for da-n sure Obama will be a ONE TERM PRESIDENT and will go down as the most UNBELIEVEABE PRESIDENT IN OUR HISTORY.
    I loathe the sight of Obama and when he speaks it comes accross as a lie to top the last big lie!!! Go back to Kenya Obama, I doubt if they would want the liar in their country. Betty

    April 13, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  22. Jamal

    What a scumbag! This loser pushes for Obamacare but doesn't want any union workers to have to pay for it! When they have the most outrageous health plans available! So now everyone has to subsidize union health plans. Thanks for nothing, Stern is a criminal!

    April 13, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  23. Tom, Bradenton,FL

    Just another scoundrel resigning before the big disaster will strike home at Obamalama land. This health care bill is a financial disaster so far and nobody knows what is in the bill nobody understands it. Obamalama and transparency, openess and information sharing. What a liar.

    April 13, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  24. Children @Play

    @phoenix86 April 13th, 2010 12:00 pm ET ... and Not Blue, Not Red, but Purple April 13th, 2010 12:03 pm ET
    It is OK, he will be nominated to the Supreme Court
    ****You guys forgot your CRAYONS!!!!!

    April 13, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Unions are one very big reason automobiles and goods cost as much as they do! Unions, especially the leaders, are just a bunch of thugs. There is no need for them these days and times so, good riddance to another Obama thug that didn't get his way with nationalized care.

    April 13, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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