Sunday, February 17, 2008

Unions and illegals

There are some interesting connections between labor and illegal aliens. Why? The short answer is that traditional union jobs in the United States have dwindled considerably. (News just last week that General Motors is going to “attrition out” 74,000 workers making $28 an hour and replace them with workers at half the cost.)

But there has to be more to this issue than simply a new supply of dues payers. I think they make a good match. The illegals are primarily from the poorer classes of people in third world countries, which would make them likely to appreciate socialist concepts.

And they would be working in the service sector, making little money and doing menial work.

SEIU caters to them in very visible ways, sponsoring protest events for example. They are ever-present at the May Day parades. Here in Chicago their stage becomes the centerpiece of the rally at the end of the parade. SEIU emcees the stage, which boasts the likes of Mayor Daley, Congressman Gutierrez, Senator Obama, and Cardinal George. And the union pays to print the protest signs you see at these events.

And, reminiscent of the “Wobblies” from a century ago, they seek international membership (Hence the name Service Employees International Union. Whatever happened to names like American Federation of Labor?)

But they also give out campaign contributions at all levels, mostly to the Democrats (97% in Illinois), but also to Republicans and non-partisan candidates. SEIU represents school bus drivers and city workers, along with janitors, doormen, security guards, and sundry other workers.

The SEIU handed out over $1.9 MILLION to Illinois candidates in 2006, and yet I can find no evidence that anyone thought it was inappropriate to accept those donations.

The SEIU places itself in strategic places as well. For example, Joseph Geevarghese, SEIU Director over hospital issues. He’s the treasurer for the Illinois Coalition for Illegals and Refugee Rights (or something like that) ICIRR. And Geevarghese’s mailing address is in Washington, DC. So, what’s a high level union guy from DC doing on the board of an Illinois illegal alien advocacy group?

There is something else you should know about ICIRR. They are in tight with Gov Rod Blagojevich. Whatever ICIRR proposes for illegals, Blago works to make it happen. Did I mention that the SEIU gave Blago $908 THOUSAND in 2006 and $821 THOUSAND in 2002?

The unions continue to contribute to political causes and candidates, with SEIU leading the pack. Here’s a study on how they do it and where:

For an overview of union activity in the United States, take a look at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics review here:

Note the overwhelming unionization in the public sector, yet another clue of trouble in our economy.

I don’t claim to have the answers, but I do have all sorts of questions. The unions obviously think their future is in illegal aliens, but why? And why don’t the American dues payers rise up and protest this activity?

I suppose because card-carrying union members don’t have any more control over their union than citizens do over the way government is run. All the power is at the top and you can either be in the union or out. If you are part of the collective bargaining agreement, you pay dues anyway.

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