My cartoon from June, 2014.
When Chuy Garcia challenged Rahm Emanuel for the Mayor’s job the Chicago union movement was split. Although SEIU 73 did not officially endorse Emanuel, they contributed money to his campaign and undermined union support for the progressive Chuy Garcia.
When Rahm was looking to cut a deal to cut pension benefits to city employees, SEIU 73 was willing to cut that deal. It was a deal that the Illinois Supreme Court quickly ruled unconstitutional.
SEIU 73 has been more than willing to collaborate and get along with the Mayor, to the detriment of its members.
Its leadership – President Christine Boardman and Secretary-Treasurer Matt Brandon – have had an on again-off again relationship over who had the power.
Yesterday SEIU had to step in on behalf of the membership and have removed both Boardman and Brandon from their positions, replaced by trustees.
In December of 2014 I wrote:
When city unions filed suit against Rahm’s pension cuts, Rahm said the cuts were good because he bargained them with city unions.
Those unions included Bricklayers District Council, Carpenters Regional Council, IBEW 134, Iron Workers District Council, IUOE 150, IUOE 399, Laborers’ District Council, Pipefitters 597, Plumbers 130, Sprinkle Fitters 281 and Christine Boardman’s SEIU 73.
The unions suing Rahm because he has violated the pension clause of the Illinois Constitution are the Chicago Teachers Union, AFSCME Council 31, IFT-AFT, Teamsters Local 700 and the Illinois Nurses Association.
That closely represents the progressive divide among unions in Chicago.
The fight between Boardman and Brandon has not been about which side of the divide SEIU 73 should be on or who best represents the interest of the rank-and-file.
Now, with the trustee take-over, perhaps SEIU 73 can move in the direction of representing its members.