SEIU’s California Scheming IV — and Illinois, too

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) finalized a contentious merger of several California locals into a statewide “superlocal.” Sal Rosselli, the head of one of the locals that was dissolved in this process, has fought the centralizing efforts of SEIU President Andy Stern, but, as evident not, to no avail. SF Weekly‘s Matt Smith notes:

The move is seen in U.S. Labor movement circles as a ploy to neuter Sal Rosselli, president of United Healthcare Workers – West.

Rosselli has clashed with Stern over  a 2004 agreement with nursing home chains in which the union supported legislation curtailing patient rights in exchange for permission to allow the union to recruit members at certain facilities. Today’s move erodes Rosselli’s clout by two-fifths, and paves the way for a new nursing home lobbying/organizing agreement.

This mega-merger of California local unions comes at what should be an awkward time for SEIU, considering its recent high-profile scandal in that state — and nationally. The head of a Los Angeles SEIU local was recently forced to resign after the Los Angeles Times broke the story on a corruption scandal there. And Stern himself may soon face some embarrassing questions regarding his relationship with disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

For more on SEIU see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here