Originally appeared in Capital Research Center’s Labor Watch
On August 12, SEIU secretary-treasurer Anna Burger announced she was stepping down from her position at America’s most powerful labor union— four months to the day from when her old boss, SEIU president Andrew Stern, announced his retirement. Burger long had been considered Stern’s heir apparent. However, the union picked Mary Kay Henry, a SEIU executive vice president, to replace him, instead. No one outside SEIU knows for certain why the union’s leadership change played out the way it did. Like Kremlinologists during the Cold War, union-watchers must sift through what few public facts are known to piece together the likely story. Yet whatever the reasons for Henry’s sudden ascendance, her tenure is unlikely to bring any major changes in the way SEIU does business. She worked alongside Stern for years, and even helped advance some of his more controversial decisions and policies.