Community Interview: Stern's Responses
by Matt Stoller, Wed Jan 31, 2007 at 12:15:13 PM EST
Ok, I had time to get Andy's answers to most of your questions. I have a lot of video, so I'm going to put responses up in batches of three over the next few days. I really enjoy getting your questions, which are pretty tough, and asking them on your behalf. David Donnelly gets the first question, because he was the one who asked me to put Andy on video answering his public policy question.
A few administrative points - if you can't watch these video clips, it's probably because they are still uploading to Youtube. Wait a minute or so and try again. Also, if anyone has a bit of time and would transcribe one or several or these answers and stick the transcriptions in the comments, that would be really helpful to MyDD readers who are on dial-up. None of these answers are longer than one minute so it shouldn't take much time at all.
Do you support public financing and the bill that Dick Durbin is going to introduce?
Accountability Within Unions
Here's one from yitbos96bb :
What kind of checks and balances do you place on local union leaders to keep them from giving sweetheart deals to management instead of fighting for the working rights of local members as has been seen in the past by some local officials of other unions?
I accidentally screwed up and forgot to ask him the second part of the question, which was this: "When negotiating a deal, do you only try to look out your members, or do you attempt to create a deal that is beneficial to both management and union members?"
I'll answer it based on spending the last three days traveling with Stern and meeting SEIU officials. Andy feels very strongly that putting the companies SEIU negotiates with at a competitive disadvantage is a very bad idea. Every local union leader I've talked to over this trip echoes this idea, talking of collaboration and making their workplace more efficient. You should read 'A Country that Works', which he just wrote. Cathy Glasson, President of Local 199 in Iowa, has a great and short video on this point.
Supporting Republicans in New York State
This next question was from John Nicosia:
I would ask why the SEIU, and other unions in general, support the Republican Party on occasion. Specifically, they are a huge donor to the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee in New York State, with there money helping in the special election coming up next week. How does that promote union interests when the Republican Party, both in NY and outside, usually drag their feet on workers issues if not outright working against them?