Card check has become a legislative quagmire for Big Labor in more ways than one. It seems that the SEIU has wrecked its finances with all the political lobbying efforts, taking out $25 million in loans last year and seeing its net assets plunge to $34 million from $64 million. And of course the little guys suffer and get laid off when management messes up. (Hmm, not a good sign if they want to run car companies.) We hear from Andy Stern: “We maxed out the credit card and now we’re paying it off.” The Wall Street Journal explains:
Labor experts say it is unusual for unions to take out big loans. Usually, they rely on member dues and interest from investments. “I would say SEIU is overextended,” said Nelson Lichtenstein, a labor historian . . . “I would say that clearly the union bet the ranch that this investment was going to pay enormous dividends and those dividends ultimately have to come in the form of new members,” said Michael Lotito, a management-side attorney with Jackson Lewis LLP. “Without a fundamental change in the way unions gather up new members, the return on investment is going to be found lacking.”
One wonders what the average SEIU union member must think of this. Their dues are being used to try and foist card check and mandatory arbitration on a wary public while the union engages in a blood feud with the rest of organized labor and lays off its own employees. If this is the model for a new era in labor relations, perhaps they might want to rethink the whole endeavor.