According to POLITICO, Local 2 of the Office and Professional Employees International Union voted to reject management’s latest contract offer and reauthorize a strike. Management in this instance is also a union: SEIU. According to OPEIU, SEIU is “outsourcing work to non-union consultants” and won’t sign onto a job protection agreement for future employees. “Local 2 has seen its membership of SEIU employees drop from 133 in 2009 to 55 today,” OPEIU said in a press release. David Hoskins, an SEIU research staffer, and Local 2 shop steward said SEIU took “a move straight out of the classic union-busters playbook, and it’s outrageous that SEIU management is diverting precious time and resources away from building the labor movement in this country.”
But SEIU says that staff from a separate employer, the SEIU National Industry Pension Fund, bargained jointly with Local 2 and that the pension fund workers voted to ratify that same contract offer. “Despite our efforts to come to the best agreement with our OPEIU Local 2 unionized staff, there are situations when what we see as in the best interest of our members does not match certain demands made by unionized staff,” SEIU spokeswoman Sahar Wali said. “In a time of heightened attacks, we are proud to have been able to offer our staff a contract with such robust provisions without demanding any major concessions on behalf of any current staff members. We absolutely respect OPEIU Local 2’s right to reject this contract and to take collective action, including striking.” A strike date has not yet been announced.