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SEIU Stern Pushing For Merger With Unite Here As Power Struggle In Union Grows
Date 09/02/06/14:47

Wall Street Journal 2/5/2009
SEIU Leader Seeks Merger With Unite Here Union
by Kris Maher

ANDY STERN ASKED the leaders of Unite Here to merger their union with the Service Employees International Union he heads, potentially boosting the clout of the nations biggest service-workers union.

Mr. Stern made his pitch to Bruce Raynor, president of Unite HERE, and John Wilhelm, president of it hospitality division, in a letter dated Jan. 30. Unite Here, which represents hotel, apparel and laundry workers, was formed in a merger in 2004, and its two leaders are engaged in a power struggle that threatens to split the union.

In his letter, Mr. Stern said the goal of the 1.9 million member SEIU would be to form a partnership with Unite Here, which has 460,000 members, or with each of the seperate organizations if the union decides to break up.

Mr. Wilhelm provided a statement that said a majority of Unite Here's board welcomed the SEIU's interest and looked forward to discussing proposals. Mr. Raynor didn't immediately respond to a call.

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