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Latest News - December 2012

December 19, 2012
Document reveals SEIU plans to disgrace Emanuel
Source: CHICAGO (FOX 32 News)
By: Dane Placko

For several weeks, members of the Service Employees International Union Local One have been protesting Mayor Rahm Emanuel at his North Side home, the airport, and City Hall.

The union is angry with City Hall's decision to contract out hundreds of union custodial jobs ad is fighting a new cleaning contract awarded at O'Hare. Now, it appears the fight is getting personal.

FOX 32 News obtained a copy of an SEIU plan to spend a half million dollars for what the union calls, "taking on the millionaires' mayor."

"In the coming months, the national news will be dominated by these types of stories. We feel strongly that Rahm Emanuel can be made the national 'poster child' for neo-liberals who are hell-bent on adopting these regressive policies."

The document spells out how the half million dollars will be spent to wage the public relations campaign, even setting aside money for "schwag."

Northwestern University labor expert Zev Eigen says the union has every right to attack the mayor, but the tactics here carry a risk.

"I don't think it's surprising," Eigen says. "It could look like it's crossing the line. It could look like it's going beyond what an organization like SEIU should be doing in the public sphere."

In a statement, a City Hall spokesperson says: "It is very unfortunate that the SEIU leadership has decided to spend a half million dollars on an investigation to smear the mayor instead of focusing their attention on helping their members, organizing the new janitors at O'Hare or providing other important job resources."

An SEIU spokesman told FOX 32 News they stand by this game plan of attacking the mayor as long as he's attacking their jobs. Of course, Mayor Emanuel has run a few campaigns himself and isn't known for backing down from a fight.



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