SEIU Turns on Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Chicago Mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is under attack by some of President Obama's top political supporters.

The SEIU has committed half-a-million dollars to a new, anti-Rahm effort. The money was approved by a state council as part of a document titled "Taking on the millionaires' mayor." The document says SEIU will brand the Mayor as "the national poster child for Neo-Liberals who are hell-bent on adopting regressive policies."

The SEIU also alleges the Mayor is adopting the tactics of "Right Wing" employers:

Mayor Emanuel is using the city's procurement process to take advantage of a loophole in Obamacare to jettison the health care costs of many city contract work [sic]. Essentially, Rahm is doing the same thing to city contract workers that Applebee's, Denny's, Papa John's Pizza and so many other Right Wing national employers have announced they are doing to their workers in the lead up to the implementation of Obamacare.

The anti-Rahm spending is broken into three chunks in the document. There is $100,000 set aside for polling and opposition research, $200,000 for paid media such as radio and billboards, and a another $200,000 for canvassing, mail, and phone calls.

The new tough stance by the SEIU is the result of two contract disputes, the most recent of which involves maintenance workers at Chicago's O'Hare airport. The city awarded a contract for janitorial services to the lowest bidder, a company called United Maintenance. As a result, 400 unionized workers left their jobs last Friday and will be replaced by non-union workers as part of the new contract.

Some of the old workers at the site have already been rehired by the new company. The exact number varies depending on whom you ask. The SEIU says only about 50 have been rehired. United Maintenance claims the number is 110. Starting pay for the new employees is $11.90, fifteen cents less than the previous contract.

The anti-Rahm document complains that the new contract is "not what workers expect from a Democratic mayor..."


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