Did a Union Doublecross Its College Activists?

by E Wayne Ross on August 22, 2008

Inside Higher Ed: Did a Union Doublecross Its College Activists?

Student activists on several college campuses are speaking out against one of the nation’s largest labor groups, claiming they were deceived and used as “pawns” by the Service Employees International Union.

The students’ grievances, outlined in an open letter to SEIU leadership, allege a “disturbing pattern” wherein SEIU undercut students’ efforts to help organize service workers on at least four campuses.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that SEIU leaders often see students and campus workers as little more than pawns to use as they see fit,” the letter states. “SEIU has sought to maneuver these pawns in a way that brings new members and dues into the union in the short term but keeps workers in poverty and actually hurts our collective efforts to help unions grow at a massive scale.”