SEIU, Workers United, and UNITE HERE Settle Disputes

Rumored by reports in recent days, it is now official.  The SEIU, UNITEHERE, and Workers United announced, late on the evening of July 26, a settlement of their dispute.

First, we present the SEIU press release which is followed by a statement from UniteHere President John Wilhelm.

SEIU Press Release

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Workers United and UNITE HERE today announced a settlement agreement on behalf of the unions’ members and elected leadership that will bring to a close the protracted dispute between the unions.

Newly-elected SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, who had made settling this dispute a top priority of her administration, issued the following statement:

“Working families all around this nation are facing the most profound crisis since the Great Depression. There are 26 million people out of work and far too many more who are facing cutbacks, layoffs, and benefit reduction. When hardworking people are losing the roof over their head or borrowing money to pay for groceries, we know we have more work to do. This moment calls on all of us in the American labor movement to dedicate ourselves to being part of the solution.

“Despite the tensions that have existed between our unions over the past months, John Wilhelm, Bruce Raynor and I have worked together to find common ground and we’ve been able to put our differences behind us. We agree that we cannot be spending our time fighting one other over workers who are already represented when there are far too many people who want and need a voice on the job. Our resources and our attention must be put toward solutions for the crisis workers face right now.

“We need to drive change for people in this country. None of us can go it alone. Moving forward, SEIU plans to link arms with our allies in labor and the progressive movement and forge stronger relationships with communities to be a more aggressive force pushing for the demands that help working people on the job, at the bargaining table, and with public policy makers all around our country.”


The agreement, reached after months of negotiations, resolves all issues related to jurisdiction and asset distribution and establishes a process for determining the rightful bargaining representative for the remaining disputed units.

The agreement provides clarity and resolution to a divisive issue in labor, and at the same time, enables each union the opportunity to increase its focus and resources on addressing the larger problems faced by members and workers who have no union.

Statement of John Wilhelm, President of Unite Here

I am pleased to report we have reached a binding agreement with SEIU that brings an end to nearly two years of hostilities.

I credit new SEIU President Mary Kay Henry for personally devoting her energy to making this agreement.  For the sake of workers and the labor movement, I hope that this is the first step in making SEIU the great Union it can be under her leadership.

UNITE HERE is proud that the agreement preserves its exclusive jurisdiction to organize in the hotel and gaming industries. It also lays out a level playing field for both Unions in the food service industry.

And it restores to UNITE HERE the bulk of the financial assets that have been tied up in federal court, including the Manhattan real estate. UNITE HERE and SEIU agreed to seek approval from federal regulators to transfer ownership of the Amalgamated Bank to SEIU-affiliated Workers United.

As a result of the above jurisdictional and financial terms, UNITE HERE is in a strong position to represent our members effectively and to bring hope to non-Union workers in our industries.

I congratulate UNITE HERE members, leaders, staff, and attorneys all across the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico whose strength and solidarity proved more than equal to this challenge.

We have won back our Union.

3 Responses

  1. This all sound good buy union organizers are working men and women who has lost there jobs with workers united seiu and unite here no one seem to care about how hard it is for a former union organizer to find work instead the union hire new organizers organize more members while layed off union organizer are begging congress to extend unemployment. I been an organizer since 1990 and now i cant find work because of my relationship with union no one will hire me

    • it is said because many of the organizors that were forced to believe that seiu was the way to go are now without a job while bruce is still employed. i saw first hand how hard these folks worked. I hope Unite Here keeps with their open door policy and does not make it difficult for these rank and file members to be involved with rebuilding their locals. Please send all the non rank and file organizers back to whereever they came from.

  2. […] Talking Union has posted statements by SEIU and by UNITE HERE on the settlement of their conflict. […]

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