Powerful Union Leader Stepping Down

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Andy Stern, who leads the Service Employees International Union, one of the nation's most politically active labor unions, plans to resign.

Two members of the S.E.I.U.'s board say Stern has announced plans to resign, according to the New York Times. Another board member says Stern may have reached his decision because Congress has enacted a healthcare reform bill, which had been a longtime goal. S.E.I.U. leaders expect current secretary-treasurer Anna Burger to succeed Stern.

The Times says one indication of Stern's political influence is his proximity to the president. In President Obama's first six months in office, Stern visited the White House more than 20 times. As Politico reports, S.E.I.U. also scored a political victory when the president named the union's lawyer, Craig Becker, to the National Labor Relations Board. Stern was also behind some bitter fights within labor.

Stern has served as president of the union since 1996.

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