On January 30, 2009, then-SEIU head Andy Stern wrote to Raynor and Wilhelm, saying that the merger had failed, and suggesting that they consider merging with SEIU. Raynor took up Stern’s offer. His breakaway faction became Workers United, joining SEIU in March 2009. Under a July 2010 agreement that resolved disputes over assets, Workers United — by then part of SEIU — retained control of Amalgamated Bank. UNITE-HERE got the union’s New York headquarters. But the conflicts weren’t over.
In March 2011, SEIU’s leadership filed internal charges against Bruce Raynor, for allegedly misreporting $2,316.00 in meal expenses. On April 26, 2011, Raynor announced that he would resign the presidency of Workers United and would reimburse the $2,316.00 in order to dispel any doubts about his behavior. After leading one of the biggest fights over union assets in recent years, Bruce Raynor, in a denouement befitting a Greek tragedy, ended up seeing his tenure undone over $2,316.00.
Raynor would remain on the board of Amalgamated Bank, reported Greenhouse at the time. As of this writing, a mere 15 months later, his name is not listed among the board members on the Amalgamated website, and the Workers United website is no longer online.
Now, with the Occupy Wall Street movement setting the trend, moving deposits to Amalgamated has become a leftist cause du jour. For SEIU, business and political influence seem to mix quite well.
Ivan Osorio is editorial director at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.