Blinded by Ideology

SEIU opposes development in San Francisco which would provide jobs for union workers. Furthermore, an SEIU union boss admitted that “people are getting good contracts” but still found it necessary to whine about “neoliberal politics” — in the ultraliberal city.

“It’s particularly difficult right now within the Labor Council,” says [SF Labor Council president Mike] Casey, “because land use is in the middle of every fight.” Issues like affordable housing pit building trade unions, which support development for the jobs it creates, against other unions such as UESF and SEIU 1021, which have signed on to the campaign opposing a major housing development at 16th and Mission streets.

And that division leaves labor at a disadvantage when it comes to mounting political opposition to Lee’s agenda. “There’s so much money flowing around in San Francisco right now that people are getting good contracts,” says Alysabeth Alexander, vice president of politics for SEIU 1021, “but neoliberal politics are moving at the speed of light.”