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Thursday, April 24 2014 @ 05:42 AM CDT

Labor Legend Dolores Huerta Rips SEIU For Worker Intimidation

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A legend of the labor movement stepped into the turmoil engulfing organized labor in California on Tuesday, pressing the new head of the Service Employees International Union to call off the war that has been raging on the West Coast over control of union workers.

Labor Legend Dolores Huerta Rips SEIU For Worker Intimidation

Ryan Grim
ryan@huffingtonpost.com

A legend of the labor movement stepped into the turmoil engulfing organized labor in California on Tuesday, pressing the new head of the Service Employees International Union to call off the war that has been raging on the West Coast over control of union workers.

In an open letter, Dolores Huerta wrote President Mary Kay Henry, thanking her for putting an end to SEIU's "mistaken campaign of aggression" against UNITE HERE, but charging the union with "a coordinated effort by SEIU leaders in California to deny thousands of healthcare workers their federally-protected right to organize with the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW)."

Huerta, the matriarch of organized labor, is perhaps the most respected figure in western labor circles, often referred to as "the female Cesar Chavez" for co-founding the United Farm Workers. Huerta first endorsed the NUHW's campaign in May. Her letter raises the profile of the issue for Henry, who is now responsible for the campaigns launched by her predecessor, Andy Stern. Henry became president of SEIU in April, defeating a Stern protégé for the position.

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