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The SEIU—one of America’s strongest and most politically active unions—is facing the real possibility of a strike by its own staff. Ironic, we know. But when you see the issue at stake, you may develop a whole new appreciation of what a union contract can do for you!

Dave Jamieson at Huffpost lays out the entire situation today, and zeroes in on this issue as the heart of the contract dispute between the SEIU and its unionized staffers. Bolding ours:

Under the terms of the contract that expired last August, if a worker has at least five years of service at SEIU, management cannot eliminate that person’s position without offering another job. While management is willing to let current workers keep that valuable safeguard, its proposal would eliminate it for any future employees.

If staffers were to agree to that, time and turnover would eventually leave no one with the protection.

A couple of points here: First, as Jamieson notes, efforts such as this one by management to create different tiers of workers with different benefits within the same workplace are often opposed by unions on general principle, because they can serve to divide the unit and undermine solidarity and generally have the effect of throwing newer employees under the bus. So that is a real issue.

Second: CAN YOU BELIEVE THEY HAVE THAT SHIT IN THEIR CONTRACT? IF I HAD KNOWN THAT WAS EVEN A POSSIBILITY I WOULD HAVE TRIED TO GET THAT IN MY OWN DAMN CONTRACT. YOU CAN’T LAY ME OFF, EVER? YOU MUST FIND ME A NEW JOB IN PERPETUITY? I HAVE BECOME KING OF THE WORKPLACE AND ALL I SURVEY. THE MIGHTY UNION HAS GRANTED US ALL A JOB FOR LIFE. BOW DOWN.

Please make a note to ask for this in your own contract.