This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," May 12, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GLENN BECK, HOST: As I told you yesterday, ACORN and some of these other organizations are connected to the powerful Service Employees International Union. It was because of Dennis Rivera, the coordinator for the health care campaign for SEIU, that President Obama met with the leaders of the health care industry yesterday. That big meeting is all arranged by this guy.
So, what do the unions have to stand to gain when it comes to our health care reform?
Danny Diaz is the communications director for Workforce Fairness Institute.
Danny, help me out on this guy. Tell me — tell me exactly who Dennis Rivera is.
DANNY DIAZ, WORKFORCE FAIRNESS INSTITUTE: Well, he's someone that works with the SEIU on health care issues, and as you said, he brokered this meeting yesterday. And at the end of the day, what we see is a group, SEIU, who has a huge stake in the health care discussion being that a significant number of its members are involved in health care is once again in the middle of a dialogue where they stand to gain power, influence and money by the results.
BECK: OK. All right. Now, let's be fair. The Republicans did this with the big oil, and they had, you know, all the big oil executives. However, I know people who are at that big oil and the number one recommendation they came up with was build nuclear plants — but that's a different story. But everybody at that time screamed for transparency.
What's going on in these meetings?
Here we have SEIU — who we will get into here in a second — not necessarily the cleanest organization, a union, gathering together all of these corporations. SEIU, by the way, is known for their threatening tactics where they go after companies almost in the way that Jesse Jackson organization used to go, and scare companies into doing things.
What are they getting in return? They're saying that they're bringing all these people together. They got, what is it, $2 trillion in savings — but what are they getting in return?
DIAZ: Well, when the government takes a much greater role in health care, obviously, the role of unions will also grow. Obviously, the revenue that they enjoy will increase. Obviously, the scope of power that they have will also increase.
And I think, at the end of the day, when you look over all of these issues, you see that that's at the core of all their actions. When you talk about the "employee forced choice act," essentially unionizing the small business community, you know, in spite of whether the workers want to be part of the union or not, it's about power. It's about money.
And when you see the way that these union bosses conduct themselves, the way they intimidate and pressure people, you really have to question and be concerned whether this is in the best interests of not just our country, but the economy and the social fabric that brings us together.
BECK: OK. Let me go to another SEIU story. This one is coming out of Illinois. The secretary of treasury — do you know who the treasury secretary in Illinois is?
DIAZ: Yes, Mr. Giannoulias, I believe.
BECK: Who did — who appointed him?
DIAZ: I don't know who appointed him. I believe he's an elected official.
BECK: OK, an elected official.
DIAZ: But he's someone that, once again, using strong-arm tactics in concert with the SEIU to achieve a desired result.
BECK: OK, all right. So, now, the SEIU goes to the Illinois secretary of treasury, and also goes to this suit factory that makes President Obama's suits out of Illinois, and they strong-arm them. They have filed for bankruptcy and they have strong-armed the — not the suit factory but Wells Fargo and said you've got to get them money so they can stay open, otherwise what?
DIAZ: Well, you know, otherwise, they are using these strong-arm tactics, I mean, sit-ins and pressuring and bullying the bank with regard to a company that's filed Chapter 11. I mean, it's sad to see what's happened to this company, and obviously, their workers are in a tough spot.
But at the end of the day, this company has filed Chapter 11, and the result of union actions and the increase in wages and the forced negotiations that cut against the employer and against businesses are only going to increase scenarios and situations.
DIAZ: …like what we're talking about today.
BECK: This is — this is.
DIAZ: I mean, that's what's going to happen.
BECK: Right. And this was the problem that we had, if I'm not mistaken, this is the problem that we had with the banks. This is why we're in this situation because ACORN pressured the banks — you want to expand, you want to do that, they went into the communities, they caused a stink. That caused these companies to make bad business decisions and that put us in this situation.
Is the guy from SEIU that went and is involved in Obama's suit company, is that the same guy that was involved with the deal with Blagojevich?
DIAZ: I don't believe it's Tom Balanoff who was, you know, involved with Blagojevich, involved in the phone conversations and whatnot, also from the SEIU. But certainly, they are all in the same ilk.
DIAZ: And they're certainly, probably are all involved in endeavors together.
BECK: Right. And so .
DIAZ: One of the things we haven't talked about is the situation in California, with their budget.
BECK: I was just going to bring — I was just going to bring this up. I want to be sure that everybody understands. SEIU — now, the people that were in the White House yesterday orchestrating this whole thing for health care, they were the people that were in with Blagojevich, working those kinds of deals. Now go to California — what's happening in California with SEIU?
DIAZ: Well, obviously, everyone knows that California is in a difficult spot with regard to its budget and they have made difficult decisions. The legislature, by 2/3's, the Democrat-run legislature, passed the budget. That budget included wage cuts for certain sectors. And apparently now, the SEIU is on conference calls of dictating where the taxpayer dollars, stimulus dollars, federal dollars will go to California unless they increase those wage cuts.
I mean, at the end of the day, who's going to lose their job based on the fact that these wage cuts can't be put in place? I mean, there's no money to be had. The state of California is in dire straits, but what's the string that you see throughout all these stories: bullying, pressure, money, power. And that's what they are moving toward with the bill like the Employee Free Choice Act.
BECK: OK. Thank you very much for being on the program. I'm just looking here. Hey, Gresh, do you — do you remember, did we see SEIU as one of the businesses that was — that had an address down in Louisiana? Do you remember?
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