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Service Employees International Union

Stern's Possible SEIU Successor Could Make Union Peace Elusive

For nearly three decades, Anna Burger has followed Andy Stern like a shadow in her rise through the ranks of the American labor movement. She succeeded Stern as president of their local Pennsylvania shop when he left for Washington in the mid-'80s. She later tagged along to the capital, and a few years after Stern won the presidency of the Service Employees International Union in 1996, she was elevated to secretary-treasurer. Stern announced a week ago that he will soon step down after 14 years -- and keeping to form, he tapped Burger to succeed him. But at a time when the nation's fastest-growing union is starting to fall victim to its own aggression, some question whether Burger can deliver anything but more of the same. "She has few of the benefits and most of the problems that Stern brings to the union," said Mark Brenner, director of the non-profit union network Labor Notes. Stern is leaving the SEIU as leadership is locked in battle with two other unions -- hospitality industry u...

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