Founded in 1921 as the Building Services Employees Union, the SEIU traces its roots to Chicago. Following a 1934 strike in New York the BSEU began to expand and, in 1968 changed its name to the Service Employees International Unon.
Its presidents (listed below)do not have term limits and are elected through the unions quadrennial convention.
William Quesse (1921-1927)
Oscar Nelson (1927)
Jerry Horan (1927-1937)
George Scalise (1937-1940)
William McFetridge (1940-1960)
David Sullivan (1960-1971)
George Hardy (1971-1980)
John Sweeney (1980-1995, now president of the AFL-CIO)
Richard Cordtz (1995-1996)
Andy Stern (1996-)
Due to its multiple mergers, the SEIU has taken an active role in attempting to unionize health-care workers. In this regard, the SEIU has had numerous strikes in the health care industry and, as of late is facing dozens of decertification attempts in California.
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