Thanks to Montana Maven for turning me on to Left Business Observer:
In other countries, unions are about more than contracts, and have done a lot better job fighting for broad public benefits, like pensions and health care. Our unions look too much like they’re fighting to defend their own private welfare states and not fighting to expand the public ones. They look like that because they all too often are. There’s no more disgraceful instance of this than the behavior of the Service Employees International Union around health care. SEIU’s former president, Andy Stern, dismissed single-payer as a Canadian import—while making common cause with then-Walmart CEO Lee Scott to try to craft a more distinctively “American” scheme. As one SEIU staffer told Liza Featherstone (“Labor Head Andy Stern Has Some Unusual Corporate Bedfellows”) [disclosure alert: she’s my wife], Stern “doesn’t hold social democracy in high regard.” Also, as Bob Fitch argued, unions typically take their cue on political matters from their employers. SEIU represents a lot of health care workers—and health care providers [so-called] would hate single-payer.
Of course, the real health care providers are people, well, provide health care. Other than that, the analysis is spot on.
"Safety in numbers" cuts a lot of ways.