Bay Area labor leader Sal Rosselli has resigned his post as president of the California umbrella organization for one of America's most powerful labor unions, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Rosselli had previously clashed with national Service Employees International Union leader Andy Stern over California healthcare reform.
Rosselli had reportedly objected to Stern's support of a Governor Schwarzenegger proposal critics said benefits the insurance industry at the expense of California residents.
Rosselli's resignation is the latest battle in an ongoing struggle between the 120,000 member United Healthcare Workers-West and the leadership of the 1.9 million member national union. During the past year, Rosselli has clashed with Stern over the national leader's strategy of forging corporate alliances -- rather than confronting employers with traditional labor tactics such as strikes, boycotts, and grassroots organizing.
The fight between Rosselli and Stern has been covered extensively in SF Weekly. During the weeks preceding Rosselli's resignation, The Los Angeles Times, Harpers.org, and the Palm Beach Post cited SF Weekly's reporting in articles about Stern's efforts to sideline Rosselli, a longtime Bay Area labor organizer with roots in San Francisco Democratic politics.
Rosselli notified Stern and the SEIU state council of his resignation in a letter, the Bee reported.
"I believe we are close to achieving our goal of real health care reform as long as we have the courage to continue to stand up for our principles and advocate for the issues that are not successfully addressed in Governor Schwarzenegger’s healthcare proposal,” according to Rosselli's letter, as cited in the Bee. (Site registration required to view the Bee report.) — Matt Smith