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We spent a day going through there, and he's showing us files of how
they did this and what they did. And I remained in touch with --
Back in '59.
This is back in --
Well, '60, '61.
And I became close. We constantly were on the phone. So we
squared the circle.
Throughout there was a dispute within 1199 and the national union
about whether or not we would be more appropriately merged with
SEIU or AFSCME. Why did you feel that we had more of a kinship with
Well, I'll explain that, but the dispute, we became something
that people were bargaining for. They were making all kinds of offers.
Like SEIU said, “You can have this,” AFSCME would come with
something better, “You don't have to pay dues for so many years.”
They were dealing with a large possible membership. And it was clear
to me that we had more in common with SEIU because they organized
nonprofit hospitals, where AFSCME had city hospitals everyplace.
SEIU was in the private sector, AFSCME was in the public.
Right. Nonprofits, and they were in the city hospitals. We also
thought that they were more in tune with us than AFSCME was in
terms of their overall philosophy.
In what way?
Well, we'd had difficulties with Victor Gotbaum.
Former president of AFSCME's District 37.
One of their largest locals. So we felt that we belonged with
SEIU. Most of the officers did. Then we had a ballot, a secret ballot,
where members would vote where they would go, because 1199, we
were paralyzed there. Remember, there were attempts made to take
us over and take away -- Al Heaps, president of International, take
away our --
President of the RWDSU.
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