4:25 PM Eastern - Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Stern: Unionized companies are a driving force in our economy

"Name a successful unionized company. Think. You're gonna go to break before you come up with one."

Today, SEIU International President Andy Stern made the following statement in response to comments by New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin and MSNBC's "Morning Joe" cast on the effectiveness of unionized companies.

"Unionized companies are a driving force in our economy, from Kaiser Permanente to Securitas. The bigger question this country is really asking right now is how do we define a successful company? Is it a company that turns a profit by driving down employee wages successful?  Is cutting off benefits or putting people out of work to improve the bottom line for shareholders a business model we as Americans want to embrace? Are we going to embrace the Wal-Mart model as the standard of success, or are we going to raise the bar and rebuild the middle class in this country?

"We think it's time to have a serious national discussion about what we want the future of our economy to look like--and the voices of women and men who work are critical to that conversation.  That's why we're supporting the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill to help create an economy in which companies succeed based on the quality of their services, not on their willingness to exploit or silence workers."

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