Stern, Andrew L.,
1950-, American labor leader, b. West Orange, N.J., grad., Univ. of Pennsylvania (B.A., 1971). A charismatic and frequently controversial reformer, he has become one of the most significant figures in the contemporary labor union movement. As a Pennsylvania state social worker he joined (1973) the Service Employees International Union
(SEIU), became a field organizer, the president of his local, and a member of SEIU's executive board (1980). In 1996 he succeeded John J. Sweeney
as union president. Stern has earned a reputation as a new kind of union boss, building the various SEIU locals into a more cohesive national union, analyzing labor problems from a global perspective, and advocating a less confrontational approach to management in attaining worker benefits, but his methods have also provoked opposition from some locals in the SEIU. He was also the leader of a reform movement within the AFL-CIO, but failing to achieve the desired changes he led the SEIU out of the federation and with several other union leaders founded (2005) the Change to Win Federation.
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