The Service Employees International Union’s 2024 convention might have provided the infamously progressive union with an opportunity to refocus its efforts on workplace representation over divisive, ideologically driven politics. No such luck: The election of April Verrett as SEIU president, a set of resolutions addressing numerous hot-button issues, and a campaign appearance by Vice President Kamala Harris all made clear that SEIU remains committed to its hard-left agenda.

Delegates from SEIU locals across the nation gathered in Philadelphia on May 20 for a three-day event to establish priorities that will guide union operations over the next four years.

The first order of business was the election of Verrett, SEIU’s former secretary-treasurer, to succeed outgoing president Mary Kay Henry.

Whether SEIU rank and file were unaware of or indifferent to Verrett’s questionable record is unclear. While serving as president of SEIU Local 2015, Verrett faced one of the largest union staff labor strikes in American history after accusations of union-busting, surveillance, assault, and intimidation.

Verrett’s dedication to SEIU’s progressive politics, however, is unmatched. In the words of the union’s new leader, America’s “ugly, insidious, anti-black racist structures” inform her decision to make “eradicating structural and anti-black racism a core strategy” of union operations.

Harris apparently approves. In her address to the union convention, Harris fondly described Verrett as “a phenomenal woman and a powerful fighter for justice and fairness,” ignoring past accusations against the SEIU president.

Harris, who has made frequent trips to Pennsylvania in an effort to charm Keystone State voters, appealed to union members. “Our nation needs you, SEIU, to organize, to mobilize, and to make your voices heard” during the upcoming presidential election, she said.

SEIU, which will spend $200 million in support of the Biden-Harris ticket between now and November to build “political power by mobilizing a cross-racial, cross-movement coalition of working-class voters,” is fully on board.

But the union’s resolve to fulfill Harris’ request for votes only scratches the surface of its four-year plan, laid out in resolutions passed by delegates during the convention.

SEIU’s 2024 Convention Core Resolution, for example, asserts that “unchecked corporate control and structural racism have built a North America for wealthy white people at the cost of all others.”

“Racial and economic justice,” therefore, “must be central to the work of our union,” the resolution maintains.

Joining a swath of labor unions in support of pro-Palestinian protests across America’s college campuses, SEIU’s Resolution on the War in Gaza expressed its opposition to “violent attacks” and “the use of severe force” against out-of-control student demonstrators, plus an end to taxpayer support for Israel.

In addition, Constitutional Amendment 307 eliminates “explicit references to binary genders” throughout union documents and communications, replacing all usages of “men and women” with “people” and trading both “his and her” for “their.”

For a union committed to “higher pay, better benefits, job security and a retirement we can count on,” SEIU’s guiding priorities for Verrett’s inaugural term have remarkably little to do with the workplace concerns of members.

As SEIU continues to embrace the role of a progressive interest group over protector of workplace rights, union members are taking note. More than 200,000 have turned their backs on SEIU since the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in Janus v. AFSCME affirmed the right of government workers to forgo union membership without losing their jobs.

In Pennsylvania, the convention’s host state, SEIU’s losses are typical. SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, the state’s largest SEIU local, has shed thousands of members since the Janus decision.

SEIU continues to put progressive ideology over the well-being of its rank and file. Barring a change of course, the union’s insatiable thirst for political power will eventually lead to its demise.

This article was originally published by RealClearPennsylvania and made available via RealClearWire.

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