Tuesday, May 27, 2008

THE CURIOUS CASE AS TO WHY LABOR'S KARL ROVE GOT DUMPED: BIG Shake-Up at Change to Win as Tarpinian Steps Down

Perhaps size does matter afterall?

Three years after orchestrating the biggest shake-up of the American labor movement in decades (yet producing very LITTLE results), the Change to Win federation announced this afternoon that Greg Tarpinian (pictured on left showing the size of something), the group's Executive Director since the union insurgency broke away from the AFL-CIO in 2005, will be stepping down.

TARPINIAN: LABOR'S KARL ROVE. Tarpinian, a labor union consultant who was not elected by any rank-and-file union members, assumed his appointed role in 2005 as one of the architects of the AFL-CIO break-up after hanging out with one of the bad boys of the union movement: Jimmy Hoffa Jr. Although Hoffa Jr is, admittedly, not as cool as his old man was, he's got good creds with his name, so Tarpinian grabbed onto Jimmy's coattails in 1996 and has been riding them ever since.

In addition to his role as the insurgent federation's executive director, Tarpinian is also President of the Labor Research Association and President of LRA Consulting and, according to Change to Win's Department of Labor filings, has been 'back charging' the union federation for his time as Executive Director.

According to the C2W top cheerleader and SEIU siren Anna Burger: "Greg Tarpinian's vision was instrumental in the creation of Change to Win. He has played a leading role in the development and unity of Change to Win over the last three years and has won the respect of labor leaders throughout the country for his leadership in shaping the movement to restore the American Dream."

Curious. Since Tarpinian was one of the original architects of the break-up of the AFL-CIO, we're wondering why it sounds to us like Ms. Burger and her clique got tired of Tarpinian and kicked him to the curb. (Maybe Biff couldn't deliver on his promises and Anna and the girls got bored?...Hmmm.)

To be sure, the whole break-up and union rivalry hasn't gone all that well for the Change to Win gang.

In fact, following the AFL-CIO's 2006 mid-term election victory, it would be safe to say that the Change to Win strategy has been nothin' but a Change to LOSE strategy. We've even pointed that out on a couple of occasions, urging quarterback Andy Stern to make amends with his old coach.

Maybe The Architect just got unpopular with the bosses?

Prior to his coronation to his prom king role as head of the Change to Win gang, Tarpinian was a staunch supporter of and advisor to current Teamster president, Jim Hoffa, Jr. (pictured on left with C2w'S Anna Burger and Tarpinian), as evidenced by his Letter to the Editor published in the Sept. 7, 2000 edition of the Nation, wherein he wrote:

As someone who has worked closely with Hoffa over the years, I always found it difficult to hear the trite stereotypes used by those who were bent on maintaining their power under a veneer of progressivism.

In addition to his ties to union bosses, Tarpinian also helped run Republican George Pataki's re-election campaign in 2002.

But, Tarpinian also had his detractors, like the rank-and-file members from the Teamsters for a Democratic Union who, in 2005, wrote:

Do you know Greg Tarpinian? If you careabout your union, you should. He’s
practically running it. And you are paying him millions of dollars to do it.

Tarpinian is a labor consultant in New York. He attached himself to Hoffa back in 1996 when he campaigned for him, along with another consultant, Richard Leebove of Detroit. He’s wiggled upward ever since.

His long time close associates have eased into key positions of power. Leo Deaner, a Tarpinian associate for many years, is Hoffa’s new Executive Assistant....

Tarpinian gets big bucks to do dog-and-pony shows at the IBT Convention and Unity Conferences, and he’ll get a lot more PR and “education” money now. In return, he holds banquets in New York to give awards to Hoffa and Tom Keegel, who sign the checks to his consulting company. What goes around comes around. What’s going around is your money.

Tarpinian wrote the plan and the script for the Teamsters to leave the AFL-CIO and join Change to Win, which also pays Tarpinian big bucks.

Most importantly, he is guiding the direction of the Teamsters Union. Remember when Jim Hoffa charged that Ron Carey had outsiders (“SEIU”, “mineworkers,” etc.) in positions of power?

Now we have a New York consultant running our union, who only bothers to speak to Teamsters when he has his hand out for money.

According to the Change to Win press release this afternoon, Tarpinian will be replaced by Chris Chafe, another non-elected staffer who served as Chief of Staff and Political Director from UNITE-HERE before becoming former presidential candidate John Edwards' senior adviser on labor.

While we're not exactly sure why Tarpinian, a Hoffa devotee, is being kicked to the the proverbial trashheap and replaced by another non-elected appointee from another union in the union federation, you can be sure EmployerReport.com will bring it to you as soon as we know.

For more union-related news, go to EmployerReport.com

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