The labor union backed by President Obama to the point he expressed the desire to “paint the nation purple with SEIU” is threatening action against a Pennsylvania city for allowing a Boy Scout to build a park trail for his Eagle project.
Kevin Anderson, 17, worked more than 200 hours on weekends to clear a 1,000-foot walking and biking path at Kimmets Lock Park in east Allentown, putting him in the crosshairs of the local Service Employees International Union, reported the Allentown Morning Call.
Local SEIU chief Nick Balzano told the Allentown City Council the union might file a grievance against the city for allowing Anderson to work on the project.
“We’ll be looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails,” he told the council, the Morning Call reported.
Balzano later told the newspaper he isn’t targeting Boy Scouts but argued no one but a union member should be allowed to pick up a hoe or shovel, plant a flower or clear a path for the city.
“There’s to be no volunteers,” he said, according to the Morning Call.
After Mayor Ed Pawlowski suggested in an e-mail that “the well-intentioned efforts of an Eagle Scout candidate would not be challenged by the union,” Balzano appeared to back down.
“We are probably going to let this one go,” he said.
The union has been frustrated because of layoffs imposed by the city during its ongoing financial crisis.
The newspaper said Anderson attends Southern Lehigh High School and developed the trails project for the city while hiking the partly finished Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.
He noticed a few missing links in the trail project in Kimmets Lock Park and set to finish the work himself.
“I decided to do my part in completing this part of the trail. In that way, others could enjoy walking along the river, without having to walk on the busy road,” Anderson told the newspaper.
WND earlier reported on Obama’s connections to the union. He has boasted of his track record of working with the organization, helping it “build more and more power.”
A video – which recently surfaced – shows Obama telling a group of SEIU workers in January 2008 that all presidential, gubernatorial and congressional candidates claim they are pro-union when they are looking for endorsements:
“They’ll all say, ‘We love SEIU,’” he said. “But the question you’ve got to ask yourself is, do they have it in their gut? Do they have a track record of standing alongside you on picket lines? Do they have a track record of going after the companies that aren’t letting you organize? Do they have a track record of voting the right way but also helping you organize to build more and more power?”
Obama referenced his background as a community organizer and his ties to SEIU Local 880, a union for homecare workers and home childcare providers in Illinois that first mobilized through the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.
“I’ve been working with SEIU before I was elected to anything,” he said. “When I was a community organizer, SEIU local 880 and myself, we organized people to make sure that home-care workers had the basic right to organize. We organized voting registration drives. That’s how we built political power on the south side of Chicago.”
He continued, “And now the time has come for us to do it all across this country. We are going to paint the nation purple with SEIU.”