*Goldman is also a major investor in Lance Inc. which acquired the Stella D'Ora cookie company and then subsequently closed a 70-year-old factory earlier this year. "So here you saw 150 good paying jobs with healthcare eliminated overnight," Stern says. "There's Goldman, at it again doing God's work."
Goldman has strongly objected the SEIU's stance on the Stella D'Oro situation, posting on its Web site a retort that among other things stressed that the bank: has never controlled Stella D'Oro; had no involvement in the decision to close operations in the Bronx; only holds only about 2 percent of the outstanding shares of Stella D'Oro's parent company. Substantially all of those shares are held on behalf of clients.
SEIU also has a major problem with Goldman's ownership of loan servicing company, Litton Loan Servicing. Litton, in turn, is among the many loan companies coming under fire for not doing enough to help homeowners behind on mortgage payments and who might require a modification.
According to Goldman, its home loan collection subsidiary has increased its customer care staff by approximately 20 percent while increasing its loss mitigation staff by approximately 25 percent since March 2009.
Stern posed the question this way: "What if Goldman set aside even $1 million, how many people could they hire at Litton specifically to help people stay in their homes?"
While the clout of labor unions in America is not what it was a generation ago – indeed, unreasonable union demands are often cited by critics as a reason for General Motors stalling out – the SEIU believes that unions have to lead the charge to harness the anger aimed at Wall Street. This outrage has become so widespread, explained SEIU's Burger, that even symbolic efforts, such as a march, or e-mail writing campaign, can catch fire.
The SEIU is encouraging its working class members to send e-mails to Blankfein and Goldman board members objecting to the bank's pay practices.