May 9, 2010 in Nation/World

Nation in brief: Labor union elects first female leader

From Wire Reports
 

Washington – The nation’s fastest-growing labor union elected its first woman president Saturday.

The Service Employees International Union selected Mary Kay Henry, head of the union’s health care division, to lead the 2.2 million member union. She replaces Andy Stern, who is leaving after 14 years of high profile, and sometimes divisive, leadership.

Henry said she hopes to “restore” SEIU’s relationship with other labor unions through a series of “listen and learn discussions.” However, she said, there have been no talks at SEIU about rejoining the AFL-CIO.

In 2005, Stern led SEIU and six other unions to break away from the AFL-CIO – the nation’s largest labor federation – to form the rival Change to Win federation. Stern said the older federation was not effectively organizing new members to replace the millions dropping from union ranks year after year.

Thirteen injured in apartment fire

Los Angeles – A morning fire at an apartment building near downtown Los Angeles injured 13 people Saturday, including a woman who jumped from a window and a 2-year-old girl who suffered third-degree burns, authorities said.

Crews plucked residents from windows in the three-story building after the fire broke out about 8:45 a.m. in a corner apartment, city fire Capt. Steve Ruda said.

The injuries included smoke inhalation, broken bones and scrapes, Ruda said. Two people were in critical condition, including the 2-year-old, who was being treated at a burn center.

All 13 injured people were expected to survive.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

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