Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), is reportedly planning to step down at a time The Washington Post is calling his "peak of his influence."
During his 15 years with the SEIU, Stern doubled the size of membership and turned it into one of the most powerful organizations in Washington. Thus, news outlets are questioning the impact of his resignation on the labor movement, as it will occur two years before his term expires.
Stern was a key leader in the fight for healthcare reform, aligning the SEIU with Wal-Mart to endorse employer-mandated reform in 2009, and was the most frequent visitors to the White House in the first six months of the Obama Administration.
So begins the torrent of speculation on why the 59-year-old labor leader would exit his post at the union representing more than 1.1 million health workers only weeks after contributing to a major political coup -- the health overhaul.