Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Latest Word from the NLRB...

Briefs have been filed earlier this week in the NLRB filing regarding KaiPerm and whether or not the employees would be allowed to conduct a vote to kick out Zombie UHW.

What is interesting is who filed on whose behalf. Specifically, one of the founders of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, Peter DiCicco, filed a brief in this case on behalf of NUHW. The Coalition itself remained silent on the issue.

Also, Mary Ann Thode, former president of KP-NorCal, also filed a brief in this case on behalf of NUHW. There was no other filing one way or the other from Kaiser.

Optimistic views have a decision in this regard coming down in about two weeks. SEIU is, of course, throwing up logical roadblocks all over the place. At issue is whether or not then-UHW and KaiPerm entered into a three-year or a five-year contract back in 2005. Checking back to page 124 of the UHW contract book, Article XXV states that...
Except as otherwise specifically provided, this Agreement shall be effective as of October 1, 2005, and shall continue in effect through the month, day, and year as specified in the National Agreement, Section 3: Scope of The Agreement, D. Duration, Renewal and Reopening, and shall be automatically renewed from year to year thereafter, unless amended, modified, changed, or terminated.
So we go to the National Agreement, and it says...
1. The duration of this Agreement is October 1, 2005 through September 30, 2008. It shall automatically renew itself for an additional two year period (October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2010), unless either the Coalition (by its Executive Director) or Kaiser Permanente (by its Vice President for the LMP) gives the other party written Notice of Reopening no later than ninety (90) days and no earlier than one hundred, twenty (120) days prior to October 1, 2008.
SEIU is evidently trying to claim that, since there was a "wage reopener" negotiation back in 2008 prior to the initial expiration, that we have in effect a three-year contract and then two separate one-year contracts, neither of which can be breached under the contract bar language.

However, we look later in that same section above...
a) If this Agreement is reopened pursuant to Paragraphs D.1. and D.2., above, and the parties reach agreement with respect to the Reopener Subjects before October 1, 2008, this Agreement shall automatically renew itself for an additional two-year period, and any and all agreed upon changes with respect to Reopener Subjects shall
be incorporated into this Agreement and the Relevant Local Agreements.

b) If this Agreement is reopened pursuant to Paragraphs D.1. and D.2., above, and no agreement is reached with respect to the Reopener Subjects before October 1, 2008, this Agreement shall automatically renew itself for an additional two-year period on all other existing terms and conditions, provided, however, that the parties may continue to negotiate concerning the Reopener Subjects until such time as agreement is reached on those subjects or negotiations conclude. Any and all changes resulting from such continued negotiations shall be incorporated into this Agreement and the Relevant Local Agreements.
The bottom line? The agreement went for three years, and if there was no wage reopener then it would automatically extend for two years. If there was a wage reopener, then it would automatically extend for two years.

No matter how SEIU tries to slice it, this is a five-year contract, and we're well outside the initial three years. If NLRB plays straight, we're gonna have us an election real soon.

The word (theoretically) should come down later this week, plus or minus any obstructionist tactics from Stern and his shysters.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I have a feeling...

...Somebody's Watching Me!

Hey, SEIU and Zombie UHW partisans - I can tell you're logging on here.

Why don't y'all take a moment and tell us why being being in SEIU is everything it's cracked up to be?

And while you're at it, maybe you can tell the folks why y'all are taking time checking out this little old blog rather than helping protect union jobs like you were supposed to be doing down at Rady...

Andy Sez...

Quoth Our Glorious Maximum Leader:

It's simple: If you support democracy, you should support the right to debate legislation that could improve the lives of millions of working Americans, pump $49 billion into the economy at a time when we desperately need it, and that's supported by the vast majority of the public.

We look forward to working with Sen. Specter and the rest of the Congress to find ways to give workers the free choice to join a union free from intimidation and harassment.

Yo, Andy: If you support democracy, you should support the right of 100K-plus of your dues-paying members who want to make a choice that is supported by the vast majority of those members.

Quoth Anna Burger:
Allowing workers the choice to join together, free from intimidation and harassment, to bargain for job security, better wages and health care will stimulate our economy and put working families back on the path of prosperity.
Yo, Anna: We who support NUHW are trying desperately to join together, free from intimidation and harrassment, to bargain for job security, better wages, and continued health care (not to mention restoring the pension rights y'all have taken away from us).

Why won't SEIU allow us the vote?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Zombie UHW Bails Out of Decert Vote at SD-Rady

Showing that glowing confidence that comes with the knowledge that you are doing the Right Thing for your members, Zombie UHW decided to withdraw from a decertification vote, rather than face the consequences of that vote...

The union that won a protracted battle to represent 750 service workers at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego withdrew this week to avoid potential defeat in a decertification vote.

Its move means that any union wishing to represent the employees – who include housekeepers, secretaries, janitors and cafeteria staffers – will have to start the certification process from scratch, labor officials said.

Wages and benefits for the workers will remain as they were under a now-defunct contract between the hospital and the Service Employees International Union, Rady spokesman Ben Metcalf said.

But there's no longer a guarantee of 4 percent annual raises, he said. Instead, the employees will qualify for an annual merit raise awarded on a sliding scale of up to 6 percent.

The SEIU pullout could bring a period of peace to the hospital after years of pitched conflict that often wedged workers between union leaders driven to expand their reach in San Diego County and Rady administrators bent on defeating the effort.

You would think that there is a rather large piece of information missing from the above section of the article - you know, something to do with the trusteeship? But I digress...

“I hope we're able to take back our hospital and give management a chance to manage us,” said Sally James, a clinical assistant and former member of the bargaining unit.

SEIU began its campaign to organize some of the lowest-paid employees at the hospital in 2004, and those workers quickly voted for collective-bargaining representation. But Rady administrators launched a protracted challenge over the union's legal status.

The fight led to three votes by the workers for union representation. Negotiations to establish a labor contract took several more years.

Weeks before the contract was signed, James and other union opponents started circulating a decertification petition that eventually gained enough signatures to force a vote.

However, the balloting was delayed for nearly two years because the union filed charges of unfair labor practices against the hospital.

In February, the union's leaders and Rady administrators agreed to schedule a decertification election for yesterday and today.

Hmmm. What changed in UHW between 2004 and February of 2009? Anyone? Bueller???

Those plans were derailed Tuesday when SEIU notified federal labor officials that it was withdrawing representation from the hospital.

Fear of losing the vote played a major role in the decision, said Keisha Stewart, deputy trustee of SEIU's United Healthcare Workers local, which oversaw the bargaining unit.

"FEAR OF LOSING"?!?!? WTF kind of union punks out of a vote because of "fear of losing"? How about one that no longer enjoys the support of its membership?

“It was kind of sparing them the heartache of going through an election that they may not have won,” she said. The move also denied administrators the advantages that would have come with a victory over the union, she said.

“We want to set it up so that we can go back in there and organize,” Stewart said. “We're committed to do that.”

Well, Keisha, you certainly are "committed" all right - or at least you should be if you think that Zombie UHW is going to be able to do anything at Rady in the future except to throw rocks at the signage. When you and your "union" ran away and abandoned 750 workers to the good graces of the management at Rady, you took with it any shred of dignity or respect those people may have had for UHW. Almost five years of good work was destroyed in the space of two months, and now the UHW toehold in SD county is, for all intents and purposes, gone.

Nowhere is it mentioned in the article that the union leadership who has fought beside the UHW-covered workers at Rady, and who stood by them and shepherded them through multiple org drives and votes, were basically tossed out on their asses in January in favor of Stern-selected milquetoasts.

Let me be clear about this to every person now currently stuck in Zombie UHW: Whenever Zombie UHW thinks it will lose a fight, Zombie UHW will run away.

SEIU supporters: Again, I ask you, in light of the evidence presented in the story above, why should we who are stuck in Zombie UHW be content with that?

A KP Steward Speaks...

After a pretty good nap, the KP Orange County blog has woken up, and one of the bloggers there, who is also a KP steward, is relating his story as a steward who hasn't been removed - yet...
As many people know, the UHW trustee's started forcibly removing union stewards from Orange County since the beginning of March. Eight and counting.

This has come as a shock to many employees who respected and valued their efforts spent representing them. I am continually having members approach me and ask, "What's going on?. How can this happen?"

It is difficult answering these questions. It is not like these stewards were poor stewards, trouble makers or uninvolved. These individuals are experienced stewards who have worked hard representing members of our union for quite a long time. We have lost our Rep Chair, Chief Steward, and our previous Contract Specialist.

I have worked with these individuals for quite a few years and have great respect for them as individuals and as stewards. In removing these stewards, the trustee's are doing little but harming the individuals these stewards represent and validating the fears members have that SEIU does not care about their voice. The constituents of these stewards did not want them removed and they did not vote them out.

So the question I constantly hear is how did this happen? The answer is simple, our local is under a trusteeship. During this time our local's constitution and bylaws have been removed and all the normal rules have been thrown out the window. When placing our local under the trusteeship the Trustees could have opted to immediately remove all stewards and start a new. They have the right to do this under a trusteeship.

Is it right? I don't think so and from the grumbling I hear from the majority of our members they don't either.
Click on over and give him a read, as he's got more to say on the whole process the trustees went through when the trusteeship came to power.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rose Ann and Andy, Sitting In A Tree...

Anyone remember the SEIUWatch website? It was a veritable trough of information on the evils and failures of the Purple Plague. Alas, SEIUWatch has gone by the wayside, replaced by this:

It seems that All Is Forgiven between Rose Ann and Andy. All kinds of anti-SEIU videos were youtubed, and they come up in the Google searches, but as soon as you try to access them...

Fair enough. The Google cache has plenty of material, the discussion boards still have archives, and the internet Wayback machine will serve quite nicely if we have to go back into the history of the Intertubes to find out what Rose Ann DeMoro and CNA were saying about SEIU - at least up until last week.

But when Andy and Rose Ann start doing joint appearances in support of EFCA, keep in mind where they were, and where they inevitably will be once their temporary common cause is either achieved or defeated. And do understand if our internal BS meters are pinging the needle if and when they proclaim their fast friendship...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Six Pages, 111 Footnotes...

The remains of UNITE/HERE have put out a policy document which goes approximately six pages in text, with 111 separate references inside, documenting the SEIU approach in dealing with other unions that it has decided to take over and otherwise do battle with.
Stern’s current attempt to absorb UNITE HERE’s 450,000 members while ignoring UNITE HERE’s constitutional process is unprecedented in its audacity and scope. However, actively campaigning against fellow members of the labor movement is not new to SEIU, and the tactics they are employing against UNITE HERE follow a now-familiar pattern.
This ain't your average union-versus-union hit piece either. The details are exacting, and no factual statements are made about people's actions or statements without attribution. One highlight of this document is a graph of just what SEIU has been up to over the last eight years or so...

This graph basically represents how many people Andy Stern has managed to torque off over the last seven to eight years with takeover attempts and other such efforts at meddling in the internal affairs of other unions. The size of Andy Stern's appetite (not to mention his ego) can be summarized thusly:

The recent "peace treaty" between SEIU and CNA/NNOC makes a little more sense now, in that CNA/NNOC is well-funded, is very loud, is very proud, and was probably able to extract more than a little blood money from the Purple Plague in order to bury the hatchet.

That CNA/NNOC also managed to bury the hatchet into the back of Sal Rosselli and NUHW is probably just icing on the cake for Our Glorious Maximum Leader...

Dear Andy...

The Infamous Perez Stern has sources within the Purple Plague that I could only dream of, but this resignation letter that a SEIU senior organizer from out in New York sent to Our Glorious Maximum Leader is too good not to share. What is special about this particular individual's resignation letter is that she, Audra Makuch, was an organizer in Local 250 (the NorCal predecessor to UHW), and was in the Emergency Services division at the time that the paramedics in Local 250 voted to decertify from 250 and organize within NEMSA. So I think it's pretty clear that she a) has some experience with what the Purple Plague is doing here in California, and b) also has an emotional stake in what is going down.

Well, enough got to be enough for Ms. Makuch, and she decided to find herself another gig. But before doing so, she sent off a letter to Our Glorious Maximum Leader, and decided to make it public...

Today is my last day at SEIU. I can't tell you how disappointing it was for me to decide to leave. I have been helping health care workers join our union, first at Local 250/UHW and then at the International, for over 7 years. For the most part it has been a job that inspired me everyday. I have never been so challenged in my life.

Last week, in my last meaningful task at SEIU I spent the week in DC working with members who were in town to talk to their congressional reps about the Free Choice act. It was absolutely the best of what SEIU is and can be. Member leaders articulated both why the union is good and why the current process to get a union is not only undemocratic but gives the power to one or two men who happen to be the boss. What was going on at that conference was in sharp contrast to what you and the other leaders of this union were doing at that same time in California (UHW, et al), keeping corrupt leaders on staff (Rickman Jackson, Annelle Grajeda) but laying off the union's organizers, and most alarmingly interfering in UNITE/HERE's internal struggles. You are not a CEO and unions do not pull hostile takeovers on each other.

The biggest struggle in labor is the tension between organizing on scale with huge employers and remaining democratic and meaningful organizations for our members. These are not either/or's. In fact, many local unions in SEIU have been successful in that quest, including UHW. As you know, I was on staff there for nearly 5 years and of course part of my reaction is emotional, and if you knew the talent you were casting out, yours would be too. More than that, I am appalled that your answer to UHW's critique is to destroy the local. Not only is that a ridiculous reaction, it is also a terrible use of resources. 91,000 workers so far have filed petitions to decertify SEIU. We are spending all of our time meddling in other union's internal politics (CNA, UNITE/HERE), trying to destroy what once was among the most functional local in the country, and we are not planning meaningful organizing in Healthcare. No wonder we are laying off those organizers, we're apparently out of the business of organizing workers.

I know that I am not the only staff member leaving SEIU, whether by choice or by lay off. There is a terrible morale problem here. So many of our staff have put their lives on hold to organize workers into this union, and well they should. But can you imagine living in hotels, going home once or twice a month and having no control over your schedule--for what? To ask the boss to fire UHW stewards? Or to ask nurses to run against their elected leadership? Or, is it to try to decertify some of this country's best union hotels in Las Vegas?

Most of us, the best of us, come to this work to push people into taking power back at their workplace and in their lives. We have done too little of that recently. SEIU will lose many good staff in this period, and the union will suffer for it. I can not say enough how wonderful so many of the SEIU staff are. I have learned so much from working with so many of them. They and our members deserve better than this.

Ultimately, I will put my trust into our members; I urge them to hold their local and national leaders accountable. We all desperately need them to do that.

Audra Makuch
Campaign Coordinator
I suppose it is a good thing that some senior SEIU staff are taking note of what is going out here in Cali, and are making known their objections to it to Brother Stern. It's just regrettable that they have to do that while on their way out the door.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The CHW Redemption, Part Deux

Well folks, it's official.

It looks like The Purple Plague is going to be given at least 2-1/2 years to brainwash, browbeat, and otherwise abuse CHW workers who have expressed their desire to remove themselves from SEIU's yoke.

The NLRB is taking the position (at least for now) that the contract bar would prevent NLRB from imposing an election.

CHW, of course, could request an election, but CHW probably knows a good thing when they see it, and it's pretty clear that Stern and his buddies would take a much more business-friendly and much less confrontational approach than would Sal Rosselli and his acolytes at NUHW.

Since CHW's contract was approved in late October of 2008, under the "contract bar" language of the collective bargaining law, a petition for representation can only be filed "90 to 60 days prior to the expiration of the contract or 90 to 60 days prior to three years after the contract was entered into, whichever is shorter."

Thus, my CHW friends, you're in the Purple Prison until August of 2011.

The Plague is deathly afraid of any kind of vote regarding its representation. Why is that?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Another SEIU Crook Exposed...

Note to the post below - all individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Do keep that in mind...

Those who closely followed the Democratic party nomination process and convention may remember this man. His name is Marshall Clemons, and he is a school custodian in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He is also a member of the Executive Board of SEIU 199.

His story was considered compelling enough that then-senator (and now Vice President) Joseph Biden went out to Cedar Rapids to "job shadow" Mr. Clemons as a part of the 2008 "Walk A Day In My Shoes" campaign. Mr. Biden was sufficiently taken with Mr. Clemons such that he invited Clemons to sit in the Biden family box for the DNC Convention in Denver, and even invited Mr. Clemons to walk a day in HIS shoes - that day being Inauguration day.

During the inauguration festivities, Mr. Clemons (evidently nicely tanned and rested and ready for the festivities) got a chance to hob-nob with some of the SEIU brass, including Anna Burger (in the white) and Our Glorious Maximum Leader himself, who is seen here strangely without his trademark scarf.

Unfortunately, this may have been the high-water mark of Marshall Clemons' popularity, but certainly not the high mark of Mr. Clemons' fame, as he has made the news in Iowa once again - but for very different reasons, as can be seen in the Des Moines Register:

An Iowa school custodian, a labor union activist who was job shadowed by presidential candidate Joseph Biden during the campaign season two years ago, was arrested today after a lobbyist witnessed an apparent purse theft at the Iowa Capitol.

Authorities said Marshall Richard Clemons, 38, of Cedar Rapids, snatched two women’s wallets before he was confronted by a retail lobbyist who witnessed the man reaching into a friend’s bag.

A janitor found one woman’s wallet clogging a toilet in a men’s restroom.

Troopers charged Clemons with two counts of fifth-degree theft, records show.
Video report of the theft courtesy of WHO-TV, Des Moines:

Not surprisingly, SEIU 199 has very little if anything to say on the arrest of one of its Executive Board members.

Once again: all individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Do keep that in mind...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bits and Pieces...

SEIU sues the City of Fresno to get a Zombie UHW ad placed on a city bus. Evidently their lawyers have some spare time on their hands...

Herman Benson punks Andy Stern:
To anyone who has followed recent events in the SEIU with an unprejudiced eye, what obsesses Stern should be obvious: come what may, in one way or another, any stick to beat a foe, he is determined to crush the one inside the SEIU who has been his only effective critic: Sal Rosselli. Stern's road may be paved with good intentions, but he has been thrown off balance by a craving for unchallenged power. But this time, he confronts not a humble leaderless mass of members passively submitting to manipulation but a movement determined to fight to control their own union, a movement which can count upon support from the broad labor-liberal-civil libertarian community.

Workers form unions to defend their rights from arrogant employers. In this case, they are also compelled to defend democracy from an arrogant union leader. A hundred elected leaders of the UHW-W have resigned from the SEIU to found a new health care union, the National United Healthcare Workers or NUHW. Stern has provoked a battle for the hearts of 150,000 healthcare unionists that will be fought out at the job sites and before the National Labor Relations Board and local labor boards for many months, perhaps for years. It is bound to affect more than the fate of 150,000 West Coast workers; it will influence the quality of democracy in the labor movement. For the SEIU, these events are a sign of encroaching moral sickness.
Read the whole thing. Once again Benson is most excellent at laying out the root causes of the Trusteeship.

Jonathan Cutler nicely summarizes the hypocrisy of the UHW Trusteeship:

Employee free choice means nothing if workers cannot dump an inept union. But for more than 50 years, the National Labor Relations Board has used an obscure rule-the so-called contract-bar doctrine-to strictly limit the ability of workers to trade an incumbent union for a more attractive competitor. The NLRB will not consider petitions for a challenge election during the first three years of any contract between an incumbent union and an employer. The board will only hear petitions submitted during an intentionally narrow window-the 60 days before the third anniversary of a contract. The rationale for the policy is unambiguous: When there is a conflict between industrial stability and freedom of employees' choice, stability is the paramount consideration.

But it is not just government that favors stability and unity. Incumbent unions love the security afforded by a government policy that blocks external challengers and thwarts escape by union dissidents.

It is no coincidence, then, that in late February the Service Employees International Union-one of the unions pressing most aggressively for the easy-entry card-check provision of the Employee Free Choice Act-invoked the "no-exit" contract-bar rule in an increasingly fierce battle with activist health care workers from its enormous 150,000-member local in California who want to dump SEIU and join a rival group, the National Union of Healthcare Workers.

More than 50 percent of employees represented by SEIU at Kaiser-Permanente have signed petition cards requesting the switch to the competitor union. But SEIU enthusiasm for petition cards seems not to apply in this instance. SEIU says it will not accept a check of petition cards as evidence of popular support for the National Union of Healthcare Workers. Indeed, it has gone further by asking that the NLRB deny the Kaiser employees' request for a secret ballot challenge election.

Again, read the whole thing...

A New Union is Born...

Disaffected workers, tired of their current union hierarchy, and feeling that they are no longer properly represented by that union, have banded together to secede from that parent union, and have formed their own union - a union which has is composed entirely of workers in a certain sector of that (former) parent union.

The former parent union is now taking measures (via legal means as well as NLRB obstructionism) to keep those disaffected workers in the parent union - even though those disaffected workers have already chosen a name, have already chosen a potential slate of elected leaders, and have already scheduled a founding convention, to be held later this month.

One would assume that I am discussing NUHW, but I'm not. The new union in this case is called Workers United, and they are an offshoot of UNITE/HERE. And which union, do you suppose, is helping to sponsor this new renegade union, even to the point of offering to take the new union under its wing?

Why, it's our very own Purple Plague.

The math - and the irony - are left to the student...

Kaiser Steward Removal Revisited...

Another (now former) UHW Steward, Lisa Tomasian, has penned an article on Daily Kos explaining the events surrounding how she was removed as a steward by the Zombie UHW Kaiser director.
After trusteeship, the first letter I received from Dave Regan and Eliseo Medina stated that there would be no changes to our elected Shop Steward structure. The most recent letter I’ve received, however, said:

“We understand that you no longer share our commitment to build a stronger union and win a strong contract for 2010. Therefore, we have no other recourse than to remove you from your position as an SEIU-UHW Steward."

I found that interesting, to say the least, since neither of them has ever talked about this with me!

In the old days, pre-trusteeship, the only way an elected steward could be removed was through a recall by the members, the same people who elect us and who we're accountable to. Not anymore!

After I was removed from my elected position as a shop steward, more letters went out to other advocates for NUHW. The Trustee’s appointee Greg Maron started assessing shop stewards in Northern California. If shop stewards don't toe the SEIU line or if they say they support NUHW, they receive a letter removing them from their democratically elected positions. Greg has even stepped it up a bit by going to Steward Council meetings and if they don’t agree with him he suspends the meeting until further notice. Greg then follows up with letters removing them as shop stewards.

Interesting in that the letter quoted above has EXACTLY the same verbiage as the letter referenced in my post below, which was received by a different individual in KP. It appears that the nice folks at SEIU have just basically up and decided that everyone who was a steward now needs to be removed, no matter if they violate the established process for doing so, and no matter if Eliseo Medina specifically stated in his January 27th robocall that such actions would not occur.

However, Lisa evidently wasn't willing to just leave it at that...

Dear Greg Maron,

We understand that it is your current misunderstanding that you have the power to "remove" Shop Stewards because we want to join another union, we don't toe the SEIU line, we don't do what you say, we argue with your scab staff you've assigned to our facility, and we don't respect you, the trustees or SEIU's "leadership."

Sadly for you, our members are well educated and empowered to understand that our power comes from the workers, not from some failed attorney who gets to temporarily play "Kaiser Director" while the workers decertify SEIU. They understand that they elected Shop Stewards and that nothing you do or say or write will change that. Ours is a democratic union and of course, your trying to "remove" Shop Stewards because they disagree with you just highlights why 50,000 Kaiser workers will very soon no longer be a part of SEIU's dictatorship.

But the real point of this letter is not the lost cause of trying to educate you on union democracy. The real point is to make sure you understand the impact of our having filed a petition by the majority of Kaiser workers two weeks ago. The impact of that means that SEIU is no longer the union of Kaiser workers and you are no longer the Kaiser Director.

As such, you are hereby notified that you are no longer recognized by the Kaiser workers as the Kaiser Division Director. Further, Ken Krause and Linda Erickson are no longer recognized as union representatives to the workers of Santa Clara Kaiser.


The Kaiser Workers

Lisa Tomasian CRT/ARRT
Kaiser Santa Clara
NUHW Shop Steward

When I say that SEIU has been NUHW's best organizer, the stuff up above is exactly what I am referring to. It seems like SEIU has been going out of its way to offend their (allegedly) wayward brethren in UHW, and seem absolutely bent on conquest going forward rather than cooperation.

Cooperation is not achieved at the point of the gun. It certainly is not achieved by taking all of the old processes which were (by every estimation) beneficial to both the employees and the management - as well as the patients - and tossing those processes in the gutter in favor of SEIU-brand corporate unionism.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

R.I.P., L.M.P.?

One of the main reasons for Kaiser Permanente's success over the past decade has been the Labor-Management Partnership, or LMP.

The LMP was born out of the labor turmoil that hit KP in NorCal and Portland in the late 1980's and SoCal in the mid-1990's. All parties figured out that the conflict between KP management and KP labor was going to end up killing both entities. So, the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions and KP came together to hammer out a national agreement in 1997, which was renewed in 2000, and renewed again in 2005.

The basic premise of the LMP approach is that "labor" and "management" work together in "partnership." Yes, it seems a bit reflexive in its logical approach, but that is what has been helping keep KP's head above water on an operational basis for the last decade-plus, not to mention the consistently improving quality scores despite having some of the lowest costs in the industry.

Now, none of this can be done in a vacuum. For this approach to work, there has to be active support from KP management, and there also has to be active support from the unions. The support from the union side is supported by both the elected stewards and the elected rank-and-file representatives.

And that, my friends, is where things are breaking down right now, courtesy of Zombie UHW and the Purple Plague, who are now busily removing any rank-and-file elected steward that doesn't hue to the SEIU line.

Stewards all around KP are receiving letters like the one below:

In order to avoid receiving one of the above letters, you are required to openly swear fealty to SEIU, and to actively work against the stated interest of your peers if their wish is to leave SEIU and to affiliate with NUHW. You must work alongside Zombie UHW scabs, and you must inform SEIU of any of your colleagues who may be working on the behalf of NUHW.

I might add that the individual who received the above letter has been described by Zombie UHW staffer scabs as having "quit" their positions as steward and contract specialist, even though the letter explicitly states that they were relieved of those duties.

Not surprisingly, the steward system is breaking down all across the KaiPerm system. Steward councils have either been fired or have resigned all across KaiPerm in Northern California.

Without rank-and-file elected stewards, the LMP process simply cannot work. SEIU is well aware of this fact, but they don't care - they think that they know better.

Over a decade of hard work and trust is in jeopardy of being flushed down the toilet so that Our Glorious Maximum Leader could staple Sal Rosselli's scalp to the wall.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Dear SEIU Supporters:

I know some of you are reading this - I check the logs from time to time.

I would very much appreciate it if you would educate me (and any other readers that may happen to pass by here) on exactly why we, who are currently stuck in Zombie UHW, should be content with that fact?

Considering the actions that have been taken thus far by the Zombie UHW trusteeship, why should we willingly remain in SEIU?

I am willing to have any and all SEIU supporters make the SEIU case, so please do so.

But please also keep in mind that, should you do so in the comments, responses will be forthcoming, so be prepared to defend your position.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

SEIU 1021: "Nothing to see here, move along..."

As widely expected, the SEIU 1021 internal investigation regarding James Bryant receiving more in salary for running a charity out of his home than he does as a worker at the SF Municipal Railway has come out with a finding of no wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Bryant.
Service Employees International Union, Local 1021 today issued a written decision following the March 11, 2009 hearing on a complaint filed by SEIU member Harry Baker against SEIU 1021 Political Chair James Bryant.

Baker alleged that Bryant had a conflict of interest because of his position as both SEIU 1021 political chair and President of the San Francisco-based A. Philip Randolph Institute.

A three-member hearing panel unanimously disagreed, noting that Bryant followed established union procedure in making disclosures when appropriate and recusing himself from votes that might have presented the appearance of a conflict of interest.

The panel’s March 16 decision also notes that one of Baker’s most serious claims of financial misdealings was based on Baker’s misreading of documents.

SEIU’s decision follows a months-long investigation into Baker’s complaint, one in which internal union documents and allegations were furnished to the LA Times and made subject of a March 11 article on Baker’s allegations.

SEIU 1021 members hope that the March 16 decision ends this chapter of union history and allows Local 1021 to move forward on behalf of the working men and women of Northern California.
Quelle surprise.

As we recall, here is a picture of Stern-appointed SEIU 1021 President Damitra Davis-Howard (she of the infamous Salsa Team) along with Stern-appointed James Bryant in the center, presenting an award in April of 2008 for "Unionist of the Year" from the A. Philip Randolph Institute to Stern-appointed and since deposed former SEIU 6434 president Tyrone Freeman, on the right.

Something tells me that a little bit more than an internal SEIU investigation is going to be necessary in order to end this particular chapter in 1021's history.

SEIU - Looking Out for the Common Worker?


Savor with me, won't ye, this rich, delicious, heaping helping of irony, courtesy of the WashPost:

The Service Employees International Union, considered the most influential union in the nation, has notified the union that represents about 220 of the SEIU's national field staff members and organizers that it is laying off 75 of the employees.

In return, the workers union, which goes by the somewhat postmodern name of the Union of Union Representatives, has filed charges of unfair labor practices against the SEIU with the National Labor Relations Board. The workers union's leaders say that the SEIU is engaging in the same kind of practices that some businesses use: laying off workers without proper notice, contracting out work to temporary-staffing firms, banning union activities and reclassifying workers to reduce union numbers.

"It's completely hypocritical," said Malcolm Harris, president of the workers union. "This is the union that's been at the forefront of progressive issues, around ensuring that working people and working families are taken care of, but when it comes to the people that work for SEIU, they haven't set the same standards."

Not so, sez The Purple Plague - it's just all part of Our Grand Plan:

SEIU officials say the layoffs are part of a long-running plan to reallocate resources. Its national office will devote more of its resources to lobbying and communications in Washington to take advantage of Democrats' ascendance. Most organizing would be left to local chapters, where officials say they have identified dozens of openings for the laid-off staff.

"This is not a financial issue," said SEIU President Andy Stern. "We need to respond to the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity our members created by helping elect President Obama."

I can't help but to interject some appropriate cinematic clarification here, which will closely approximate what Our Glorious Maximum Leader was trying to impart in the above quote:

Of course, some folks don't think that this is all just a Part of the Purple Plan:
But Stern has more recently emerged as a lightning rod. His coalition, Change to Win, has foundered, as several unions have moved back to the AFL-CIO or are considering doing so. He is also engaged in a costly power struggle with the former elected leaders of one of the SEIU's largest chapters, in Northern California, who were ousted by the SEIU two months ago and are vying with it for the loyalty of the chapter's members.

Harris said his union's understanding is that the layoffs are the result of budget troubles faced by the SEIU, which, on top of the California dispute, spent $80 million during the 2008 election and is planning to spend tens of millions more to advocate on behalf of Obama's health-care plan and card check.

Harris said SEIU leaders have made clear that the laid-off employees will not be guaranteed jobs at local chapters. In the case of organizers who are rehired by local chapters, he said the SEIU national office would still subsidize their salaries and help supervise them, but by classifying them as working for local chapters, they would no longer be covered by Harris's union. Fewer than half of the workers at SEIU chapters are unionized, and Harris's union's contract with SEIU forbids it from trying to help organize SEIU employees in local chapters.
Irony...sweet, dripping Irony...

But wait, there's MORE!
The SEIU's national office has been contracting out more and more work to a staffing agency, Harris said, including advocacy for card check. He said it looks as though SEIU is trying to phase his union out of existence.
Contracting? SEIU is contracting its admin work while laying off staff at the same time? SEIU is contracting advocacy for EFCA?!?

Pardon me while I try to refocus my eyes on that one...

Well, irony so deep and so delicious leaves us with a taste for a chaser of SEIU double-speak, and nobody gives SEIU double-speak better than our very own Baghdad Michelle:
SEIU spokeswoman Michelle Ringuette said the contracting is limited and denied that SEIU is trying to undermine the workers union. "That would be the cynical way of looking at it," she said.
Cynical? US?!? Surely you jest, madame. Especially in light of this revelation from the LaborNerd board:
In addition to the NLRB complaint, it appears that UUR has also filed a complaint with the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission (EEOC), alleging both age and racial discrimination. Apparently the 75 layoffs are mostly middle-managment as opposed to upper managment positions. These occupied positions are laregly by middle aged people of color who suggest that they were passed over for promotions in favor of younger, white employees.
Nope. No cynicism here. Carry on...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

KP is "shocked, shocked..." at the ongoing union conflict...

Probably in light of the NUHW Letter to KaiPerm's CEO, KP has evidently felt it necessary to send an E-mail out to the troops explaining its "official" position in the Great Union Foodfight:

It is very important to note that we have not, and cannot, take sides in this matter, or any disagreement among unions. Under the National Labor Relations Act, our legal and contractual obligation regarding UHW-SEIU remains unchanged. This simply means that Kaiser Permanente is legally required to recognize and bargain with UHW-SEIU until or unless the NLRB determines that it is no longer the exclusive lawful representative of employees in KP bargaining units.

We respect our legal obligations in this matter, and we are acting accordingly. It is our expectation that our employees and the unions involved in this issue will conduct their activities lawfully and appropriately as well.
While it is amusing to think that SEIU actually has the capacity to conduct their activities "lawfully and appropriately," KP is taking what can only charitably be called a 'nuanced' position here.

No doubt Zombie UHW will claim this as a True Victory For Union Democracy or some such twaddle.

Unlike CHW, the KP contract is outside of the contract bar timeline, in that it is due to expire in October of 2010. Zombie UHW has already tried (and failed) to get some extension bargaining going, but I believe that KP wants to figure out exactly whom they will be bargaining with in 2010 prior to actually sitting down across the table from people.

As it is right now, KP has decided not to honor the expressed wishes of a clear majority of its employees to be represented by NUHW, preferring instead to let the legal wheels groan, while admonishing all parties to find some way to get along.


The CHW Redemption

"Put your faith in the Lord; your ass belongs to me. Welcome to SEIU."

It looks like CHW employees are going to be prisoners in SEIU's Hotel California for at least the next three years or so...

A new union attempting to lure workers at Catholic Healthcare West to leave Service Employees International Union and join its fold cannot call for elections because a current contract is in place, according to a Tuesday ruling by the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board.

The National Union of Healthcare Workers, formed Jan. 28, the day after SEIU took control of its aggressive California local, United Healthcare Workers West. Within days, the new union filed petitions calling for new union elections to be held at CHW and other employers.

Joseph Norelli, regional director in the San Francisco office of the NLRB, sent a letter to NUHW executive Tuesday announcing dismissal of the petition for new elections at CHW, parent company to local Mercy hospitals.

A binding contract is in place that covers 14,000 employees at 30 facilities statewide, he states. UHW reached a tentative agreement with CHW on Oct. 12, and union officials announced Oct. 31 it had been ratified by workers.

Final details were discussed following ratification and the union and employer signed a “settlement agreement” Jan. 28, Norelli states in his ruling.

While not surprising, this is definitely somewhat disappointing for NUHW partisans.

Quite frankly, it sucks that workers in the CHW system are going to be stuck in a union that they do not support, and which had to take legal action in order to keep them in the SEIU fold.

It is to be hoped that after the "contract bar" provision timeline runs out (give-or-take in October of 2011), NUHW will be allowed to file a "timely" petition, and will be able to once and for all escape the SEIU Prison.

Here's the elegant part for the Purple Plague, though: One of the first things that they did when they trusteed UHW was to suspend the UHW Constitution and By-Laws. A major feature of those By-Laws was that contracts were subject to ratificaition of the entire membership. With the UHW Constitution now null and void, the rules by which work rules are carried out now revert to the SEIU Constitution, which makes no such provision. SEIU can revise and extend contracts by fiat as long as they have the support of management, and there's nothing the rank-and-file can do except to toss all unions out for one year. Nice.

This is an open challenge to any and all SEIU partisans who may be reading this blog - explain to us all here exactly why anyone should willingly remain in SEIU after all that has gone on in California?

What Part of "NO" Don't You Understand?

As reported here yesterday, NUHW won recognition for 350 workers at four North American Healthcare facilities in Northern California.

Our friends at the Purple Plague could have let this one go, seeing as how there was an absolute majority of workers signing up and asking the employer to recognize NUHW as their bargaining agent.

Alas, that's just not how SEIU rolls...
"This is not a done deal," SEIU spokeswoman Michelle Ringuette said. She said the SEIU on Tuesday filed an unfair labor practices charge with the National Labor Relations Board, accusing North American Healthcare of "illegally recognizing" the National Union of Healthcare Workers.

She said former United Healthcare Workers leaders purposely allowed contracts with employers to expire at North American Healthcare and many other facilities so that if the SEIU took over the local -- as it did in January -- they would be able to make a play for the workers through a new union.

SEIU is now going to go to court in order to try to prove constructive indifference against its former UHW officials - while evidently also trying to duck the fact that SEIU has had "monitors" in place at all UHW facilities since the beginning of the Marshall trial in September, and have been telling everyone far and wide that the only reason people sign on with SEIU is because of the vaunted International bargaining team, and that the locals have little, if anything, to do with it.

But arguing the above sets aside the obvious question: Why does SEIU have to resort to raiding in order to bolster its membership - and why does SEIU have to resort to lawsuits in order to retain its membership?

The Sincerest Form of Flattery...

It appears that PerezStern has himself an imitator, calling himself Perez Roselli. (The site is called xPerezRoselli.blogspot.com - I guess the "x" is punning on Sal Roselli's status as ex-president of UHW).

The imitator has a big, pretty site, with all of 10 (ten) posts in toto since its inception last week. Most of the posts have attached to them pretty pictures of North Coast Redwoods or the wildlife that resides therein, AND ALL OF THE RECENT POSTING ACTIVITY ON THERE IS IN ALL CAPS, TO LEND EXTRA SPECIAL IMPORTANCE TO WHAT THE AUTHOR IS TRYING TO SAY!!!1!1ELEVEN!!!!

Well, there's no accounting for taste, or for literacy. What there is accounting for, though, is absolute rank hypocrisy on the part of SEIU partisans. Take, for instance, Perez Roselli's definition of "scab" -
I would have to imagine that Perez Roselli would have to include Our Glorious Maximum Leader in that rather loose definition of "scab" then...

(Images courtesy of PerezStern)

I wonder if Perez Roselli would care to update his definition of "scab" now...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The First Cracks In The Dam...

North American Healthcare SNF workers are now officially bargaining-unit members of NUHW...
Workers at three Sacramento-area nursing homes and one Pacifica-area nursing home have overwhelmingly chosen the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) as their union. North American Healthcare, Inc., which operates the facilities, has agreed to recognize the union and begin contract negotiations with NUHW’s elected bargaining team. NUHW and North American Healthcare also agreed to continue the terms and conditions of the current collective bargaining agreement while caregivers negotiate a new labor agreement with their employer.

Despite an aggressive effort by SEIU to intimidate workers and deny them a free choice of which union they wanted to represent them, caregivers rejected SEIU and chose NUHW as the representative of North American Healthcare workers.

Workers’ decision was certified by Shirley Campbell, a retired 25-year veteran of the State Mediation and Conciliation Service who has overseen hundreds of union elections for the State of California. The employer and the union agreed on Campbell as a neutral third party to verify that NUHW has support from a majority of workers, demonstrated by signatures on a petition.

“I hereby find that National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) has been designated and selected by a majority as the exclusive representative of the employees,” Campbell wrote in her finding.

While SEIU officials advocate for the Employee Free Choice Act in Washington, D.C., in California they are working to obstruct union elections at more than 350 healthcare facilities and block 91,000 workers from leaving SEIU. They have engaged in a campaign of terror against workers who dared to speak out against SEIU. Several workers have been harassed, intimidated, threatened, and in some cases suspended and even terminated from their jobs because they want SEIU out of their workplace.

“Healthcare workers need a voice in our union so we can stand up for ourselves and for the people who need our care,” said Eloise Reese-Burns, a certified nursing assistant at Cottonwood Healthcare in Woodland for over 39 years. “We asked SEIU over and over to let us vote and determine our own future, and they refused because they wanted to divide us. I’ve been a union steward for 30 years, and now we are in a union that will respect our voices. We’ve made our decision, and if SEIU continues to try to stop our choice, then there should be a law against what SEIU President Andy Stern is trying to do.”

Some in the Labor Community may think this a small step, but it is still a worthy one all the same, because this is the first crack in the SEIU dam. The workers referenced above were SEIU-covered, were taken into bondage by the trusteeship, and have declared their freedom by signing over to NUHW.

And there was not a damn thing that the Purple Plague could do about it.

Word from NUHW to Our Glorious Maximum Leader: Actions Have Consequences. You have sown the wind - now see how it feels to reap the whirlwind.

To my brothers and sisters at the North American Healthcare facilities in Woodland, Sacramento and Pacifica:

WELL DONE! Welcome to NUHW!

"A Defining Moment..."

Courtesy of Amy Thigpen on MyDD:
Moments like this where our gains are all in question, when all that we have worked to create is being threatened, our relationships with bosses, our pensions, even our trust in one another, bring out the best and the worst in us. Our stewards are being "fired" for refusing to let go of their allegiance to their sisters and their brothers, allegiance to their own beliefs. These moments have defining questions wrapped up into them: What we are willing to commit ourselves to? What are we willing to risk? What in us is unwavering? What won't we give up? Where will we put our resources? Yes our money, but also our time and our energy. These moments show us who we are.
Read the rest...

A letter from an SEIU brother to UHW brothers and sisters

A frequent contributor to the Working Life blog, Buck Eichler, has penned an open letter to his UHW brothers and sisters, asking them to think long and hard before casting off the warm embrace of Our Glorious Maximum Leader.

Interestingly, in all the 'net hunting that I have done, his is the only voice that I have found (outside of SEIU-controlled sources or from SEIU-paid flacks) that has suggested that NUHW is anything other than a Good Idea.

He raises some thoughtful points, but a certain lack of perspective on the issue is obvious, in that he is not actually living the crisis, and we are. He seems to be unable to grasp that the actions of the trusteeship so far have not been actions of Union Brotherhood, but actions of Conquest. He wraps up as follows:
My bottom line is this. I just want to ask our UHW brothers and sisters to please be sure you are not succumbing to the intense pressure of this debate or the continuous assault of one version of this story that gradually causes many to accept this version as the unvarnished truth. I would ask you to shake off any prejudice you may have developed due to the constant hammering on these matters, and employ the methods you use whenever you make important life decisions. This decision certainly qualifies as one of those occasions.

None of us want to make such a huge, impactful change, only to find that when the dust has settled we have lost significant ground that we might never regain. I sincerely hope you will take the time to step away from all the hype and carefully weigh these matters before coming to this major decision to divorce your union and “remarry” another. I also strongly encourage you to allow the big picture issues to be a part of your decision, for as we all know, our slogan “stronger together” is far more than just words. As it has often been said, "united we stand, divided we fall."

Is it really necessary to break off from the largest, most successful and politically powerful union in the US today? In my observation, fragmentation is not the right direction at this critical juncture in labor’s struggle, but certainly weakens us all and jeopardizes this golden opportunity to advance unionsim with EFCA.

Of course it’s your decision, but please make it clearly, for yourself and your brothers and sisters, without undue pressure from any side of the debate.
I would be willing to take his open letter at face value, as advice freely given to a group of people in conflict, and leave it as such.

But what he asks us to do - to accept the Trusteeship in order to subsume ourselves toward the Greater Good that is SEIU...

Well, there are some bridges that you just can't cross.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's Quiet...too Quiet...

Not much going on of late except for UNITE/HERE's E-board voting to leave Change To Stern and to rejoin AFL-CIO. Looks like Andy isn't going to get his grimy paws on Amalgamated Bank after all.

Word on the street is that the NLRB will be conducting a hearing some time this week as to whether or not some of the decert petitions - particularly those at KaiPerm - can go forward. Stay tuned.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Modest Proposal...

"Let Us Vote!"

Online progressives need to understand that at the core of the disagreement between the healthcare workers choosing to join NUHW and Andy Stern's SEIU International is a fundamental difference of opinion about exactly the kind of member-driven organizing that California's healthcare workers have just powerfully demonstrated to the world. Andy Stern has a top-down approach to labor organizing. In fact, Andy's top-down philosophy is part of why he felt he could trustee California's UHW, one of the most progressive and successful locals in the nation, without consequence. Undoubtedly, when Stern trusteed UHW and stripped its staff and elected leaders, he did not anticipate this dramatic grassroots response from its members. Stern's choice to trustee SEIU-UHW West was premised on the idea that California's healthcare workers would not choose to rise up, en masse, reject the removal of their elected leaders and advocate for an election to choose a new union.

Clearly, Stern miscalculated. Stern was not only in error in his strategic choice to trustee SEIU-UHW, he was even more gravely mistaken in underestimating the organizing power and determination of California's healthcare workers to choose to build their own democratic, member-led union.

Progressivist buzzwords aside, the author of the above section is spot-on when he states that Nice Scarf severely underestimated the local strength that existed in the former UHW. Stern thought that he could just set up Zombie UHW and everything would continue on peaceably (after a few rough patches were gotten past).

As regards to Our Glorious Maximum Leader, Dr. Cox from Scrubs says it best:

Fresno-area Home Care Workers to SEIU and Zombie UHW: "Get Bent!"

Pictures and Article from Indybay...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Paul Pringle is Running for SEIU Public Enemy #1

As easy as it is to make fun of the Los Angeles Times for its one-sided political coverage, they have themselves a couple of damn good reporters, and one of those reporters, Paul Pringle, has once again hit himself a nice little vein of SEIU-influenced greed and corruption.

Finances of charity run by SEIU official scrutinized
The union officer gets more from the nonprofit, run from his home, than from his full-time San Francisco transit job. He's also paid for use of the home and his son is on the charity payroll.

By Paul Pringle
March 11, 2009

A Bay Area officer of the scandal-clouded Service Employees International Union has collected double salaries, one as a city transit worker and the other from a charity that receives much of its funding from the labor organization and corporate interests, records show.

In addition, the nonprofit paid more than $16,000 in rent for the officer's home in 2007, the most recent year for which the charity's tax return is available, according to his son, who is also on the charity's payroll.

James Bryant, who earned just under $68,000 as a transit station agent in 2007, received about $117,000 that year as president of the San Francisco chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, according to the tax return and the city's Municipal Transportation Agency. He was also paid or reimbursed about $10,000 as an executive board member for SEIU Local 1021, whose political committee he chairs, the union's financial statements show.

The nonprofit's tax-exempt purpose is to promote civil rights, voter education and the interests of black workers. Its biggest contributors include Pacific Gas & Electric and other corporate benefactors that have enlisted it to campaign for or against ballot initiatives dealing with energy and land development.

Nonprofit watchdogs say those relationships raise questions of whether the institute is straying from its charitable mission. The institute's corporate supporters say the nonprofit's campaign work helped preserve funding for social programs and supported the construction of affordable housing.

Bryant, who is in his 50s, is the latest of several SEIU California officers whose financial practices have come under scrutiny. He declined to be interviewed.


In written responses to questions from The Times, Joseph Bryant, 26, said his father's nonprofit position is "considered annual not 'full time,' " and that he earns the second salary by working "evenings, weekends, holidays and whenever appropriate to complete his required duties."

He said the charity's rent payments for the house amount to less than half of his father's monthly mortgage bills and are justified because more than 75% of the home is devoted to the nonprofit. The charity paid $5,000 to use the house in 2006, he said. It has also rented office space at a San Francisco union hall at the same time it was paying rent on the house, he said. He said the payments for the house continued last year.

James Bryant bought the $550,000 home with his wife, Josefina Bryant, an administrative supervisor for the SEIU local, in 2006, according to the San Francisco assessor's office.

Experts in nonprofits say the salaries and house rental payments could be viewed as self-dealing.

"There is just a conflict of interest all over this thing," said Ken Berger, president of Charity Navigator, an online review service. "It looks like something that should be reported to a government entity."

Daniel Borochoff, president of the American Institute of Philanthropy, said Joseph Bryant's job -- the son says his salary last year was $62,000 -- is similarly troubling.

"In effect, it's like putting himself on the payroll," Borochoff said of James Bryant.

A spokesman for the SEIU local, Steve Stallone, said the union is reviewing the internal complaint against James Bryant, but declined to discuss specifics. A union member brought the complaint. "If wrongdoing is found, appropriate action will be taken," Stallone said, adding that penalties could range from a reprimand to expulsion from the union.

Once again, an appointed SEIU official gets caught with his hands apparently in the cookie jar, and SEIU is once again "reviewing the internal complaint" and promising "appropriate action will be taken."

Hmmm...where have we heard things like that before???

By the way, here's a little picture of Mr. Bryant with a couple of friends:

The lady on the left is Damitra Davis-Howard, president of 1021. Mr. Bryant is in the center, presenting an award from the APRI to none other than SEIU 6434's infamous Tyrone Freeman.

Birds of a feather do indeed flock together...

Paul Pringle Strikes Again!

When history looks back at the story of SEIU's systemic corruption, one name is going to loom large, and that name is Paul Pringle, ace reporter of the Los Angeles Times.

Pringle has been white-on-rice on SEIU's corruption, and it appears he's broken another story on yet another Stern appointee having to 'resign' over financial improprieties:

Top SEIU official in California quits three posts

Annelle Grajeda resigns after a probe into whether she played a role in payments to her ex-boyfriend. That inquiry found no wrongdoing. She will take a different job with the union.

By Paul Pringle
10:30 PM PDT, March 10, 2009

The Service Employees International Union's highest-ranking California officer has resigned that position and two other leadership posts in the wake of an internal investigation of payments to her ex-boyfriend, it was announced today.

The SEIU said its inquiry found no wrongdoing by Annelle Grajeda, who was one of six executive vice presidents of the national union as well as the head of its California council and the local that represents Los Angeles County workers.

The union said Grajeda, who could not be reached for comment, had decided to become an assistant to the SEIU's secretary-treasurer in Washington, D.C.

Grajeda had been on leave since August, when the union began examining whether she played a role in payments to Alejandro Stephens, a former president of the Los Angeles local.

The SEIU has said Stephens violated a severance agreement by remaining on the county payroll after he lost his union position. Two local members had filed an internal complaint that suggested Grajeda used her influence to help Stephens continue receiving a government paycheck, something she denied.

One of the members, Ron Tanner, a retired county worker, said he was disappointed that the union didn't bar Grajeda from holding any future office. "I don't particularly care for this," he said. "I'd rather see her banned."

SEIU spokeswoman Michelle Ringuette said the internal probe determined that Grajeda "never stood to benefit" from any money Stephens received. She said Grajeda opted to step down after "sitting and reflecting" on what she wanted to do next.

"We're absolutely supporting her decision," Ringuette said.

When Andy Stern yanked SEIU 347 members out of their union - without a vote of the 347 membership - and placed them into a merged conglomerate union (SEIU 721), who was appointed the president of that new union, again without the vote of the membership? And the answer to that question would be... Annelle Grajeda.

When Andy Stern ran Sal Roselli off of the leadership of the California Labor Council, who replaced him? And the answer to that question would be... Annelle Grajeda.

Evidently Our Glorious Maximum Leader isn't in the habit of doing enough "sitting and reflecting" on the character traits of the people that he elevates into these semi-permanent positions that he keeps creating through his mergers, trusteeships and political machinations.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Andy, Rosin Up Your Bow...

...And Play Your Fiddle Hard!

NUHW is letting fly with lots of internal smack against Nice Scarf and his purple-shirted goons...

(Click on each to expand)

What is an organization like SEIU supposed to do when the little guys stubbornly will not roll over and permit Nice Scarf to do as he wishes?

Just rosin up the bow, and start playing hard. Because Rome, she's a burning...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pick A Side, and Go With It...

You gotta hand it to the Purple Plague - it seems that their proximity to Obama has made them believe that they can say or do anything and nobody will make any kind of attempt to compare it to their past statements.

We all remember all the various flyers and other justifications for the Trusteeship, but they almost all boil down to one concept - There Must Be Unity In Labor!

So what has the Purple Plague decided to do?

Actively intervene in the possible divorce of UNITE/HERE.


Anyone who has been paying attention knows how the Purple Plague reacts whenever anyone in a red NUHW shirt shows up and starts talking to people.

It will be entertaining to see if purple-shirted SEIU scabs start squealing about "Unfair Labor Practices!" if and when loyal UNITE/HERE stewards tell then to get lost.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Holy Crapola, Batman!

So Joe Average KP Worker gets home, and what does he find in the mailbox?

Damn, KP workers better start looking for work because, according to the Zombie UHW, The Sky Is Falling!

Oh, wait. This is coming from the same bunch of folks who are telling the EAA employees down in Los Angeles that "Until L.A. city professionals determine – in a transparent and empowering process – what a new collective bargaining agreement should include, the current contract remains in place." Remember?

Hmm. Better turn the page, yes?

Of course, the Zombie UHW hasn't told us yet who those member leaders will be, what facilities they work at, or what their background is that would allow them to be "member leaders." Oh, by the way, did any of those "member leaders" get elected freely by their peers after Zombie UHW took over? Anyone??? Bueller???

Ah, well, it's pretty clear that the above flyer was pretty much tactical piece designed to scare the unsuspecting KP employee into signing the attached dues check-off authorization. After all, when you're dealing with SEIU, you have to remember that their first, last and only priority is dues...

Yep, thought so.

And just as a bonus, when any employees sign this card and return it in the U.S. Mail, they will have their full name, address, phone numbers, E-mail, work location, and signature out in public view for any potential identity thieves to sweep up.

But wait, there's more - you also agree that your dues may change (in other words, increase) in accordance with the union constitution and bylaws - which Our Glorious Maximum Leader is able to rewrite at his whim courtesy of his hand-picked E-Board. What's not to love?

The bottom line - all SEIU has now to give people is fear. Andy Stern and his minions are, at their core, black-hearted fiends that do not give a tinker's damn about the common worker. Their primary concern revolves around the power that they can exert over that common worker through their access to that worker's paycheck on a monthly basis.

NUHW started from and is operating from the position of giving people hope. NUHW is an essentially optimistic organization, while SEIU is pessimistic. People are voluntarily flocking to the NUHW banner, while people are (sometimes literally) being dragged into SEIU whether they want to or not.

The difference between the two organizations could not be more distinct.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Story of SEIU Local 721

It seems that SEIU Local 721 is attempting a decertification fight aimed at the Engineers and Architects Association (EAA) and its 8000 or so members who are public employees in and around the city of Los Angeles. This is not the first time that 721 has gone after EAA - they tried and failed back in 2002, but are back this time with More Website, in the form of "unitedforla.org". When you go into their site, you can read some very interesting responses to questions that UHW members who are considering joining NUHW would tend to ask...
I'm ready to leave EAA and join SEIU. What's the next step? The next step is to add your name to the growing list of your colleagues who are calling for an election to decertify EAA and recognize SEIU as your official bargaining representative. You do this by signing a card.

What happens to our current MOU and negotiated raises if we leave EAA and join SEIU? Would we still be under same MOU terms or would SEIU negotiate a new contract? Until L.A. city professionals determine – in a transparent and empowering process – what a new collective bargaining agreement should include, the current contract remains in place.

How do L.A. professionals know that SEIU won't make concessions in bargaining? Members’ hands-on involvement in bargaining teams ensures that the final negotiated contract is the best possible, and that no concessions are made. Members ratify the contract – in a real election, not an EAA-style election.

What can SEIU do to prevent and stop EAA harassment during a campaign? All employees have a right to their opinion and free speech concerning the question of union representation. If individuals or groups cross the line by engaging in threatening or abusive conduct at the work place, the City has a duty to ensure a safe work place. If the City fails to perform its duty, SEIU will assess the situation with the affected employees and take any necessary actions such as proceeding up the chain or filing appropriate legal action.

What will SEIU do if an employee believes their Department is violating their rights based on decertification activity? The first step would be to assess the factual situation. This is usually done between the affected employees and the Union staff but legal counsel is available when necessary. SEIU will provide representation during any investigatory interviews or other proceedings if there is a connection between any protected activity and the employer action. SEIU will take actions such as filing an unfair practice claim if the facts support such an action.

Now. Take the above quote, and substitute "NUHW" for "SEIU", and "SEIU-UHW" for "EAA". Does anyone think that the Purple Plague would be anywhere near as supportive of the rights of a majority of UHW members to tell SEIU to go pound sand?

Lawyers, Guns and Money...

Well, folks, it's happened.

Evidently, Nice Scarf is decidedly not happy with getting out-organized throughout the Kaiser and CHW systems by a start-up union consisting of people who are working on a voluntary basis.

So, in true Washington fashion, he has turned to the lawsuit as a means of bludgeoning the UHW membership into line.
The lawsuit alleges the former officers engaged in:

* Theft of UHW property
* Destruction of UHW documents and records
* Extended occupation of UHW buildings
* Misappropriation of UHW proprietary membership e-mail lists and other records used to “raid” UHW members for their new organization and
* A widespread and coordinated campaign of intimidation against employees who chose to stick with UHW after the trusteeship.

“At a time when our members in California are facing a budget crisis and social service cuts that directly threaten the men and women who rely on our members’ care, the former leaders of this local have taken every stop imaginable to set up roadblocks and hurdles,” Dave Regan, another UHW trustee, said in a press statement.
I don't even know where to begin with the above list, except as to say that if that is the best that Nice Scarf's lawyers can do, then their case is absolutely DOA. The only "widespread and coordinated campaign of intimidation" that I know of is being carried out by Perez Stern, and Perez is merely using the actions of SEIU trusteeship scabs to point out what buttholes they really are.

I guess it just pisses Nice Scarf off to no end that the UHW rank-and-file membership is actually making a solid case for getting out of SEIU, and that the only way SEIU now has of holding onto the rank-and-file of its second-largest local is to use lawyers, guns and money to do his dirty work.