As many people know, the UHW trustee's started forcibly removing union stewards from Orange County since the beginning of March. Eight and counting.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.
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.
Friday, March 27, 2009
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...