Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dear Sam...

Dear Sam:

I have just seen a copy of your letter to the Sacramento Kaiser personnel regarding your attempt to reconstruct a steward council.

What you evidently do not know, or just refuse to understand, is that each and every member of the former Sacramento steward council was elected by their peers.

The reason that the peer-elected stewards resigned en masse is that they do not support Your Union, primarily because Your Union has decided to collectively turn the UHW membership into serfs with absolutely no rights under any constitutional framework.

Yes, that's right, I said "Your Union." And to paraphrase your letter to the SAC folks, if that enrages you, too damn bad.

You see, Sam, you came in here with absolutely no clue about the history of UHW, nor any clue of what made UHW work, or why UHW was so damn successful prior to your misbegotten Trusteeship.

One of the core reasons for the success of UHW was an implicit knowledge amongst the rank-and-file members that they had a voice in what is going on in the workplace. One of the primary ways the rank-and-file members express that voice is in direct elections of their stewards. And once those stewards were elected, they had free reign to represent their peers in any manner they saw fit, whether it was in line with UHW thinking or not. They were not silenced for expressing a different opinion. They were not fired because they did not toe the SEIU line.

Your pitiful appeal to the Sacramento membership for stewards to come out of the woodwork and support your Tinpot Trusteeship will only guarantee one thing, that being that those who become stewards at Sacramento will bear the imprimatur so many people placed upon the departed 43rd President of the United States: "Selected, Not Elected."

And as we all saw with the departed 43rd POTUS, it is very tough to maintain any sort of moral leadership when a large chunk of the people he or she is supposed to represent does not have any faith in the process by which he or she rose to that position.

Right, wrong or indifferent, SEIU no longer enjoys the support of a majority of UHW-covered workers. You celebrate the recent NLRB decision, but numbers don't lie: There are about 48,000 UHW-covered workers, and 28,000 (55%) of them signed the petition to get out of SEIU. Simple human nature suggests that a rather large chunk of the remaining 20,000 is pretty evenly split between those who wish to stay in SEIU, and those who do not give a rip either way. If a free and fair election is staged, SEIU would probably lose to the tune of 65% to 35%. Fortunately for you, that election was called off due to a legal technicality.

You also need to realize that if EFCA was the law right now, you would be out of a job, because SEIU would have long since been kicked to the street.

You right now are Sacramento's "face" of SEIU, and judging by the content of that letter you wrote, you seem to fit right in with the SEIU mindset. Put quite bluntly, Sam, you have forgotten (or as I suspect, you never have learned) that YOU in SEIU exist to serve US in the rank-and-file, and not the other way around.

You might think that you and Your Union won a great victory last week at the NLRB, but all you managed to do was to put off the inevitable.

Good luck trying to cobble together a "steward council" there at Sacramento - 'cuz you're gonna need it.

And if you want some proper education about Your Union, log onto "¡Adios, Andy!" and get yourself educated about the issues surrounding the Trusteeship - because again, judging from that letter you sent out, you desperately need it.




  1. I am worried for you. You're kind of losing here. Maybe not the best use of your time if your real interest is workers, but that has to be your call.

  2. Dear "Anonymous" - Don't worry about me, I'll be fine.

    Worry instead for thousands of my coworkers throughout Zombie UHW who are not being given the basic choice of which organization they want to represent them in labor negotiations.

    Worry instead about Andy Stern and his political power subverting the labor negotiation process and forcing workers into substandard contracts without a final up-or-down vote on the matter.

    And while you're at it, worry also about all the people who surround SEIU, who are being sold a pack of lies about how wonderful it is when you join SEIU, and who are not being told that membership in SEIU requires that you subordinate your soul, your brain, your efforts, and your dreams to the "vision" of Andy Stern.

    My interest for the workers boils down to one thing: Give us a voice. Let US decide who we want to represent us at the bargaining table.

    Unfortunately for Andy, that is the one choice that he cannot allow, because given a clear and unimpeded up-or-down vote, he's gonna lose around here big-time.


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