(image courtesy of the NUHW Photostream on Flickr)
Next on the stage was Sal Rosselli, who laid out the basic plan of business for the day. But prior to doing so, he laid out again some of the particulars against SEIU, illustrating how in the time span of roughly three months, UHW has morphed from one of the fastest growing locals in all of labor to a pro-management embarassment, from one of the most powerful union locals in Sacramento to looking like a joke in Sacramento, and in that three month span has turned into an organizations whose members are now afraid - of both management AND the "representatives" of the international union. He reminded those in attendance that we (NUHW) are the heart and soul of what UHW once was, and that we are now engaged in what can be described as the civil rights movement of our time - fighting for just the opportunity to vote on which labor organization in which to belong, rather than having that decision made for us back in DC by Andy Stern and his pro-management buddies.
It was then time to get down to the business part of the day as presented by Jorge Rodriguez, former EVP of UHW, and former President of Local 399 prior to the merger that formed UHW. He started first with a description of the interim NUHW constitution, in that this was a document that was not in final form, and was largely based on the prior C&B document that came out of the 399-250 merger, with all references to SEIU struck. Language has been set forth that establishes, by constitution, that NUHW is not to be subordinate to any other organization. The intent of the document is largely to pick up where the old union left off, with some details set forth specifically so that there is no misunderstanding in the future - to wit:
- The ability to elect and recall officers and stewards;
- The requirement for periodic meetings;
- The requirement for training of staff and stewards;
- Lower monthly dues - with the calculation of dues written into the document;
- No initiation fee;
- A guarantee of election of members of the bargaining committee;
- Nomination for election only requires 25 signatures;
- Addition of chapters and divisions for the public sector.
It was at this time that a slate of temporary officers was proposed to the quorum. This list was largely composed of the officers who were in office and were deposed when SEIU executed the trusteeship back in January, and who have remained loyal to their employees (instead of pledging their loyalty to Stern). This list of officers was immediately moved, seconded, and approved by voice vote with one semi-joking "nay!"
With the dry business part of the day complete, it was time to get back to some good, old-fashioned SEIU-bashing, and while Sal was entirely capable of doing so on his own at great length, he instead called on people who have been actually living the SEIU nightmare.
We'll get into that a bit more in Part Three...