Monday, August 10, 2009


Kramerica has officially taken over negotiations at SEIU.

One of the great triumphs of the prior leadership of UHW was the elimination in the 2005 contract of the old multi-tier wage scale (one scale for the Bay Area, another scale for Central Valley, third scale for Fresno) that was the casus belli of the strike in 1986.

Now, in what is described by the SEIU folks as "a great victory," the most recent salary proposal for the Securitas security guards has not one level, not two levels, not even three or four levels, but FIVE levels of hourly wage depending on location:

But wait, as they say, it gets better:

TWO days of paid sick time per year?!? No family coverage for three years?

And for that the guards are being asked to pay 2.3% of their gross salary in dues?!?

Sweet. Weeping. Jaysus...

About the only thing more appalling than the details of this contract is the fact that the guards voted for it. The guards (with the assistance of UHW rank-and-file and former UHW management) moved overwhelmingly to unionize up to three years ago but Kaiser's contractor at the time, Inter-Con, is a notoriously anti-union outfit, and they were replaced in the past year with Securitas. The new guards brought in by Securitas did not know the history of what has been happening, and SEIU and KaiPerm took advantage of that fact to lock the guards into a criminally substandard contract that pegs the guards at a salary-and-benefits level that is somewhere between half and three-quarters that of the "Custodian/Watchman" description in the current UHW contract.

The cruel irony is that, for most of the guards, the raise will barely pencil out when compared to the extravagant union dues that they will have to absorb (from none currently to 2.3% of gross salary) in order to get that raise.

Kaiser should be ashamed of themselves for allowing the guards to be mistreated in this way, especially in light of its most recent announcement about improvements in the gross margin as well as the bottom line in the second quarter of 2009, despite a decline in enrollment.

On the other hand, SEIU collectively should be sued by the Securitas guards for malfeasance for their performance on this contract.

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