Tuesday, November 24, 2009

John Burton: Enemy Of The State

Confirmation from another source that The Plague has decided John Burton is now on Andy's Enemies List due to Burton's support of NUHW in general, and Sal Rosselli in particular...

California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton says one of the state's most politically powerful unions has threatened to cut off funding for the party over his support for a group that has broken away from the labor organization.

The rift could drive a wedge between the party and one of its most generous donors. The state council of the Service Employees International Union has directed $700,000 to the Democratic Party since 2007 and millions more to Democratic candidates and causes.

Burton said SEIU’s California president, Bill Lloyd, made the threat as Burton was set to appear last week at a San Francisco fundraiser for the splinter group, the National Union of Healthcare Workers.

"They threatened me," said the 76-year-old Burton.

The roadside is littered with politicians and union officials who have made such threats to John Burton. He was actually somewhat understated in his public response to this threat...
Burton said that he was championing union workers "when [SEIU's national president] Andy Stern was in college." He hailed the breakaway union's leader, Sal Rosselli, as a lifelong friend and “one of the strongest labor leaders in this state.”
Translation: "I crap bigger than you."

When asked about this threat, SEIU's spokespunkette tried desperately to backfill, and failed miserably...
Mary Gutierrez, a spokeswoman for SEIU’s state council, would neither confirm nor deny any warning from Lloyd to Burton. “Formal discussions haven’t been had with our board," which would have to vote to cut off funding, she said.
Translation: "So, you see, we're not really gonna do it, we've just talked about it, but we really can't do it until we take a vote on it, and we don't know if we're gonna vote on it, so..."

No matter. SEIU can donate to the CA Democratic party, or not donate. Burton knows this is already functionally a one-party state, even if SEIU does not, so there is minimal (if any) leverage to be gained by leaning on him in this manner. This is made even more foolish by the fact that other unions in CA, such as UNITE/HERE, Teamsters, UFW, UTLA, and others, will now be more than happy to increase their per diems in order to make up for SEIU's shortfall.

Just keep scoring them own goals, Andy.

Monday, November 23, 2009

If I Worked For Zombie UHW...

...I'd drink on the job, too.

You can find out more about Oriana Saportas on her LinkedIn page...

Props to SternBurger for catching this one.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Introducing...Sternburger With Fries

Just recently passed along to us is a new entrant in the ongoing BlogWar against SEIU, SternBurger With Fries. They have more lowdown on the "Wrong Number" that the Providence Tarzana workers received when they protested SEIU's hijacking of their vote, and they also have a report on what happens when Zombie UHW brings 45 pizzas to a protest but no protesters show up to eat said pizza.

Enjoy, and a welcome shout-out to SternBurger.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

SEIU's Egg-Cellent Adventure

The folks at Labor Notes were evidently on hand to witness SEIU's pathetic attempt at intimidation at the NUHW forum last night down in Los Angeles. Here's their view on what went down...

To get to a public forum featuring speakers from the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) yesterday, attendees in Los Angeles had to pass a demonstration of a few hundred SEIU staffers and members who had arrived on buses.

The SEIUers chanted, beat on drums, and threw eggs and water bottles in an unsuccessful effort to intimidate people from attending. One attendee said SEIU was only making more enemies. For others it recalled SEIU’s failed attempt to invade the Labor Notes Conference in Dearborn in April 2008.

Nonetheless, NUHW is gaining allies in Southern California. The forum drew 100 union leaders and rank and filers from at least seven unions and a number of community organizations. It was organized to introduce NUHW to a broader audience, share the story of the union’s remarkable breakaway from SEIU and its plans for tremendous growth, and garner both political and financial support for the 10-month-old union.

The forum was held at the headquarters of the Los Angeles Teachers union (UTLA). Josh Pechthalt, UTLA vice president, said he was glad the teachers union had hosted NUHW, despite threats by SEIU that there would be “war” if UTLA hosted the event. SEIU threatened to come after charter school teachers UTLA is trying to organize, according to Pechthalt. UTLA refused to buckle, and the room burst into applause.

Barbara Lewis, a former leader of United Healthcare Workers-West (UHW) before it was trusteed by SEIU and now a leader of NUHW, explained that the old UHW was one of the most successful unions in SEIU by every measure: in organizing new members, achieving among the highest contract standards for health care workers in the country, and building member-run union structures at the worksites.

She said most SEIU locals had failed in these areas, and rather than develop a better plan for achieving success, Stern and his inner circle abandoned building a member-driven union and opted for a top-down, corporate model of unionism.

Michael Torres, a hospital worker and NUHW leader at USC Medical Center, explained how he became disillusioned with SEIU when he and other bargaining committee members learned that top SEIU officials were meeting secretly to work out a new contract behind the backs of the elected bargaining committee.

Many NUHW rank-and-file activists from various hospitals spoke movingly of their fight to get elections set at their facilities so they can get out of SEIU and formally join NUHW.

Strong solidarity between NUHW and the hotel union UNITE HERE was evident at the forum. Many rank-and-file leaders from both unions were in the audience, and Susan Minato, executive vice president of UNITE HERE Local 11, was one of the main speakers. She explained that shortly after the merger of the textile and laundry union UNITE with HERE in 2004, they began seeing then-President Bruce Raynor cutting backroom deals to sell out members.

Minato said Raynor, now an SEIU VP, and Stern have waged a merciless war on UNITE HERE, attempting but largely failing to raid UNITE HERE members all over the country.

NUHW Interim President Sal Rosselli showed a video about what he said were SEIU’s violations of the law in an election between the two unions in Fresno earlier this year.

Home health care workers explained that an SEIU representative came to their doors, took their ballots, and instructed them to mark the SEIU box or face loss of their job and benefits. (Former SEIU staffers are now saying that they systematically violated union election law, taking ballots out of some workers’ mailboxes and even threatening to have them deported if they did not vote for SEIU.)

NUHW has filed charges with the Public Employment Relations Board on these violations, and Rosselli believes the election will be overturned and rerun.

Others in attendance at the forum were from AFSCME, UAW, IATSE, and SEIU Local 721.
It was only a matter of time before the Dearborn charge came out.

Let's see now how the Zombies try to spin this disaster into a Glorious Victory For Union Democracy.

"Wrong Number"

A group of Providence Tarzana EVS workers went to the SEIU/SWU offices in Los Angeles in order to request that their duly cast votes be counted.

SEIU's response: "Uh, I think you have the wrong number."

Pitiful, ain't it? They're treating workers like bill collectors.

First Came The Chicken...

...and then came the eggs. From a SoCal reader:

We now have the answer to the age old question: what came first? the chicken or the egg??

November 16 the chicken appeared at the NUHW fundraiser in SF.
BUT tonight, the EGG appeared at the LA NUHW fundraiser.

As guests were coming in, SEIU-UHW zombies threw EGGS at several guests. The chicken was no where to be seen, but the eggs were flying.

Another brillant move: one of the "guests" who was egged was the vice president of the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), one of the largest unions in Southern California that hosted the event at their union hall.

The zombies were relegated to the side walk down the street from the main entrance to the building, and police tape blocked them from picketing in front of the actual entrance.
They did have blaring lights that they flashed from the distance as people where walking in. If anyone attending the event was "nuetral", seiu's behavior changed all that when several guests walked in shocked at seiu's behavior.
I'm almost depressed at the level to which Zombie UHW has sunk in the last two weeks.

UPDATE @ 5:27 p.m.: Randy Shaw has weighed in on SEIU's egg-o-grams...

The text reads as follows:
One night after withdrawing its support for the California Democratic Party and picketing progressive politicians and labor leaders in San Francisco, SEIU threw eggs at those attending an event honoring NUHW in Los Angeles. Among those hit were the Vice President of the United Teachers of Los Angeles, the union whose support for NUHW led SEIU to threaten to organize teachers in charter schools (not that SEIU has any staff available to implement such a threat). NUHW supporters from UNITE HERE Local 11 were also targets of eggs and water bottles, with reports that one organizer was “roughed up” as they tried to enter the event. Meanwhile, the LA County Federation of Labor rebuffed SEIU’s threats to withdraw its funding -- a threat it has also made in San Francisco and the North Bay -- as each member voted to raise its per capita contribution to make up for SEIU’s withdrawal. Through its tactics, SEIU is unifying the labor movement -- against it.
Just keep winning friends and influencing people, plaguesters.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The New Face of SEIU-UHW

See the poll question to your right regarding whether Zombie UHW now deserves a better nickname.

Considering their reluctance to face an up-or-down vote, I'm thinking that "Chicken UHW" is a much better nickname for UHW.

SEIU's War On Everything...

Well, that's pretty much how it seems of late, if one were to read the latest from BeyondChron's Randy Shaw...
When 2009 began, SEIU was generally recognized as the nation’s most powerful union, and Andy Stern was likely the best-known and most politically prominent U.S. labor leader. Barack Obama’s election appeared to usher in a new era of labor union growth, with SEIU and its Change to Win Labor Federation poised for tremendous gains.

But SEIU chose a different course. A week after Obama’s inauguration it put its third largest local, SEIU-UHW, in trusteeship, spawning a year long fight with its former leadership, who now operate under NUHW.

By April, SEIU had intensified raids against UNITE HERE, creating a bitter war with its once closest union ally. SEIU failed to force UNITE HERE to surrender and affiliate with SEIU, and its raids triggered angry denunciations from fellow labor leaders and the effective demise of Change to Win.

Now, rather than repairing its relations with labor, SEIU is escalating the fight. Its protest last night of longtime allies like John Burton, who has done more for labor and SEIU than any living politician, shows that SEIU is clearly feeling a siege mentality.

SEIU’s decision to withdraw funding from the California Democratic Party in response to Burton’s support for NUHW typifies the union’s self-destructive strategy. SEIU’s state employees depend on Democrats to protect them in Sacramento, so defunding State Party campaigns to elect Democrats is self-defeating. And when I suggested to Burton that he could probably make up the funds by calling the many international labor leaders who have criticized Stern, he replied that he had “already started calling them last week.”

And while SEIU withdraws funding from the Democratic Party and battles the labor movement, the campaign for the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) – once among SEIU’s top priorities – seems forgotten. The Center for Union Facts and other anti-EFCA forces have used SEIU’s blocking of worker elections in California as a prime argument, and even sympathetic politicians are reluctant to wage war on behalf of a divided labor movement.
I personally cannot believe that SEIU is going to try to pick a fight within the CA Democratic party with John Burton. This is a larger-than-life figure for the CA Donks, and he is notorious for holding a grudge against those who, in his perception, have slighted him. Either SEIU thinks they are so large and powerful that the CA Donks will come crawling back, or SEIU's leaders are just so Beltway-centric that they don't know who are the movers and the shakers out here in California.

Myself, I'm betting on the latter, with a pretty good garnish of the former to top it off.

But of course, SEIU pissing off the entire labor movement is old news. Evidently the Purple Plague has found themselves a new and enticing target: Boy Scouts.
In pursuit of an Eagle Scout badge, Kevin Anderson, 17, has toiled for more than 200 hours hours over several weeks to clear a walking path in an east Allentown park.

Little did the do-gooder know that his altruistic act would put him in the cross hairs of the city's largest municipal union.

Nick Balzano, president of the local Service Employees International Union, told Allentown City Council Tuesday that the union is considering filing a grievance against the city for allowing Anderson to clear a 1,000-foot walking and biking path at Kimmets Lock Park.

"We'll be looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails," Balzano told the council.

Balzano said Saturday he isn't targeting Boy Scouts. But given the city's decision in July to lay off 39 SEIU members, Balzano said "there's to be no volunteers." No one except union members may pick up a hoe or shovel, plant a flower or clear a walking path.

"We would hope that the well-intentioned efforts of an Eagle Scout candidate would not be challenged by the union," said Mayor Ed Pawlowski in an e-mail Friday. "This young man is performing a great service to the community. His efforts should be recognized as such."

Balzano said Saturday the union is still looking into the matter and might cut the city a break.

"We are probably going to let this one go," Balzano said .
Oh, that's nice. SEIU "might cut the city a break." How magnanimous of them.

This is a 17-year-old kid who has put in 200 hours of his own time to try to clear a path which has fallen into disrepair, and SEIU can only say they are "probably going to let this one go."

But that's not to miss the full-on threat that the SEIU thug made farther up in the article:
"We'll be looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails," Balzano told the council.
If one of my kids was doing this kind of volunteer work on a public parkway and someone from SEIU publicly proclaimed in a city council meeting that they would be "looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails," that SEIU leader would then very quickly find himself and his thug compatriots looking into the barrel of my deer rifle.

SEIU seriously needs to check itself.

Monday, November 16, 2009

According to Facebook...

Here's a quick report from Facebook by an attendee at the Fund for Union Democracy fundraiser tonight in San Francisco:

Seiu is picketing nuhw fundraiser and one of them is wearing a chicken suit. What's wrong with this pic

Seriously, it's come to this for Zombie UHW?

Well, some of the comments are just brutal...
Nothing at all. They are all a bunch of chicken shit M F's

Such losers the sfpd just made them leave

It is fitting that they are wearing the chicken suit. They are chicken to let the members vote. You know what they say, if the suit fits..

did they mange to get members to show up or was it the guys who stand out in front of home depot looking for work again?

What this says is that seiu is scared. they keep saying that nuhw is not a threat and irrellevant, but they organizing picketing and marching in a chicken suit. if nuhw is not having any success or effect, they wouldnt be out there. be encouraged...
Still, come on: A chicken suit?

What, was the Gorilla suit checked out? Couldn't decide which member of Zombie UHW was going to be the head and which was going to be the butt of the mule suit?

Another outstanding example of our dues money being put to good use, folks.


Anti-Union Group Asks for Investigation of Andy...

The Alliance for Worker Freedom and Americans For Tax Reform have sent a letter to the acting United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, as well as the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the U.S. Senate, requesting an investigation into unregistered lobbying activity conducted by Our Glorious Maximum Leader during his multitudinous visits to Casa Obama after The One took office in January of 2009...
By this letter, we urge you to investigate the activities of Mr. Andy Stern, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), regarding meetings and other lobbying contacts with administration, White House and Congress during 2009. Specifically, it is important to determine whether those and related activities could constitute unregistered “lobbying” by Mr. Stern in violation of the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA), 2 U.S.C. 1601, et seq. In fact, Mr. Stern was a registered lobbyist for SEIU until January of 2007 when he terminated his registration. For the reasons discussed below it appears that Mr. Stern continued to lobby extensively after he terminated his registered status, and in 2009 devoted so much time on lobbying and related activities that he should have re-registered as a lobbyist under LDA.

Failure to file accurate reports or to register under LDA is a violation of the Act, which provides for civil penalties of up to $200,000 and criminal penalties of up to 5 years in prison. Reports must be filed electronically with the Clerk of the House and Secretary of the Senate. Responsibility for enforcement of the Act rests with the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, under 2 U.S.C. 1605. In addition, the Government Accountability Office is required under the LDA to conduct random audits of filers. It does not appear that there has been an audit of the SEIU reports.

Therefore, we urge you to immediately investigate Mr. Stern’s activities, detailed below, to assess whether a violation of the LDA has occurred and if so, what appropriate enforcement actions should be taken.
Now, it's no surprise that Andy was going to be a frequent visitor to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, considering the amount of our union dues that were (IMHO unnecessarily) contributed toward getting The One elected.

However, the law is (at least theoretically) the law, and should apply equally to all citizens no matter their rank or station in life.

With that said, I'm sure that each and every one of Stern's visits to Casa Obama and Capitol Hill were perfectly social in nature, and had no illegal lobbying activity conducted whatsoever. And I'm also sure that Andy will be able to produce oodles of witnesses who would claim just that.

Whether the average reader of this blog agrees with the goals of AWF or ATR or not, I think it appropriate to let everyone know that our dues money is now going to start getting used for a legal defense for Andy Stern because he was either too G-D lazy, or too G-D arrogant, to properly register himself as a lobbyist prior to pestering everyone who would listen about Health Care Reform.

The Enemy Of My Enemy...

Okay, I suppose it's time to let folks know where I stand on this issue.

There have been some concerns raised in the comments and via E-mail, particularly in the SEIU's Game of Risk posting, that some of the links will lead readers to sites that are, to the thought processes of some people, of less than acceptable pedigree when it comes to progressive thinking.

To me, information is information, and as such it should carry no political litmus test.

Whether or not you disagree with the stance that the author of Fresh Juice takes with unions, the plain fact of the matter is that the post to which I linked was immaculately sourced, contained a link to an internal SEIU document that SEIU obviously did not want publicized (supplied by another less-than-progressive website), and quite clearly explained the point better than I could have given the resources and time at my current disposal.

I make no bones about my opposition to SEIU, in all forms that it takes. In my opinion, SEIU has long outlived its usefulness in this society, and needs to be blown up and started over.

But right now, most of the people who carry that frame of mind can be put into two camps - those (like Labor Pains and others) who oppose unions in general, and those (like the NUHW partisans) who oppose SEIU in particular. The bulk of the anti-SEIU newsgathering is being conducted by those in the former camp, primarily because the Lamestream Media is too busy trying to error-check whether or not Sarah Palin really thinks Todd Palin is hawt.

I personally have no problem at all collecting information from ANY source, liberal or conservative or somewhere in between, if that source would serve to document and display the utter and rank hyporcisy, not to mention the borderline criminal activity, coming out of Dupont Circle. I do not apply any kind of progressive (or conservative) litmus test to any links. Rather, I read and judge each link to determine whether or not it is a) cogent; and b) properly sourced, prior to commenting and/or linking to it.

Furthermore, I trust the readers of ¡AA! to be able to make such distinctions, and to keep them in mind, should they choose to follow the links as well.

This fight that we are in cannot be won by using Marquess of Queensbury rules.

To those of you who would wish that I avoid linking to sites that aren't Perfectly Progressive, I regret to inform you that your wish in that regard will go unfulfilled. Because until such time as MSNBC or CNN or The Nation or other similarly "palatable" nationwide sources take off their purple blinders, I have to fight with the weapons to which I have access.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

SEIU's Game Of Risk

With this new front being opened in the SEIU War of the Worlds, I thought it would be helpful to have a handy diagram of just where SEIU is fighting its battles and against whom they fight. Fortunately, the folks at Labor Pains have been able to provide a handy map that quite accurately portrays Andy's order of battle:

(click on the map to enlarge)

Another layout of the current troubles that we all face with Andy's Army can be found at the Fresh Juice blog, which has the following to say:

The National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) has charged the SEIU with intimidating immigrants in a recent Fresno union election. NUHW has been seeking to break away from the undemocratic SEIU. According to the NUHW, SEIU has engaged in violence and worker intimidation. They are not the only victim of SEIU’s plundering. It is no wonder that the SEIU is pushing to eliminate secret ballot elections (designed to prevent this very kind of coercion) by backing Card Check Forced Unionization (the perversely named “Employee Free Choice Act”).

NUHW has been seeking to break away from the undemocratic SEIU’s top-down-control structure. NUHW accuses the SEIU of using scare tactics and violence to keep workers from voting to leave SEIU, and of illegally coercing Bank of America into giving the SEIU an $88 million credit line (despite federal law prohibiting financial ties between employers and unions attempting to organize their employees). Their latest complaint alleges that the SEIU intimidated immigrant workers – coming to their homes several times a day, questioning their legal status, and threatening deportation or loss of wages and benefits if they voted to leave SEIU. “It’s disturbing to watch SEIU eat its own like this,” says NUHW’s attorney.

NUHW is not SEIU’s only victim. Elsewhere, SEIU is besieging breakaway rival UNITE HERE. SEIU has spent millions attacking rivals who accuse it of strong-arm tactics, including coercion, threats, and harassment. Why is SEIU doing this? They are after plunder – “prime Manhattan real estate, considerable cash reserves and a majority stake in Amalgamated Bank in New York, which has more than $4 billion in assets.”

SEIU’s intimidation tactics make clear that they are pushing to eliminate secret ballot elections because it facilitates their piracy. SEIU’s tactics give lie to their recently leaked talking points that claim we need “employee free choice” (election-free union intimidation) because “working families” (code name for unions) are being victimized by “a company-dominated system” that “denies workers a free choice” (secret ballot elections designed to prevent intimidation). Even their fellow unions make it clear that SEIU is an anti-democratic organization that threatens and intimidates working families – the neighborhood bully.

Those "talking points" referred to above are an indication of what pro-EFCA people should say when confronted by opposition to EFCA. Needless to say, what they say on the "yes" side of the ledger, they would typically say "no" to when dealing with NUHW...

I particularly like, in the "yes" column, the entry that says that we need to make sure that "workers can have a free choice to join together in a union without management interference or intimidation." Another good one is their claim that the "company dominated system we have today" is one that "denies the workers a free choice." I'm sure, of course, that SEIU and the Zombies will fully and completely implement those precepts in the upcoming vote at SRMH, right? (/sarc)

One other note to the Plague - if you ever put on a document...


...all you are doing is guaranteeing that it gets external use, and will be distributed as widely as possible - and not in any way that you would like. The 'tubes are like that, ya know?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bombs Away!

Get ready to get your read on, as NUHW has put out the filing that they placed with the CalPERB on Monday, and it brings the goods against Zombie UHW in a BIG way...

The summary goes like this:
Homecare workers and SEIU staff members report that SEIU committed serious violations of election laws during the recent union-representation election by 10,000 homecare workers in Fresno County. The following is a summary of SEIU‟s alleged misconduct during the mail-in, secret-ballot election conducted by a government agency from June 1-15, 2009. This summary recaps evidence recently submitted by NUHW to California‟s Public Employees Relations Board.

1. Ballot Tampering: SEIU staffers violated the integrity of the election process and the principle of “ballot secrecy” by committing the following actions:
a. SEIU staffers handled and filled out voters‟ secret ballots;
b. SEIU staffers “rifled” voters‟ mailboxes and opened envelopes containing voters‟ unmarked secret ballots and election instructions;
c. Rather than allowing voters to mark their secret ballots in privacy, SEIU staffers pressured voters to mark their ballots while SEIU staffers directly observed them;
d. SEIU “established and communicated to campaign staff a policy encouraging the campaign staff not only to obtain possession of ballots from voters, but to actually mark or alter such ballots where the voters had previously voted for NUHW.”
e. In at least one case, SEIU staffers intentionally marked the ballot of an illiterate voter against her direct instructions. SEIU staffers marked the worker‟s ballot to indicate a vote for SEIU even though she asked to vote for NUHW;
f. One homecare worker “reported that a [SEIU] campaign worker not only removed [her] ballot from her mailbox, but then pressured her to mark the „secret‟ ballot in their presence and then left with the ballot, seemingly to ensure that [she] did not have an opportunity to change her mind.”
g. SEIU staffers took completed ballots from voters and said they would mail the ballots. It is unknown what the SEIU staffers did with the ballots during their unsupervised control of the ballots.

2. Threats of Deportation: SEIU staffers threatened immigrant Latino workers with deportation if they did not vote for SEIU.
a. During visits to immigrant workers‟ homes, SEIU staffers threatened to call “Immigration” on these voters unless they voted for SEIU. SEIU officials reportedly instructed SEIU staffers to target immigrant Latino voters for such threats. Additional information, not contained in NUHW‟s recent filing, alleges that SEIU staffers told immigrant Latino workers that SEIU collected information about their identity and immigration status (including their social security numbers), and that SEIU could use such information to trigger an investigation of workers‟ immigration status if they did not vote for SEIU.

3. Threats, Misrepresentations and Intimidation: SEIU staffers used a combination of intentional misrepresentations, threats of reprisal, and voter intimidation to deprive workers of a free choice in the election.
a. SEIU staffers threatened workers that they would suffer the following sorts of reprisals and personal hardship if they voted for NUHW:
i. Their wages would be cut;
ii. They would lose their job;
iii. They would lose their health insurance;
iv. Their client‟s hours of care would be cut, resulting in reduced hours of work for homecare workers.
b. SEIU officials instructed staffers to mislead voters about key facts related to the election (such as voters‟ health insurance) in order to secure votes for SEIU;
c. SEIU staffers used aggressive and intimidating behavior to pressure workers into voting for SEIU:
i. SEIU staffers visited some voters‟ homes five times a day, sometimes banging repeatedly on the homes‟ doors and walls if voters did not answer the door;
ii. SEIU staffers threatened to harass voters by returning to their homes day after day until they voted for SEIU;
iii. SEIU staffers refused to leave voters‟ homes unless voters gave them their marked ballots or allowed SEIU staffers to follow voters to the post office;
iv. In at least two incidents recorded in police reports, SEIU staffers vandalized the homes of voters who supported NUHW.

4. Planning and Coordination of Election Misconduct: The violations described above were not isolated incidents. Instead, SEIU staffers testify that top SEIU officials planned, coordinated and directed the misconduct.
a. In staff meetings, SEIU officials instructed SEIU staffers to carry out illegal actions and advised them how to conceal the violations;
b. In staff meetings, SEIU officials provided verbal and written instructions to carry out threats and misrepresentations regarding voters‟ wages, health insurance and other matters;
c. SEIU officials deliberately cultivated an aggressive atmosphere among SEIU staffers that encouraged staffers to commit violations against voters. On the eve of the election, SEIU Executive Vice President Dave Regan delivered a speech to 1,000 SEIU staffers assembled in the Fresno County fairgrounds. Instead of advising SEIU staffers to honor election rules and to create a civil and respectful tone for the election, Regan urged staffers to “whip their asses,” “drive a stake through their heart,” and “bury them in the ground,” according to a videotape of the speech.

Conclusion: NUHW believes that SEIU‟s actions interfered with employees‟ free choice and violated multiple dimensions of state law:
  • SEIU violated the principle of “ballot secrecy” by opening, handling, marking and altering voters' ballots, among other actions;
  • SEIU used misrepresentations, as well as threats of reprisal and force (such as threatened deportations), to intimidate and coerce voters;
  • SEIU “established and implemented a policy of intimidation and fear designed to deprive the voters of the ability to make a free choice in the election.”
  • SEIU obtained unsupervised access to voters‟ marked ballots.

NUHW has formally requested that PERB find “that the fairness and integrity of the election in question was compromised, and the Board take appropriate action in response thereto, including but not limited to, setting aside the election and ordering a new election.”
While this is a pretty plain recitation of facts that most other folks who have been following the SEIU-NUHW fight already know, the best part of the above executive summary can be found in the exhibits, including sworn statements of Fresno IHSS homecare workers who were intimidated into voting for The Plague, and the statement of the gentleman from the prior post, Carlos Martinez, who provides gruesome detail of what he was asked (one could equitably state 'required') to do during the Fresno IHSS campaign.

The Executive Summary goes for 3 pages, the documentation against Zombie UHW goes for an additional 59 pages.

I feel personally nauseous that my past dues money was utilized to (in some small part) pay for this SEIU Fresno Farce.

Go forth, read, be educated - cuz this one ain't going away.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Echos of Fresno

In an article published today in the Wall Street Journal, we get a taste of what a whistleblower is alleging in filings placed before the California Public Employee Relations Board (CalPERB), and our Purple Pals do not come out of this looking or smelling good...

The NUHW immediately called for a re-run of the election, challenging voting irregularities. The two unions have traded accusations since. But now, Carlos Martinez, an immigrant from El Salvador who was on the SEIU's staff during the campaign, has come forward—so he says—to blow the whistle on his employer. Mr. Martinez went door-to-door canvassing the home-care workers during the 15-day election. Like him, many of them are native Spanish speakers; some are illiterate.

Speaking in an interview over a sandwich at a hotel in the Bay Area late last month, Mr. Martinez says he was instructed by superiors to tell the workers that if they voted against the SEIU, they could lose their medical benefits, see their green cards or citizenship revoked and possibly be deported. He says he and other staffers were also told to pressure voters to spoil ballots that had been filled out for the NUHW. In other instances he filled ballots out for them. He says he even took some to the post office, as did other SEIU campaign workers.

All of these actions, if true, are a violation of state or federal laws governing union elections. In all, he adds, he visited 550 homes. "We scared people. We took the secret ballot away from these people," he says. "It was wrong."

Mr. Martinez says he raised his concerns directly with Mr. Regan and other superiors. He also says he tried to submit a complaint with two state agencies but was ignored. He then repeated these charges under oath before an NUHW lawyer. Six other Fresno workers confirmed parts of his account in affidavits. For example, Adriana Gomez, a home-care worker, said that Mr. Martinez "took my ballot and made a mark for the SEIU team."

The NUHW last week filed a complaint with the Public Employment Relations Board, which has oversight over the workers in Fresno. The filing has been shared with the SEIU, but not released publicly. Describing himself as a medical case manager who is now in graduate school, Mr. Martinez, who says he fears for his safety, says he has gotten no money or other benefits from the NUHW.

I had been wondering why Brave Sir Regan has been so quiet of late. It's his mug that has been pasted all over the Fresno IHSS election fight, and if this turns out as stated in this article, then it is going to be Brave Sir Regan who will have to answer for this.

In any event, one has to wonder why SEIU always feels it necessary to lie, to cheat, to steal, to threaten, and to be otherwise generally unpleasant. They keep showing themselves as an organization that no one in their right mind would want to be part of.

And So It Begins...

Courtesy of Red Revolt, here's the latest "offering" that all of us in Hotel California are being required to pay for.

I am quite amused by the claims of a "proven track record." The only track record that Zombie UHW has proven is one of failure, as can be seen at Alameda Hospital, as well as multiple examples being seen from KaiPerm.

There are also multiple examples which can be seen from the NUHW website, such as this flyer detailing Zombie UHW's acceptance of LESS than what management was on record as offering one short year ago, or this example of two hospitals under the same ownership down in the LA area, and what the (now) NUHW leadership was able to achieve, versus what the Zombie UHW and SEIU team were able to "achieve."

The difference is clear. The only choice Zombie UHW has now is to claim the "track record" - but in doing so, they are trying to claim for themselves the successes won by the NUHW leadership.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Let's Go And Have Us An Election

Or at least so says the NLRB, courtesy of Ashley Furness of the NorthBay Business Journal...
The last-minute scheduling of a union election for about 600 Memorial hospital workers came as a bitter-sweet surprise last Monday morning, even within the context of a high-pitched battle between two Northern California unions.

Three days after a labor official said he did not expect the parties to agree on election terms any time soon, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, Service Employees International Union and the National Union of Healthcare Workers all signed a ballot agreement.

The document was finalized minutes before a hearing on the matter was scheduled. The groups had convened in private for about 45 minutes before the meeting, agreeing to schedule the vote Dec. 17 and 18. It is possible that either union could file an unfair labor practices complaint and further delay the vote.

Three Memorial organizing committee workers who attended the canceled hearing were overjoyed to finally have a vote scheduled but said the weeks until the December election will mean an onslaught of campaigning.

“We were all surprised. I fully expected one of the unions to seek a delay. [SEIU] had delivered all sorts of information suggesting a strategy to litigate unless changes were made to the bargaining unit, which would have posed an enormous time sink to the process,” said Tim Peck, assistant to the regional director of the National Labor Relations Board in San Francisco, where the hearing was meant to take place.

SEIU officials had also said during a North Bay Labor Council meeting Oct. 28 that the election wouldn’t happen until January, but a spokesperson for a group said the statement was based on speculation.

The six-year unionization saga of hundreds of Memorial nursing assistants, respiratory therapists and other health care-related technicians’ has been one fraught with tactics to obstruct the process, but oddly the most recent six months of delays were not the work of an employer but one of the unions.

“If it wasn’t for SEIU, we would have had our election scheduled back in April, and I hope the [election] agreement this morning means they finally got the picture from the community that we are clearly tired of their attempts to delay our vote,” said organizing committee member and eight-year Memorial imaging technician Christine Hoex.

Supporters of the SEIU effort were not available to comment.

In April, it appeared Memorial workers would finally have an election after the labor board approved a petition filed with NUHW. But on the eve of the election, SEIU charged unfair practices by the competing labor group, effectively stalling the vote in time to also get on the ballot.

In September, NLRB officials made an unprecedented decision to move forward with the election without resolving the unfair labor practices charge, but the process was further stalled when SEIU asked that NUHW’s attorney be disqualified. The labor board and a state superior court judge rejected the request.

“We can deal with [SEIU] on the ballot, and we can deal with them knocking on our doors and calling our homes, we just want them to stop delaying the election,” said Memorial oncology care partner Melissa Bosanco, who also attended the Nov. 2 hearing.

On Sept. 29, the North Bay Labor Council, which is not affiliated with either group, sent a letter saying, “Memorial workers have chosen NUHW as their union,” and asked that SEIU stand down from the election. A few days later, 75 Memorial workers delivered a letter to the local SEIU office with a similar request.

The NLRB could not release the exact number of workers that signed either union’s petition, but NUHW was required to garner at least 30 percent of workers to be approved for an election, and SEIU needed “a showing of interest,” or at least one signature.

“This whole case has been highly unusual since the get go,” Mr. Peck said.

“Prior to this, cases like this deal with actions brought on by the employer, but again we’ve never seen this kind of situation where you have one union essentially competing with a break-away union composed entirely of its former officials.”

NUHW was formed by about 150 former leaders of the Northern California branch of SEIU. The stewards, who were elected by workers, resigned from the mega union after they were removed from leadership following a trusteeship of Northern California offices. The takeover was implemented in January following ongoing resistance to structural changes implemented by SEIU national, according to trusteeship hearing documents.

Since the division, NUHW has won three elections in Northern California covering about 400 employees and filed about 360 petitions potentially covering 100,000 workers, according to union officials.

It remains to be seen how SEIU will conduct themselves in this runup. at Red Revolt speculates that this will be "our own little Fresno." However, in my mind the facts and history point more toward the Doctors Hospital example, where SEIU filed to intervene late in the election and ended up getting crushed for their efforts - and then turn around and intervene legally after the votes are submitted (and possibly even preventing the count, as they have already done at Providence Tarzana).

That's not to say we NUHW partisans should not be prepared for some Olde Tyme SEIU Hijincks up Santa Rosa way in the next month or so.

For when dealing with SEIU, it never hurts to think of the worst thing that can happen - and then plan for something even lower than that.

Report on the November 7th Panel Discussion...

Videos and stills along with an excellent synopsis provided by Michael Apiricio of Empire Report.

Go forth and check it out...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

SEIU 1000 Keeps The Pimp Hand Strong...

Those lovable scamps at SEIU 1000 decided to have themselves a meeting the other night. This gentleman, by the name of Ken Hamidi, decided to go, as was his right as a CA state employee.

And here's what he got for his trouble...

This particular incident had news reports done on it from the CBS affiliate for MetroSac, KOVR, as well as from the NBC affiliate, KCRA. Video reports can be seen at both links.

Now, it's not like this guy just walked in off the street and got pounded for his trouble. This individual has a long history of not seeing eye-to-eye with SEIU activities, as can be seen below...

Now I'm sure there's a perfectly innocent reason as to why this individual went to this open meeting - as is his right - and ended up going to the ED after getting tuned up by members of the Purple Plague.



Friday, November 6, 2009

Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Priest

Last week, Msgr. John Brenkle of the Saint Helena Catholic Church penned an op-ed which ran in the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, explaining how he was disappointed in Zombie UHW in general - and Brave Sir Regan and Esquirol Medina in particular, over their continued obstruction and interference in the SRMH unionization fight...

On April 13, a majority of Memorial workers filed a petition with the board seeking union representation with the National Union of Healthcare Workers. Both the union and St. Joseph management have expressed willingness to sit down and negotiate ground rules leading to a fair election agreement.

Yet what should be a time of reconciliation is instead a time of disheartenment, as workers must continue to wait for their day to vote. Sadly, the delay now comes not from management, but by another labor union – the Service Employees International Union – bent on stalling and suppressing workers’ voice. SEIU has been misusing labor law as a means for delaying an election as long as possible and refusing to come to the negotiating table with the other parties.

I am not prepared to take sides in the broader conflict between the unions. I am sure that both parties have made mistakes in their dealings with one another. But as I have written before, the decision about unionization should be in the hands of workers alone. At Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, workers have clearly chosen to cast their lot with the NUHW. SEIU’s continued delay of the workers’ election, and its refusal to agree to ground rules for the election at Memorial, flies in the face of Catholic social teaching and contradicts SEIU’s own national advocacy for exactly the types of agreement it is now trying to thwart.

For the past several years, SEIU has been involved in a national discussion with Catholic hospital systems, the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on organizing in Catholic hospitals. The result, “Respecting the Just Rights of Workers: Guidance and Options for Catholic Healthcare and Unions,” was released earlier this year and lays out a “fair and just organizing model” much like the model the Santa Rosa Diocese endorsed in March 2007. But SEIU refuses to adhere to this model here in Santa Rosa.

For those of us in the faith community who have dedicated our efforts to establishing a new model of union elections that truly protect and respect workers’ rights, this is most discouraging. SEIU’s actions undermine the work of labor, Catholic health care employers, clergy and workers who have endeavored for years to achieve ground rules at St. Joseph and other faith-based health systems. This why I have been joined by many members of the faith community in signing a letter to SEIU Vice President Eliseo Medina calling on him to reconsider the union’s position against fair election ground rules.

Labor unions, like all human enterprises, are imperfect institutions. But this should not distract from the principles of dignity, justice and voice for which they stand. I remain firmly committed to seeing workers at Memorial Hospital have the opportunity to vote on whether they wish to unionize. After five years of organizing, it is high time workers get that chance. SEIU should end its puzzling anti-union campaign of delays and enter into discussions with NUHW and St. Joseph to set ground rules for the union election at Memorial based on the principles we have all worked so hard to achieve.

True to form, Esquirol Medina wrote a letter back to Msgr. Brenkle, with copies to all the other members of the community of faith which had sent a letter to SEIU asking them to withdraw themselves from the SRMH election. And also true to form, Esquirol Medina continued the Zombie UHW position that only Their Way was The One True Path...

We'll transcribe, and then provide commentary, but this one's a beaut...
I want to thank you for your letter of October 23, 2009, and for your longstanding support for the Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital workers in their efforts to achieve a fair union election.

All of us at SEIU are as disappointed as you are by the tragic turn of events that now threatens the hospital workers' opportunity to form a union with SEIU-UHW and joint with 150,000 other healthcare workers in California and more than a million nationwide.

The only tragedy for you, Esquirol Medina, is that a clear majority of the workers at SRMH told you and your cloven-hooved minions to go pound sand.

We cannot in good conscience take any action that would suggest that "NUHW" is a legitimate alternative to the union that for nearly a century has been representing and raising standards for healthcare workers. As you know, the effectiveness of a union comes from the strength and unity of its members - not the words or actions of any individual union officials or staff. We are deeply troubled by the prospect of Santa Rosa hospital workers making a choice based on the promises of individuals with whom they are familiar - without considering that NUHW has no real membership base and its future viability as an organization is questionable at best.
I know not where to start with the above paragraph, except to state that it is absolutely stunning in both its arrogance and in its absolute rejection of reality. First off, it is the PEOPLE of NUHW who have been representing and raising standards, not the people of SEIU. The effectiveness of the union comes from the PEOPLE, and not from the Stern-appointed lackeys who get parachuted in from Dupont Circle every time Our Glorious Maximum Leader needs additional dues money to replenish his scarf collection. The workers at Santa Rosa are making a clear-headed and foresighted decision - and according to Esquirol Medina, this must not stand.

We believe the hospital workers' best interests would have been served had they been able to choose whether to unite with SEIU-UHW through a bilateral agreement with the employer based on the principles issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in June. Those principles, which are the result of a decade-long dialogue between labor, Catholic health systems, and Bishops, were intended to ensure that workers can make a decision without undue influence from either management or union officials. They explicitly were not designed to covern a contest between unions. An attempt to apply the principles to the current situation at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital would jeapordize their integrity and credibility and make it far less likely that they will be honored by other faith-based health systems.
Translation: Come back to Our Way of Thinking, or you'll see trouble elsewhere.

Once again we see the breathtaking arrogance of SEIU on display (speaking in such a lordly manner of the "best interests" of the hospital workers after having abandoned them), but Medina also, in this paragraph, admits that NUHW is, indeed, a rival union, even though he claimed that was not the case in the prior paragraph. Pick one and go with it, Esquirol...

In our view, the only solution would be for "NUHW" to step aside and allow the Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital workers to make a free choice about forming a union with SEIU-UHW.

Oh. My. Freekin'. Gawd. I realize this guy knows he's going to get beat, but does he really think that NUHW is going to step aside after having achieved absolute majority on the signup petition? I know the Purple Kool-Aid is strong, but somebody needs to cut this guy off before he goes and writes another letter.

Although we may not see eye to eye, we hope you recognize that we are trying to do what's right - not only for the Santa Rosa workers but for all of the healthcare workers in California and throughout the nation who have built a strong union and who need to stay united and strong so they can keep making forward progress instead of going backwards.

If you would like to discuss these concerns further, please don't hesitate to let me know.
The last line of togetherness and commonality of purpose before...

cc: Cardinal Theodore McCarrick
Bishop William F. Murphy
Bishop Daniel Walsh
For those who are wondering, Cardinal Thodore McCarrick is the bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and arguably the second most powerful man in the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. Bishop William F. Murphy is the Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Maryland, and works for Cardinal McCarrick. Bishop Daniel Walsh is the current Bishop of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, California, and his prelate oversees the Saint Helena Catholic Church parish.

So it seems that Esquirol Medina has decided to report the Good Monsignor to his bosses for the mere fact of publishing an op-ed in a newspaper that runs counter to Esquirol Medina's dream of power.

Can't you just feel the union togetherness coming from Zombie UHW?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

SRMH: Three Letters, No Doubt...

Last month, Randy Shaw wrote a column describing SEIU's attitude toward ground rules for the upcoming representation election at Santa Rosa Memorial. In that article was this paragraph:

As I have previously described, SEIU believes it has a moral right to defeat NUHW at any cost, even if, as in Santa Rosa, it means denying workers the right to union representation. SEIU-UHW trustee Eliseo Medina stated in a September 25 letter to St. Joseph’s and NUHW obtained by Beyond Chron that NUHW’s claim to be a labor organization was “wishful thinking,” and that “it does not serve the interests of the workers” to have any involvement with NUHW.

I had been hunting high and low for that particular letter on the 'tubes, and true to form that North Bay Badass, Red Revolt's Keyser Soze, has come up with the goods.

First, let's look at the initial offering from NUHW:

Very measured and neutral, yes?

Now, let's take a peek at SRMH's offering:

SRMH is "open and willing to meet with both unions and discuss mutually agreeable ground rules..."

Of course, that requires mutual agreement - and that takes us to what Esquirol Medina has to say about things:

Nice work there, Esquirol Medina. I especially enjoyed this paragraph:

We'll see how you feel about that "third party" after it kicks your sorry ass to the curb in December.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hurry Up And Wait

Much is being said about the NLRB's decision rendered today to schedule an election for the representation petition at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, to be conducted on December 17th.

While I am happy for the workers that they are going to (finally) be able to render their choice as to who will collectively represent them before management, one question needs to be asked:

Six weeks?

No, let me rephrase...


Make no mistake - six weeks could seem like an eternity for the SRMH workers who have fought so valiantly since March to get themselves to the point that they can actually choose to engage themselves with a union of their choosing. These next six weeks are going to suck for some people, because Zombie UHW is going to try to (quite possibly literally) beat people senseless with its noise machine. Some examples of the SEIU noise machine can be seen over at Keyser's place.

This is an election that could, and should, take place within the next two weeks. That the NLRB decided to give Zombie UHW another extra month beyond that to try to coerce, intimidate, misinform, and otherwise BS people into voting their way just shows how far into SEIU's corner the NLRB is.

I take pleasure in the fact that an election is now finally going to occur. I just regret that it is being delayed for no good reason other than to give the Zombies additional time to muddy the waters.

To my brothers and sisters at SRMH: Stay strong, stay united, stay focused. This is the big one. This is going to be the first major hospital-wide contest between NUHW and Zombie UHW, so make this one count.

And let me know if y'all need any earplugs or sunglasses to divert from the Zombie noise machine.