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.

1 comment:

  1. Dave Regan and SEIU have shown the world that it has engaged in the most anti-union strategy against California's home healthcare workers by severely restricting workers' ability to vote for a union of their choice. These despicable and illegal actions by SEIU should cause the Obama administration to rethink its partnership with Andy Stern if it is to retain its acceptability with the labor movement.

    SEIU can only become a larger albatross around the coalition of progressives and labor who helped elect the president and the Democratic majority in congress. If the Obama administration does not distance itself from the corrupt SEIU it is going to have an up-hill battle with the very people who voted them into office.


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