5. Threatening California's Progressives. Pretty soon after rolling in from DC, it became clear to Dave Regan et al. that California's labor and political leadership was not prepared to be SEIU's lapdog. Well, that did NOT sit well with SEIU who made these (among other) threats this year: threatening to leave the SF Labor Council over UNITE HERE Pres. Mike Casey's support of NUHW (b/t/w, SEIU also threated to leave 3 other labor councils, too); threatening to organize teachers at charter schools if NUHW held a fundraiser at the United Teachers of Los Angeles union hall (SEIU can't and won't raid the UTLA's jurisdiction: no staff, no will, no plan); threatening to cut off funding to the California Democratic Party because Party Chair John Burton was one of the sponsors of a NUHW fundraising event - this, even though hundreds of thousands of California's public-sector workers are members of SEIU and the Democratic Party controls both houses of the state legislature (not done yet, and probably an empty threat.)
4. Attacking Unite/Here. Not only is SEIU losing on every front of their "war" with Unite/Here (legally, politically, financially and with the workers) but now everyone in the whole labor movement hates SEIU! Oops! John Wilhelm called it "real widespread revulsion" at SEIU's approach to other unions. Andy, save everyone the trouble and pass out the Fund for Union Democracy donation envelopes everywhere you go, k?
3. Calling Academics "Not really High Value Targets." Potentially the most hilarious blooper of '09. The labor academics of the US sent SEIU a letter expressing concern about the SEIU v Unite/Here fight. SEIU sent a bunch of emails around internally basically saying: we should email these people, and by the way aren't they all such a bunch of out of touch losers? And then attached those internal emails to the SEIU? Tasty can't do it any more justice than Perez Stern did!
2. Removal of 90% of UHW Stewards. Human Nature, SEIU. You know what people don't like? When you say: Hey elect people to represent you. And then when they do, you say: Nope, not them. And then effectively fire them.
and Drumroll, please...
1. Underestimating the members of SEIU-UHW. Without a doubt the number one error SEIU has, is and will make is underestimating the resolve of UHW health care workers.
They thought we were confused when we signed those decertification petitons. They thought we would buckle under SEIU's lawsuits, ULPs, election delays, threats, elimination of our stewards, smear campaign and countless misleading emails, phone calls, flyers and mailers. They were wrong. Each day the majority of us are more and more sure that NUHW is our future and we are ready to leave those Zombies in the past.
And so, to all of you out there, Happy 2010. May this be the year that California's health care workers take back the power over their union.