Sunday, March 28, 2010

Local 99 Staffer says: Recession be damned, I am outta here!

Check out this email from Linda Sin, former SEIU Local 99 Database Administrator and Field Administrative Assistant for the External Organizing Department.

She resigned from Local 99 because of numerous issues internally that she details in her email. Check this out, and see Facebook groups asking Bill Lloyd and Neneki Lee to "Reinstate Cristina Hernandez Now!"

And here Tasty thought Bill (the Trustee Andy Stern appointed) and Neneki (External Organizing Director) were supposed to clean up and improve Local 99 after all of the corruption! Doesn't seem like the staff are buying it...



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Linda Sin
Date: Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 11:08 AM
Subject: Fwd: Resignation
To:


As many of you may already know, I submitted my resignation on Thursday, February 11. After working alongside you all for quite some time, I apologize for not giving some of you proper farewells.


But if the recent actions taken by the leadership of SEIU Local 99 are any indication of what's in store for the future of the organization, I wanted no part in it. While there are a number of issues, I'd like to highlight a few:

  • When two female coworkers had to fight for maternity/paternity leave benefits during their pregnancies and I saw the stress they were both put under, I was angered and embarrassed to be working for such a hypocritical organization. To attempt to deny them the same benefits that had already been given to male employees in the past was discriminatory and made absolutely no sense.
  • When our proposal to add steps based on seniority in our wage scales and to make sure that no one at Local 99 made less than $30k a year was denied during bargaining, I was flabbergasted. There was no rationality involved in the decision to reject our proposal, as our proposal would have cost Local 99 less than their across-the-board increases and $1000 bonuses. After being promised the year before that these steps would be added to the staff union contract in 2009, the flat-out denial made me think that SEIU Local 99 is no better than some of the worst employers we come across. Unfortunately, this notion became reality time and time again, as Local 99 proved themselves to be just as terrible as some of the worst anti-union employers out there.
  • When the entire External Organizing team was assigned to work on the UHW mess, we assumed it was partially in response to the petition staff had submitted requesting that Local 99 remain neutral in the mess or because of the embarrassment faced by Bill when perezstern.blogspot.com featured Local 99 in a blog entry. Despite the varying opinions of staff on the UHW-NUHW mess, when it comes down to it, wasting so much money/resources on the UHW vs. NUHW fight and to not properly inform our members of where their dues money was being spent was just plain wrong. Additionally, when it became apparent that our work at UHW evolved around the strategy of blocking elections with the NLRB and denying workers the right to vote for as long as possible, it became even more unsettling.
  • When the LAUSD Community Representatives' first contract was settled without the bargaining team present, I also started to question the work we do. As a member of the External Organizing team, how could I assist in bringing in more members when these sell-out deals are the result? Are these members really better off with SEIU? With all the rhetoric we use about unions providing a voice in the workplace, is that really what you call “having a voice”?

For me, the final straw was the unjust termination of Cristina Hernandez on February 3, 2010. I am utterly disgusted by the actions of those responsible and I often wonder how they can sleep at night without feeling any guilt/remorse. They couldn't even show up to the February 3rd meeting! If it’s true that Diana Hong will be leaving Local 721 for Local 99 and that Neneki Lee will be taking over Bill Lloyd's position once he retires, I wish you all the best of luck. In the time that I worked at Local 99, I've worked alongside many organizers and Cristina was by far one of the hardest working and intelligent people I've met. To have terminated her and not give her any explanation whatsoever was beyond me. The actions taken against Cristina (termination without just cause and using an inaccurate interpretation of the staff union contract to claim she was on probation) were way beyond my comprehension of what a labor union should stand for.


And now, Local 99 has rejected FIVE TIMES CWA's requests to meet to discuss the grievances that have been filed. Since there has been no response to requests to meet, CWA has filed for arbitration. On Thursday, Bill Lloyd told CWA that he was done with this issue and that we need to compel him to go to arbitration (by taking the case to Superior Court). He didn't agree with the grievances, he denied the grievances, and he's not willing to go to arbitration. His blatant disregard of the grievance process as a "union leader" is disgusting.


While the fight to reinstate Cristina continues, my time at Local 99 is over. I never thought I would leave the way I did - without saying goodbye to you all. I really do miss working alongside some of you, laughing and chatting with you all over lunch/karaoke, getting through our stressful days together, and learning from you. Words can't express the appreciation I feel. Thanks to those of you who dedicated yourselves, motivated others, and made working at Local 99 an enjoyable experience.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Linda Sin <Lsin@seiu99.org>
Date: Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 11:15 AM
Subject: Resignation
To: Neneki Lee , "Bill A. Lloyd"
Cc: Alicia Loncar , Beng Panado


This letter serves as notification that effective today, I will no longer be working with SEIU Local 99.

My time here has been quite an experience. I’ve worked with some amazing people (many of whom are no longer at Local 99) and I’ve learned a lot about the labor movement. The late nights I’ve spent working on various projects and campaigns were a result of my belief that working people deserve basic rights in the workplace and that we do make a difference with every new unit that we organize.

Unfortunately, at this time, I no longer believe that Local 99 has the best interest of its members in mind. I can no longer work for an organization that supposedly stands for quality jobs and rights in the workplace, and then goes and commits the same (if not worse) travesties that we fight against in our members’ workplaces.

I genuinely hope that Local 99 does not completely lose sight of what the organization stands for. A large part of that is remembering that the hard-working staff is also deserving of basic considerations in its day-to-day operations. We have all made personal sacrifices to ensure that the job we do is done well and in many cases, this sacrifice goes unnoticed or is punished.

I will make arrangements to have all the equipment I have in my possession dropped off at the office before the week is over. Attached is the exit questionnaire that has been required of those who have resigned in the past. If there are any other areas that I have missed, please email me at xxxx@xxx.com.

Linda Sin

Thursday, March 25, 2010

CLASSIC! Neneki keeps it real.


Check out SEIU glamor girl (and wife of Laphonza Butler) Nenicki Lee's Facebook status today:

Neneki Lee My nephew just got into Howard University & Laphonza is being installed as the President of ULTCW! it's a good day.

Installed, indeed. For those of you who don't know, ULTCW stands for SEIU Local 6434, United Long Term Care Workers--you know the local that used to be headed by Mr. Unmentionable, Tyrone Freeman, who was himself "installed" as President a few years back. And didn't that work out well?

SEIU hands over UHW's members' jobs and time to Sutter?! As VP Biden would say: This is a big F*cking Deal.

Four years ago UHW was a Zombie free organization where hospital workers in Northern California had won a big strike against Sutter Health at the company's 1,000-bed California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) in San Francisco. This set a pattern where Sutter workers made huge gains in their contracts.

During that time, CPMC bought St. Luke's Hospital in San Francisco's Mission District - the only hospital in that area, an area where many SEIU members live. And then Sutter tried to close it - a huge loss for the UHW members who would lose their jobs and for the working class community of the Mission.

And so, of course, community groups, workers and UHW leaders stood up and spoke out against this closure. With hard work, and tough words, St. Luke's was saved.

And then SEIU's trustees siezed control of UHW. And now, after all of that hard work, and nearly 90 days on the picket line, what have they done in their agreement with Sutter?

They've agreed to support the company's closure of St. Lukes against the desire of the other unions and community groups. As Beyond Chron's Randy Shaw puts it:

"Or to put it more bluntly, while the California Nurses Association and virtually every health care advocacy group is fighting to save St. Luke’s Hospital and force Sutter to sign an enforceable agreement protecting the community, SEIU-UHW has already sided with the employer."

The icing: "The Side Letter even authorized Sutter to assign SEIU-UHW workers to spend work hours building support for the project."

So now, SEIU's trustees are having UHW members lobby on behalf of San Francisco's largest and most profitable hospital corporation to eliminate critical health services for low-income residents as well as hundreds of jobs of their fellow union members?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

SEIU's Mixed Messages...

Over the weekend, UHW Chief of Staff Greg Pullman's responded to this email from a UHW staffer, calling the original email a "complete misrepresentation" of what the zombie propaganda team has been saying. In fact, according to Pullman, the zombies "have always been open and clear" about the fact that funds in question were openly transferred with the unanimous approval of the executive board to pay specific, documented expenses that were incurred prior to the trusteeship.

Which begs the question: Why then does UHW have this video of their Chicken Picket up on their site? Check out members voices at 2:14 or 2:43. Those members are clearly stating that they believe that former UHW leaders STOLE THEIR STRIKE FUND.

If SEIU has always been so clear about it, who misled those members? And who made the video and put it on SEIU's site? And who told the mystery staffer from the email that the money was missing?

Tasty is calling bullshit on Pullman's memo, and on SEIU's whole message.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mystery Staffer Points out Zombie Hypocrisy

just got this in my email....

_______________________________

todbr649@gmail.com
dateFri, Mar 19, 2010 at 5:49 PM
subjectHonesty







Brothers and sisters,

A few weeks ago at an all staff meeting we made a commitment to a set of common principles and values for UHW, including Honesty and Accountability. That’s why I have to start this email with an apology for writing anonymously. I’m sorry that I’m not being more open about my identity, but as you will see from what I have to say I’m afraid this organization, and our leaders in particular, are not ready for real honesty yet.

Two days ago I read something that troubled me. It was an article about the trial next week against NUHW, and it said that the charge that Sal Rosselli and the others stole $3 million from the strike fund was not true—but that is not what bothered me (because different writers have different opinions). No, what bothered me was the fact that the article said that the allegation about the $3 million is not even mentioned in the lawsuit against NUHW. You read that right: SEIU didn’t even put that allegation into the lawsuit.

Let me ask you: why do you think they didn’t include that charge?

I asked myself that question, and I started investigating, and guess what I found: the $3 million never left the union, it was transferred from the strike fund to the general fund. And it was done openly, the E-board approved it unanimously (see attachment). We know where it is, there’s not a single cent missing.

Like many of you, I was told on numerous occasions that NUHW leaders had “stolen $3 million from the strike fund.” I believed these charges to be true, and I repeated them, like it was a fact, to many members. It was one of the things that I reminded myself about when I sometimes doubted what we were doing here with the trusteeship. I even carried a picket sign around San Francisco that said it. (There is even a video that is up on our website still to this day that has a member saying, “They took our strike fund; we don’t know where it went, or what happened to it.”)

At that all staff meeting where we came up with the new values for UHW there was a small group breakout discussion about these values, and in my group we talked about how “honesty and accountability” were the foundation of the kind of union we wanted to be a part of. Let me say again, I’m sorry I don’t have the courage to sign my name, but I have to say Dave Regan and the leaders of this local made me a much bigger liar already for repeating that $3 million slander.

Why am I calling attention to this? Here’s why: Does anyone really believe all the members we’re telling this lie to won’t eventually find out the truth? Of course they will—we can’t even charge NUHW with this allegation in court, because we’ll lose! Is this how we are going to build a strong organization, based on common principles and values like Honesty and Accountability? No, it is not.



Thursday, March 18, 2010

Labor Bigs to Stern: You Suck, and We're Done.

Got this report of a speech by John Wilhelm to the AFL-CIO Executive Council, from a reader at UNITE HERE.

Tasty thinks it speaks for itself on issues of Stern, NUHW, the failure of EFCA and why it is crazy that Andy Stern is on Obama's Debt Commission on behalf of organized labor.



______________________________

Two weeks ago UNITE HERE President John Wilhelm gave a speech to the AFL-CIO
Executive Council about SEIU’s divisive role in the labor movement. AFL-CIO
President Emeritus John Sweeney asked President Trumka to be recognized as a point
of personal privilege. To a hushed room, President Sweeney said he agreed with
President Wilhelm’s comments and called the behavior of Stern’s SEIU “despicable.”
This came after President Sweeney recounted his 50 years paying dues to SEIU, his
pride in rising through the ranks of SEIU to become its President, and the fact that he
originally hired Andy Stern. President Wilhelm’s speech is below:

John Wilhelm Speech

In early 2009, at the beginning of our fight, we thought we had an internal struggle on
our hands; and that like any internal difference inside a union, we had democratic
procedures and a Constitution to resolve them. At that time, we had no idea that our
fight was in fact secretly hatched by SEIU and Andy Stern. We now know from
documents that SEIU and Bruce Raynor hatched this plot at least as early as July 2008.
We now know that at the heart of that plot was an SEIU plan to hijack UNITE HERE’s
hotel, gaming, and food service jurisdictions and to capture our Union’s financial assets,
driven by SEIU’s deficit spending spree.

It turns out that SEIU has a long record going back to the year 2000 of raiding smaller
unions, something we didn’t realize at the time. UNITE HERE was the first entire
international union that Stern made a grab for, and if he were to succeed, we wouldn’t
be the last.
Thanks in no small measure to the support from most of you in this room today, I am
confident in reporting to you that SEIU has failed and we are doing very well, although
our battle with them is far from over.

I am so grateful to you for welcoming UNITE HERE, and me personally, back into the
House of Labor.

But there is a large issue that must be addressed. Who speaks for the American labor
movement? What is our labor movement all about?

If you listen to Andy Stern, he speaks for labor.

When you look at the pattern of SEIU activity it becomes very clear that we cannot let
SEIU define or speak for the labor movement. First we see a disturbing pattern of
corruption. Repetitive scandals have broken out in SEIU’s Southern California
organizations involving hand-picked Andy Stern officials. Corruption scandals have
spread to the Midwest, and there is more to come.

Second, SEIU has managed to create a myth around its organizing program that does a
disservice to the labor movement. The reality is that SEIU has utterly failed to organize
in the private sector. Yes, they have done well in the public sector and with taxpayerfunded
jobs and that’s a good thing. I support public sector organizing. But in the
private sector--hospitals, nursing homes, and even their signature janitorial campaign--
they have utterly failed to organize their industries, achieving at best about 10 percent
density in each of those core SEIU jurisdictions.

Politically, under Andy Stern, SEIU has become a willing participant with Democrats
who engage in divide and conquer. Stern provides cover for gutting our key priorities.
Health care reform was knocked off the rails right from the beginning when Stern
bargained deals first with the hospital industry and then helped with Big Pharma.
Having thus walled off two of the most profitable players, is it any surprise that the
Administration went looking for other sources of money to pay for reform, and found
taxing our members’ health plans?

How about card check? Stern gave the ok to strip our card check bill of card check
before the rest of us even discussed that.

Now he represents labor on the Deficit Commission?

What’s happened so far is bad enough on its own terms, but most significant of all is
California. In United Health Care West, SEIU had a local union to be admired. It had
powerful contracts, it had organized to become enormous, it was effective politically, it
was a beacon of solidarity. Why go after such a great organization?

Stern’s scorched earth tactics in California have kicked up a swelling backlash
throughout California labor and the progressive community. SEIU is blackmailing
Central Labor Councils across the state. They even threatened California Democratic
Party Chair John Burton, an icon of labor and all progressives in California, really
California’s equivalent of the late Ted Kennedy.

What SEIU has started in California is not yet well understood in Washington DC. The
struggle of the National Union of Healthcare Workers, and NUHW’s broad support from
workers, labor, and progressives, will determine whether SEIU will grow as a divisive
force or whether unity will be restored.

I began in the labor movement 41 years ago. It took me a while to accept that our union
had to focus on this destructive force in the union movement. But if one of the final
chapters in my career is to help stop this attempted takeover of the American labor
movement by SEIU, I will be content to see it through.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tasty's Reading List

  • In These Times wrote a great article about the upcoming trial of former UHW, now NUHW staff. Read this, and share it at work, it will help people understand SEIU's motives.
  • San Jose Business Journal on 10 more nursing homes (GranCare) filing to leave SEIU and join NUHW.
  • Almost a year ago workers at Doctor's Hospital in San Pablo voted to join NUHW and leave SEIU. The Zombies (of course) appealed and a judge told them the election stands, as covered by the Contra Costa Times.
  • Salinas hospital workers to vote for NUHW, from the californian.com.
  • More of a book person? Well, there is one about us! Cal Winslow's Labor's Civil War in California: The NUHW Healthcare Workers' Union.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Salinas Valley workers to vote!


The 850 workers of Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital will have their election to vote out SEIU and vote in NUHW! (This is a public hospital, so SEIU will be hard pressed to slow this down, unlike the NLRB votes.)

Ballots will be mailed on April 22.

They have to be returned by May 13.

And the vote count will be May 17.

Go Red!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Angela Hewett, back and worse than ever!

Tasty hears that SEIU staffer Angela Hewett is continuing her campaign of terror against workers at Kaiser Walnut Creek Medical Center. Perhaps you recall that Angela and Mary Kay Henry called the cops on a UHW member for simply trying to attend his hospital's Steward Council meeting? Or the time when her minion ripped NUHW materials off the wall of another Kaiser worker's cubicle at the hospital?

What has Ang been up to lately? Turns out, she's been conspiring with HR officials to target NUHW supporters at Kaiser Walnut Creek. Apparently, Angela told an SEIU Contract Specialist to report rank-and-file supporters to HR for talking about "the union" (NUHW) in the workplace. When one worker was called into an investigatory meeting with Kaiser HR officials, they mistakenly shared emails in which Angela instructed the Contract Specialist to target NUHW supporters with HR complaints. Whoops!

Sounds like Angela will soon join Dana Hohn, Rahul Varshney, Sam Ogren and other SEIU staffers in front of an NLRB judge for targeting and intimidating the union members whose rights they're supposed to protect.

Where do they find these people?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tyrone and Joan Dickens on Wowowee!

Two homecare workers – a husband-and-wife team from San Francisco – recently appeared on a hugely popular variety show from the Philippines. For those who don’t know it, “Wowowee” is supposedly Asia’s most watched variety show of all time and is broadcast all over the world.

Not wanting to pass up an important opportunity, one of the homecare workers wore his favorite RED t-shirt on the gameshow, and pretty much everyone in California’s Filipino healthcare workers community is buzzing about it. Check out the photos!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Adios, Adios Andy

Check out my fellow blogger's post, looking back on NUHW's start and his changing role in it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I smell an Oscar! Jono hits Garden Grove.


Ever see that crappy movie "Bread and Roses?" It was loosely based on SEIU's Justice for Janitors campaign in LA and starred Adrien Brody as a young SEIU organizer who beds a hot young undocumented worker, who then gets deported! Inspiring!

Adrien Brody's character was supposedly based on long time janitor organizer Jono Schaffer. Jono, the Deputy Director of the Property Services Division, was famously quoted in the New York Times, in a leaked email, saying about Tyrone Freeman, "I wish I could say this is unbelievable, but for those of us in Southern California, the only surprise is that it took so long to make it to the public." (Way to keep quiet about corruption while it happens, Jono.)

And now, he has been brought into Garden Grove Hospital to try to smooth over the "Castillo Incident!."

Does SEIU think that bringing in some big wig SEIU dude is going to make workers forget that Liz screamed at workers and then slapped an NUHW volunteer in their workplace? Tasty thinks that workers might be a tad smarter than that.

OC Register update on the Police's case against Castillo here. Notice how SEIU stooge Steve Trossman asserts that Liz was 'baited' into hitting Antonio Orea. No official word on whether she still has her job.

Also, this is unconfirmed, but Tasty hears a new movie is in the works about SEIU organizers. This one will be more action/adventure and instead of sleeping with the workers the organizers will slap 'em! "Bread and Backhands?"