Monday, September 26, 2011

Clueless in Seattle

David Rolf
A reader in Seattle sent along this story. On Friday, labor journalist Steve Early had a book-signing event at a Seattle book store attended by NUHW’s Sal Rosselli. After the event, about 40 of the attendees walked over to a pizza parlor to get some food and continue the discussion.

On their way to the restaurant, they ran into 10 purple-shirted organizers from SEIU Local 775NW. Apparently, Dave Regan had told David Rolf, the pre-pubescent president of SEIU Local 775NW, to send the 10 organizers to picket the pizza restaurant and try to bully the people involved.

Rolf, of course, didn’t have the guts to show up at the event. Too bad… because Tasty hears Rolf would’ve learned a thing or two. It turns out that some of the rank-and-file members from Rolf’s own union were at the event and shared some interesting perspectives about Rolf and SEIU.

You see… all of SEIU Local 775NW’s 40,000 members are low-paid homecare and nursing home workers who mostly earn $8-$10 an hour. And like many low-wage workers, they’ve been hit hard by the Great Recession. Well… everyone has been hit hard except for King Dave Rolf. In 2009, Rolf pocketed a $25,000 pay hike (courtesy of workers' dues dollars) that boosted his annual pay to $175,941. Rolf’s $25K pay hike is, by itself, more than what many of his union’s members earn in an entire year.


Two weeks ago, Local 775NW held its annual leadership conference, which -- ironically -- was dedicated to fixing inequality in the US economy (whoops!). Local 775NW’s website is filled with super cool quotes from Dave: “Our country has more overall wealth than ever, but people are struggling… It’s a crisis of consciousness and a crisis of leadership.”

Oh… and Tasty also likes this one: “It will take an army of people to win the Fight for a Fair Economy, and building the army starts with us.”(Does that make Dave the high-paid Field Marshal of his army of poor people?)

Well, Tasty has a few words of advice for King Dave:  Next time, you might wanna actually listen to the workers who pay your salary… instead of bullying them.