Sunday, September 30, 2012

Staffers at the 'Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions' Describe John August's Abuses



After posting information about John August's sexual harassment scandal, Tasty received multiple emails from staffers at the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions where John August is the Executive Director.

So... Tasty decided to recruit a crew of volunteers to carefully interview the staffers, who have paint a picture that's far more serious than earlier reports.

Interestingly, the staffers' accounts are virtually identical. In some cases, they independently described the same incidents in excruciating, identical detail. Of course, Tasty doesn’t have the means to independently verify each staffer’s claims, but their stories match up and they’ve given no reason to doubt their truthfulness.

So here’s what the staffers say:

They confirm that August has had multiple sexual affairs with women, including rank-and-file SEIU members, union staffers, women unconnected to SEIU, and at least one current member of SEIU's International Executive Board.

The staffers also report that August has even targeted his sexual advances at Coalition staffers who're single moms. Why? One staffer put it this way: "These women need these jobs. Where else can you get paid so much money for not doing much work." In fact, Tasty reviewed the Coalition’s annual financial filings with the U.S. Department of Labor and, in 2011, many of the Coalition’s Field Staffers earned $140,000 while a "Meeting Planner" earned $105,000. 

The staffers also report that August's sexual harassment has a definite “predatory” quality. Basically, as August pursues women, he seems to enjoy “the hunt” as much as “the kill.” And they say August’s years-long pattern of sexual harassment and inappropriate affairs with union members are widely known by top officials at SEIU and the Coalition.

In addition to August's sexual affairs, the staffers point to another set of problems:  his abusive behavior towards the Coalition's staff.

They say August has serious anger-management problems and that he targets certain staffers with angry verbal attacks and abusive, retaliatory campaigns. They say he has a kind of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” personality. Basically, he can be warm towards a particular staffer, but if the staffer somehow gets on his bad side (for example, by resisting his sexual advances), then August reportedly unleashes unending abuse – including aggressive confrontations and singling them out for public humiliation during staff meetings.

One female staffer describes how August pulled her into a one-on-one meeting, and then yelled and screamed at her so furiously that spit was flying out of his mouth as he aggressively pointed his finger in her face. The staffer says, “It was vicious.” She says she basically went into shock after the meeting. “I’ve never felt so humiliated and demeaned,” she reports. After the meeting, she says, August then subjected her to months of unrelenting harassment.

Another staffer describes how, during staff meetings, August would take individual staffers into a room where the other staffers could hear him screaming and yelling at them from behind closed doors. She describes one scene where a sobbing staffer collapsed to a hallway floor after witnessing one of August’s verbal assaults against her co-worker.

Apparently, the victims of August’s abusive attacks are virtually all women, and staffers believe August may suffer from some sort of gender-based pathology that’s connected to his predatory sexual behavior towards women.

Another staffer reports that August’s history of abuse is well known by SEIU’s top officials. In fact, when August was a top official at SEIU 1199 Pennsylvania (now known as “SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania”), he was reportedly required to take anger-management classes after staffers complained about his behavior.

Furthermore, staffers have reportedly filed multiple formal complaints against August with SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, the Coalition’s board of directors, the AFL-CIO, and even government oversight agencies, where at least one investigation is apparently underway.

Despite these complaints, top union officials have refused to take any action against August. One staffer put it this way: “He has no one to check him. He can do whatever he wants because the board doesn’t do anything.”

One former staffer said her main concern is stopping August's abuses:  “We just want it to stop. What hurts the most is knowing it’s happening to other people.”

So... Tasty would like to make an appeal to any conscientious lawyers out there. These women need help! The Coalition’s board of directors (which includes SEIU’s Mary Kay Henry) has refused to exercise any sort of responsibility despite knowing about years’ of abuses by August.

Furthermore, the fat-cat executives at Kaiser Permanente arguably bear substantial responsibility for August's ongoing abuses. A huge portion of August's salary is funded by the multi-billion-dollar HMO, and Kaiser gives August a fancy, rent-free office inside Kaiser's national corporate headquarters in Oakland! Kaiser's President and Chief Operating Officer, Bernard Tyson, even makes flashy videos with August. Finally, Tasty hears that Kaiser's execs have direct knowledge of August's sexually predatory behavior.

So... what do you say, lawyers?

Interested attorneys should contact Tasty at tastysternburger@gmail.com   It's time to put a stop to August's abuses!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

SEIU-UHW's Mary Henagan Is Busted by the NLRB



Remember when the NLRB busted SEIU-UHW Field Reps. Arturo Castellanos and Sandra Jimenez for surveilling, interrogating and threatening one of SEIU-UHW’s own members at Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center?

Well, newly released legal documents (see an out-of-court settlment below) indicate that another one of Dave Regan’s staffers has been busted at a different Kaiser hospital. It sounds like Regan’s NLRB 'rap sheet' is quickly becoming the envy of union-busting companies across the nation!

SEIU’s latest crime spree was carried out by SEIU-UHW Field Rep. Mary Henagan, who’s fondly referred to by workers as “Scary Mary.” Henagan, who’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer by any stretch of the imagination, apparently tries to compensate for her substantial “deficits” by being super loud, obnoxious and a bully.

So how did Scary Mary break the law?

On a recent workday, a rank-and-file member of SEIU-UHW showed up for her shift at Kaiser Sacramento Medical Center and was assigned to work in an outlying building. When the worker got to the building, she realized she didn’t have keys to get past the locked door, so she walked to an adjoining building to borrow keys from a co-worker.

There, the worker happened to run into “Scary Mary,” who’s the Field Rep assigned to this particular hospital. Henagan, however, didn’t try to help the SEIU-UHW member and instead made a secret phone call to Kaiser’s Human Resources officials and reported the worker as being AWOL from her job! Why? Because the worker -- just like hundreds more at the hospital -- happens to support NUHW.

Kaiser’s HR officials quickly arrived on the scene, took the worker into a vacant room, questioned her without any union representation, and then issued her “verbal coaching” as discipline.

Later on, management inadvertently revealed that Scary Mary was the one who'd actually orchestrated the entire event by dialing purple lies to HR officials.

That’s when the worker filed formal charges against Scary Mary and SEIU-UHW. The NLRB, after a lengthy investigation, announced its plans to put Scary Mary on trial in front of a judge for breaking federal labor law and violating SEIU’s “duty of fair representation” to its members.

SEIU officials realized they'd lose the trial, so they quickly negotiated an out-of-court settlement with the NLRB. The settlement forces Regan and Co. to ask their partners at Kaiser to “rescind the verbal coaching” given to the worker. SEIU-UHW is also required to post notices inside the hospital to inform Kaiser workers that SEIU-UHW will stop violating their rights.

The official notice (see below) includes statements like these to SEIU-UHW's members:
WE WILL NOT restrain or coerce any employee by reporting employee misconduct to Kaiser Permanente as a means for retaliating against any employee for supporting NUHW.

WE WILL NOT cause or attempt to cause Kaiser Permanente to investigate, discipline or otherwise discriminate against any employee for supporting NUHW.

WE WILL NOT in any like or related manner restrain or coerce you in the exercise of your rights under Section 7 of the Act.
Quite stunning, right? A so-called "labor union" that's working with the Boss to target the union's own members? Way to go, Dave!  From what Tasty can see, it sounds like Scary Mary will soon be joining SEIU-UHW Field Rep. Dominic Mitchell as a corporate HR official.
SEIU-UHW's Out-of-Court Settlement with the NLRB for Violating a Kaiser Permanente Worker's Rights 8-30-12

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dave Regan in the Scab Huddle


Check out this posting from the "NUHW Solidarity" Facebook page:





Monday, September 24, 2012

Where Is She Now? SEIU's Michelle Ringuette



Michelle Ringuette, SEIU Alumna

Check out this story about an SEIU staffer who’s been working overtime to reinvent herself.

Remember Michelle Ringuette? During the run-up to SEIU’s disastrous trusteeship over California’s healthcare workers, Ringuette served as Andy Stern’s “personal spokesperson” and spearheaded SEIU’s campaign of a thousand lies.

In 2009, Ringuette carried out a particularly infamous face-plant. At the time, dozens of well-known professors across the U.S. had written a joint letter opposing SEIU’s attempt to seize control of UNITE HERE through an aggressive raid. 

SEIU officials, of course, were incensed that the professors had the chutzpah to actually criticize SEIU. So Ringuette teamed up with Jo-Ann Mort and Javier Morillo-Alicea to carry out a secret SEIU campaign to harass the academics.

One day, the three SEIU stooges mistakenly hit the “send” button on an internal SEIU email, thereby forwarding the secret info to the professors. The email laid out SEIU’s plan to attack the academics. 

Here’s how Ringuette described SEIU's plan to target the professors because of their “drive-by” attack against SEIU. What was the professors' so-called "drive-by?" Uhh, their letter criticizing SEIU. Here's what Michelle wrote:

Last night we discussed setting a few workers loose on people... I know these aren't high value targets, but I firmly believe people should not be permitted to do drive bys. They are all getting a letter this am and they all bought spot on our spam list.

Way to go, Michelle!

Later on, Ringuette quit the Purple Palace and, ironically, took a job at the American Federation of Teachers… where she was supposed to work on behalf of academics!

Ultimately, that gig didn’t pan out, so Michelle decided to make her next surprising career move. Ringuette -- fresh from her efforts to crush democracy inside SEIU -- decided to dedicate her life to human rights! That's right, she took a job at Amnesty International! (Tasty is not kidding)

One reader captured the stunning absurdity this way:

What a joke! Are you kidding me? Michelle Ringuette has the integrity of a con man, snake-oil salesman, and politician all wrapped in one. Wonder if she told Amnesty about her first-hand experience with violating workers’ rights, crushing internal dissent, and holding workers hostage inside SEIU by blocking their requests for democratic elections. What can I say? If that qualifies her to work at Amnesty, then there’s a long list of sleazebags who should be working there.  

So how’s Michelle doing at Amnesty? Well, she’s adapting with chameleon-like speed. Michelle has suddenly become a huge advocate for individuals' rights and, in fact, recently criticized the Russian government for “suppressing dissent.” 

Don't expect Michelle to last too long. Tasty predicts she'll soon end up as the PR hack for SIGA Technologies or Andy's billionaire sugar daddy.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bill Lloyd Disappears from SEIU Local 99



Bill Lloyd has been silently and unceremoniously removed from his job as the Executive Director of SEIU Local 99 in Los Angeles, according to inside sources and online materials.

In 2004, Andy Stern appointed Lloyd as the trustee of Local 99, which represents 25,000 public school workers in Los Angeles. 

For those who don’t know him, Lloyd is the fat-cat SEIU official who’s notoriously ineffective despite pocketing no fewer than three separate paychecks from SEIU totaling $224,000 a year. Lloyd also enjoys multiple perks, including an eight-year-long, SEIU-paid hotel room at the Wilshire Grand Hotel.

Lloyd is also known for his infamous sexual affair with Local 99’s previous president, Janett Humphries, while she was embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from the union's members. In 2006, Humprhies pleaded guilty in federal court to four counts of embezzlement and one count of conspiracy.  Oh yeah… Bill Lloyd is also a member of SEIU’s International Executive Board.

So what happened to Bill Lloyd?

According to a source inside Local 99, Lloyd -- after eight years as Local 99’s top official -- was quietly removed from his position earlier this week. Tasty’s source says that Lloyd’s disappearing act has many people scratching their heads. The source writes:

there wasn’t a ceremony or anything. No announcement really to most of the staff either – one day he was just gone.

Hmmm….   So where’s Lloyd now? 

Well, just like other corrupt SEIU officials such as Rickman Jackson and Annelle Grajeda, Lloyd was given a purple parachute that landed him inside the Purple Palace where he’s now (get this) a “Senior Adviser” to SEIU President Mary Kay Henry!

Huh?? For anyone who knows Lloyd, the only advice he’s capable of delivering is related to expensive clothes and fat paychecks.

So who replaced Lloyd at Local 99? Courtni Pugh, according to this announcement on Local 99’s website. Pugh formerly served as the Executive Director of the SEIU California State Council until she was ousted because she couldn’t do the job. For the past two years, she’s been working as Bill Lloyd’s “Special Assistant.”  Wow!

Pugh also has another interesting connection to Local 99 that brings everything full-circle. At one point, Pugh was hired by Martin Ludlow to work at the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. Ludlow was Janett Humphries’s partner in crime during the embezzlement scandal at Local 99 that's discussed above. In 2006 Ludlow pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiring to embezzle the union's funds with the help of Humphries. Here’s how the Los Angeles Times described it:

In hopes of avoiding jail, Ludlow agreed to cooperate with authorities in the federal prosecution of Janett Humphries, the former head of Service Employees International Union Local 99, who is accused of working with Ludlow to divert the funds… Ludlow admitted to improperly using union money to pay six people who were put on the union payroll but who actually worked on his City Council election campaign.

A federal judge ordered Ludlow to pay back nearly $40,000 to Local 99’s members and sentenced him to five years’ probation, 2,000 hours of community service and barred him from serving in any leadership position in SEIU for 13 years.

Well, sounds like Pugh has all the experience and connections she'll need  for her new job at Local 99!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

SEIU Local 721: "We think she's having anxiety attacks..."



In an earlier post, a worker famously reported that “the bloodletting has begun” at SEIU Local 721, which is stumbling through its latest corruption scandal. Tasty's source says the purple knives are plenty sharp at the union of 70,000 public-sector workers in Los Angeles. 

Apparently, six more staffers have been fired by the union's president, Bob Schoonover. The fired staffers reportedly include Angel Harb, Kevin Ihrke, Romina Loreto, Cory Cordova, Lorena Vellanoweth and Carlos Vellanoweth. The last three, of course, are well-known scabs who helped impose SEIU’s trusteeship on California’s healthcare workers… and later sought exile at Local 721 after souring on SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan.

Tasty's source offers plenty of colorful details about life inside Local 721:

We also heard that Bob [Schoonover] and Gilda [Valdez] have been fighting a lot lately and that they're both pointing the finger at each other while our vp Linda Dent gets drunk every day and runs around the office yelling and cursing. We think she's having anxiety attacks and emotional breakdown. Our president is using dues for personal gain, our vp is an alcoholic that comes to the office drunk and our chief of staff is corrupt. We're hanging on for dear life!!

Meanwhile, Tasty’s source says that Local 721 is abuzz with details about money that’s allegedly missing from the union’s coffers along with the multiple schemes that Schoonover apparently hatched to finance his re-election campaign for the presidency of Local 721.

Here’s a campaign leaflet that Schoonover’s opponents are circulating among workers in advance of officer elections at the union. Stay tuned for more!