SEIU has withdrawn from a union election covering 7,000 homecare workers in Vermont after Purple Palace officials concluded they face certain defeat in a head-to-head contest against AFSCME. The mail-in election is scheduled to begin on September 9.
The purple departure comes despite the fact that SEIU spent millions of dollars on a campaign that featured SEIU attack websites against AFSCME, statewide radio and newspaper ads, glossy mailers and robo calls, dozens of out-of-state staffers parachuted into the Green Mountain State, and political spending reportedly aimed at greasing the wheels with the state’s governor.
One SEIU website -- www.qualityhomecarevt.org -- featured videos with titles like “AFSCME: Tried & Failed.” SEIU shuttered the website after pulling the plug on its unsuccessful campaign.
Earlier this summer, the Purple Palace instructed its lawyers to use bogus legal maneuvers to stall the election in hopes of somehow convincing enough workers to support the Purple Palace, according to press reports.
|One of SEIU's attack videos against AFSCME|
The election was triggered in May when AFSCME filed a petition signed by 4,500 of Vermont’s 7,000 homecare workers. In late June, SEIU could only muster 2,000 cards, which nonetheless added SEIU's name to the ballot.
Earlier, SEIU attempted to set the stage for its effort by trying to buy influence from the governor via a flood of political spending -- similar to SEIU’s influence-buying deals with former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who’s now doing 14 years in a federal prison in Colorado.
Observers feared SEIU was preparing to sell out Vermonters’ efforts to win single-payer legislation.
SEIU’s desperate bid for Vermont’s homecare workers was fueled by the Purple Palace’s declining membership rolls. Last year, SEIU’s membership dropped by 45,000 members as the Purple Palace suffered $42 million in red ink.
SEIU’s failed campaign in Vermont was headed by Matt McDonald, an SEIU operative who parachuted into California in 2010 and was involved in SEIU’s campaign of law-breaking that overturned the NLRB’s election at Kaiser Permanente.
This isn’t SEIU’s first failed effort to recruit Vermonters. A decade ago, SEIU failed to affiliate the still-independent Vermont State Employees Association.
Stay tuned for more!