What happened at last month’s meeting of SEIU’s International Executive Board (IEB) in Puerto Rico?
According to Tasty's sources, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry backed the transfer of SEIU-UHW’s homecare workers to SEIU Local 6434, which currently represents homecare and nursing home workers in California.
Tasty hears that when the news first reached him, SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan lost control of his bowels.
First of all, it's well known that Regan is plotting to seize Mary Kay Henry’s position at the Purple Palace. A transfer of homecare workers means Regan will lose the "delegated votes" of these 60,000 homecare members during future elections inside SEIU. (In SEIU, rank-and-file union members don't get to vote for SEIU’s president and International Executive Board -- instead, members' votes are assigned or "delegated" to local SEIU officials, who then cast the votes of tens of thousands of rank-and-file workers.)
Secondly, a transfer of the homecare workers means less dues money for "Wall Street" Dave.
Thirdly, it changes the political equation inside SEIU-UHW. Regan has relied on the votes of homecare workers to win SEIU-UHW’s internal elections. Without their votes, he’ll become more vulnerable to challengers.
So what’s Dave gonna do?
His first move appears to be to stall Mary Kay Henry’s plan. He reportedly requested that Henry put the transfer on hold for six months because, says Regan, the loss of the public-sector homecare workers will somehow diminish the "bargaining strength" of SEIU-UHW’s Kaiser workers, who are set to begin negotiations for a new contract in April.
Not exactly a persuasive argument, right? It's especially lame because SEIU-UHW’s upcoming contract negotiations with Kaiser Permanente are so tightly rigged that SEIU officials have already calendared the precise day in June when they will stand arm-in-arm with Kaiser execs and announce an "historic contract settlement." In fact, Regan and Kaiser’s executives have already scheduled the exact dates for SEIU-UHW workers' contract ratification votes. (More on this in a future post.)
What will happen if Regan resists the transfer of the homecare workers?
Tasty hopes that Mary Kay Henry and the IEB are busily preparing the legal papers to impose an emergency trusteeship on Regan. Of course, once the trusteeship is implemented, Mary Kay Henry can simply ignore the order to transfer the homecare workers for, uhh, at least a decade.
Remember, this is SEIU… where workers are pawns on a purple Monopoly board that’s shamelessly used by SEIU officials to pursue their personal quests for power, fame and money.