Sunday, February 28, 2010

1021 Members to Damita Davis-Howard: Buh-Bye.

For years California was a real issue for Andy Stern and his crew in DC. Most of the union's membership was here, but there were so many locals and many local leaders to deal with. As we know, nothing drives Andy Stern more nuts than local union presidents who don't owe him anything!

So about 3 years ago, Andy combined a bunch of Cali locals and appointed presidents to the new locals, effectively eliminating internal elections for sometime.

At Local 1021 (Northern California public sector workers) the members were not impressed with Stern's appointee Damita Davis-Howard. And this past week, they voted her ass out. In fact, they voted 26 of the 28 elected positions out and the reform slate in.

For a full history written by a 1021 member and winner in this election read Larry Bradshaw's article in Labor Notes.

But make no mistake, this is a huge victory for SEIU members all over the country who want accountable democratic locals.

Congrats, reformers! But be careful, Andy knows what to do if you get out of line. Trusteeship!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

UHW's Monday All Staff Meeting

Will it have a boxing break-out so everyone can learn the Castillo Back Hand?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

SEIU Staffer and Zombie Liz Castillo got pissed at NUHW volunteer Antonio Orea and some members who were having lunch in the cafeteria at Garden Grove Hospital... she back-handed him.

Charming, and a great way to win votes Liz!!

The police came to the scene after Liz took off, and are now actively looking for her. Tasty better not hear that dues money pays her bail.

VIDEO. Just so you know, the person taping was an NUHW volunteer, the woman that Liz is yelling at is a member.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Math is Hard!

SEIU recently did a bunch of press outreach to publicize this "Open Letter" demanding that NUHW "immediately withdraw your decertification petitions" at 51 nursing homes across Northern California. According to SEIU's leaflet, the open letter was signed by a WHOPPING 57 workers. No, you read that right, they gathered signatures at 51 places and came up with 57 whole signatures. God only knows how many Zombies it took them to even get that number.

Except, they didn't! SEIU actually duplicated five of the signatures in a lame effort to inflate the numbers. Take a look at the signatures circled in red on the leaflet. Oh Snap, you can't count, SEIU.

The letter says: "You know full well that there is very little support for NUHW in our facilities." Now, Tasty is no mathematician but, there is nothing about 52 signatures from 51 facilities that says that workers don't want NUHW.

Tasty does know one way to arrive at an accurate assessment of NUHW's support: voting! Or does SEIU know "full well" that letting workers vote would put their hold on the members in jeopardy?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

This Seat is Taken. By My Purse.

SEIU has sent Zombies into dozens of nursing homes across Northern California to try to collect signatures on a "We support SEIU" petition in advance of NLRB elections that everyone expects will come sometime soon.

At a bay area nursing home, a particularly bright Zombie parked herself in the break room for days in an effort to beg, bully and pester workers for their signatures. The problem is, the SEIU organizer is occupying one of the very few chairs in the small break room where the facility's workers come when they get a breather from the busy floors.

The other day, when Certified Nursing Assistants came into the break room to eat during their 30-minute lunch break, the SEIU organizer was taking up two chairs with herself and her bag and petitions. As a result, some of the CNAs were having to stand up while they ate their lunch. One member asked the rude SEIU organizer to give up her chairs so her co-workers could sit down while they ate.

This did not sit well with the Zombie! The next day, the SEIU organizer took the worker -- along with SEIU's new handpicked shop steward -- to the administrator's office and tried to have her disciplined for "intimidation." Other workers rallied to the worker's defense, and the administrator didn't take any action.

THESE are the geniuses SEIU is bringing in to convince workers to stay in SEIU? Staff so lazy and dim that they only know how to sit in the breakroom and ask the boss for help?

Tasty would not want these smarties bargaining his contract!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Action Moves into the Nursing Homes of Nor Cal

As elections approach in dozens of nursing homes across Northern California, SEIU is stepping up its efforts to bully and intimidate workers... and workers are fighting back. Check out this inspirational story from a Tipster:

Several days ago, an SEIU rep aggressively approached a worker at a nursing home about signatures she had collected in support of NUHW. In just two days, the worker had gathered signatures from more than 80% of her facility's workers, causing SEIU's hand-picked steward/informer to call the SEIU rep to snitch on her.

As the SEIU rep aggressively confronts her, the NUHW supporter tells her that she has the right under federal labor law to choose whichever union she wants to and can collect as many signatures as she likes.

The SEIU rep says she will have her disciplined or even fired unless she stops talking about, promoting, or supporting NUHW. The NUHW supporter doesn't back down an inch.

So the SEIU rep hauls her to the boss's office and does her best to continue intimidating her there. The worker stands her ground, and begins to lecture this idiot SEIU rep about her fiduciary obligations to serve the interests of the workers and to HER specifically. And the worker reminds the SEIU rep that her monthly union dues are paying her salary.

The SEIU rep, lacking any thoughtful response to these arguments, simply threatens to have her fired if she continues her support for NUHW.

The worker turns to the administrator, who has been observing this entire exchange, and asks her if SEIU could indeed have her fired. The administrator replies, "No!" The administrator then praises her work in front of the idiot SEIU rep, who is now has completely deflated and feeling vulnerable after committing multiple violations of federal labor law.

(Tasty hopes that the SEIU rep will soon get her own hearing before an NLRB judge like her Zombie co-workers Dana Hohn, Rahul Varshney, Sam Ogren etc...)

The worker then asks the administrator if she can return to work because her patients need her. The administrator agrees and the meeting is over.

When the worker shares this experience with her co-workers, they're outraged and are now in overdrive to vote out SEIU and bring in NUHW.

Si Se Puede!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2 More Elections to be Scheduled!

The NLRB announced today that it has unblocked elections at two hospitals in Los Angeles: Olympia Medical Center and Providence Tarzana Medical Center.

Workers there will have an opportunity to vote for NUHW soon. Stay tuned for more details!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What does it mean when another SEIU boss is placed on leave?

...sounds like someone did something naughty!

Tasty hears the Gilda Valdez , Chief of Staff at SEIU 1021, has been placed on leave while her use of union funds is being investigated!

You may remember Gilda as a member of 1021's "Salsa Team" that tried to guarantee that only delegates loyal to 1021's President Damita Davis-Howard would be elected to delegate positions at the SEIU 2008 convention in Puerto Rico.

Word is that 1021 and SEIU are keeping this under wraps while they figure out how extensive the misconduct is and how best to keep it from turning into yet another financial scandal.

Tasty wonders if Andy Stern and Anna Burger ever wonder why the staff they promote to do their dirty work are also untrustworthy with SEIU members' dues and rights? Annelle Grajeda (721), Tyrone Freeman (6434), Rickman Jackson (6434/Michigan), Sharon-Frances Moore (221), Jane McAlevey (1107), Byron Hobbs (880), Alejandro Stephens (1021)...who is next?


Friday, February 5, 2010

Andy's Cali problems grow! Local 221 Update.

Tasty hears that SEIU officials are struggling to fix the growing problems at Local 221 in San Diego. It turns out that former President Sharon-Frances Moore quit her job and took a $107,000 severance package (along with a generous consulting contract) just as the local was hemorrhaging gobs of money.

Last year, Local 221 lost approximately 20% of its membership, including county probation officers who left the local to create an independent union called the San Diego County Probation Officers Association. The loss of dues has caused a massive budget deficit at the local. To make matters worse, Tasty hears that even more of Local 221's members are considering decerts. Sound familiar?

Meanwhile, at a February 4th emergency meeting, Local 221's Executive Board apparently got word that the US Department of Labor has reached a preliminary finding that Local 221 violated federal election rules during its recent officer elections. Unless SEIU can prove 'em wrong, the DOL will take court action against the local on March 3.

Oh snap! What's a union boss to do?

Tasty hears that Stern is talking about either a trusteeship or a merger of Local 221 into Los Angeles-based Local 721. (921?) A merger would be a "two-fer" for Andy since it would allow SEIU to skip officer elections at both locals, and would give Andy the power to appoint the president of the merged local for another three-year term.

Not the most democratic approach, but as we know when Andy gets desperate, Andy gets mad despotic.

Local 721's current president, John Tanner (who was appointed by Stern), is reportedly involved in the discussions, as is Annelle Grajeda. Yes that's right, Annelle Grajeda, whose man is headed to jail 'cuz she paid him 2 salaries! In fact, Tanner now occupies the position left vacant after Grajeda was forced to resign from the local in the wake of the Stephens scandal. But don't cry for Annelle, she immediately landed a cushy job as special assistant to Anna Burger, the very person responsible for making sure that the union is financially sounds and that dues dollars are being spent responsibly.

CORRECTION: Alejandro is not threatened with jail because he took 2 salaries from Local 721, but because of a separate scandal related to the LA County Fed of Labor and a nonprofit it set up called the "Voter Information Project." Labor officials in the VIP funneled money thru fake contractors that landed in Alejandro's bank account. Annelle and her son are named as "co-schemers" by federal prosecutors in this second scandal. (So many scandals, it's hard to keep up with them).

Who's Next? Marina del Rey Hospital workers!

Tasty hears that the nearly 250 SEIU-UHW members at Marina del Rey hospital have filed a decert petition. Zombie UHW represents service, technical and professional healthcare workers there.

NUHW is not involved in this decert, these members just want the hell out of SEIU.

Hey SEIU members: don't let those Zombies scare you away from unions, it can be better!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Who's Next?

Check out the website of a new union called Marin Association of Public Employees (aka MAPE.)

Turns out Marin public sector SEIU 1021 members are sick of paying almost $1 million to the purple machine and never seeing their work site organizer Robin Barber!

Below is the text of an email that former 1021 leaders sent out:

Welcome to the New MAPE

A quick update (2/3/10):
The Decert petitions were turned in last Friday along with seven statements seeking representation. Although only 30% was needed, our bargaining units were in the 45 to 65% range. (More exact figures will be available in a few days.) SEIU1021 was notified this week about MAPE's action. They also learned about the Deputy Sheriffs Assn request to represent several job classes in BU04 (Technical). Early next week the neutral third-party (State Mediation) will verify the signatures on the petitions.
Then all parties will meet to discuss how to proceed.
We will keep you informed.


Why would we believe that SEIU
can provide the best representation?
January 25, 2010

Once again, Robin Barber, our Worksite Organizer, is curiously missing in action. (Her phone & email are blocked.) Is SEIU1021 denying us representation again? Whatever the reason, we do not have an experienced, knowledgeable & committed Worksite Organizer assigned to deliver the services that SEIU has a legal obligation to provide to us.

Here is what some of your co-workers are saying:

"I need someone who can advise me about my grievance." Mary Beth Pascale, Clerical BU01

"We've lost our experienced negotiator. Now we're more dependent than ever on our MAPE leadership who have been at the table before." Todd Pressley, Trades BU02

"No one from SEIU came to our Steward's Council meeting." Jan Zaslav, Nurses BU13

"I'm tired of going to Labor/Management Committee meetings and not having SEIU staff present" George Pegelow, Public Services, BU03

"I'm told to call an 800 number in Pasadena. What do they know about my situation in Marin?" Patty Campbell, HHS BU10

Member Driven, Member Run, New MAPE

Did you know that 95% of the SEIU1021 leadership who work for the County (including stewards, negotiating team members & chapter officers) support MAPE? Did you know that SEIU is stripping the leadership of their authority to represent our members? Without experienced leaders to stand up for the members, how does SEIU expect to provide adequate representation?

Has someone from SEIU told you that if you switch to MAPE you will no longer be protected by a contract?

Checkout MAPE’s responses to what
SEIU organizers are saying
by going to the Myths page.

If you need more information, just enter your questions on the "Contact Us" page. You'll receive an answer within 24 hours.

Green is the new Purple

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Rahul rhymes with "fool" for a reason.

Lest you think that Rahul Varshney is just some asshole who works to get union members fired for supporting NUHW, Tasty wants to share with you the softer side of Rahul.

Rahul is super into meditating, Al Anon, himself, helping "poor" workers, SEIU, his son, techno music, EFCA and web cams. How does Tasty know all of this? Because Rahul has made FORTY THREE long and nonsensical videos of himself for your enjoyment and enlightenment.

Because Rahul, who quit SEIU and is back in Texas (until April 12th when he will have to return to LA to answer for his anti-union and anti-worker actions) just thinks he is so insightful that you would want to watch video after video of his blather. Stuff like: "Unions are like yoga bringing mind and body into a harmonic equilibrium." or "Unions are like alcohol in a liquor store."

Want a lecture about how the union is like alcohol and yoga, and then want to watch Rahul do the Robot for the Employee Free Choice Act? Click here!
Want to watch Rahul talk about quitting the union he still loves to focus on himself? Click here!
Want to watch Rahul read to you and then sit silently for 11 minutes? Click here!

PS Rahul, its called SELF help. Keep it to YOURSELF!

UPDATE: there is a blog.

Save the Date!

April 12, 2010 is the day that SEIU staffers Rahul Varshney, Sam Ogren and Dana Hohn (and 3 others) will have to face the music at the NLRB in LA. The NLRB has found merit in members' charges of threats of physical violence, discipline, refusal to represent NUHW supporters and collusion with the boss to fire members who weren't on Team Zombie.

Check out the full documentation here.

Hey, SEIU staff, your coworkers are getting healthcare workers fired if they don't agree with Andy Stern's takeover of their union. And you are out here fighting for that? And losing? This seems like a resume killer. Tasty suggests a long perusal of Get out before you are forced to do something that you don't want to do.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bored with Mafia Wars and Farmville?

There is a website called "Muckety" that basically maps relationships between people and organizations and assorted muckety-mucks.

Tasty finds that the maps for Andy Stern and SEIU are missing important details, like NUHW for instance! This is interactive and you can edit it.

Let me know if you put up something worth sharing.