Sunday, March 28, 2010

Local 99 Staffer says: Recession be damned, I am outta here!

Check out this email from Linda Sin, former SEIU Local 99 Database Administrator and Field Administrative Assistant for the External Organizing Department.

She resigned from Local 99 because of numerous issues internally that she details in her email. Check this out, and see Facebook groups asking Bill Lloyd and Neneki Lee to "Reinstate Cristina Hernandez Now!"

And here Tasty thought Bill (the Trustee Andy Stern appointed) and Neneki (External Organizing Director) were supposed to clean up and improve Local 99 after all of the corruption! Doesn't seem like the staff are buying it...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Linda Sin
Date: Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 11:08 AM
Subject: Fwd: Resignation

As many of you may already know, I submitted my resignation on Thursday, February 11. After working alongside you all for quite some time, I apologize for not giving some of you proper farewells.

But if the recent actions taken by the leadership of SEIU Local 99 are any indication of what's in store for the future of the organization, I wanted no part in it. While there are a number of issues, I'd like to highlight a few:

  • When two female coworkers had to fight for maternity/paternity leave benefits during their pregnancies and I saw the stress they were both put under, I was angered and embarrassed to be working for such a hypocritical organization. To attempt to deny them the same benefits that had already been given to male employees in the past was discriminatory and made absolutely no sense.
  • When our proposal to add steps based on seniority in our wage scales and to make sure that no one at Local 99 made less than $30k a year was denied during bargaining, I was flabbergasted. There was no rationality involved in the decision to reject our proposal, as our proposal would have cost Local 99 less than their across-the-board increases and $1000 bonuses. After being promised the year before that these steps would be added to the staff union contract in 2009, the flat-out denial made me think that SEIU Local 99 is no better than some of the worst employers we come across. Unfortunately, this notion became reality time and time again, as Local 99 proved themselves to be just as terrible as some of the worst anti-union employers out there.
  • When the entire External Organizing team was assigned to work on the UHW mess, we assumed it was partially in response to the petition staff had submitted requesting that Local 99 remain neutral in the mess or because of the embarrassment faced by Bill when featured Local 99 in a blog entry. Despite the varying opinions of staff on the UHW-NUHW mess, when it comes down to it, wasting so much money/resources on the UHW vs. NUHW fight and to not properly inform our members of where their dues money was being spent was just plain wrong. Additionally, when it became apparent that our work at UHW evolved around the strategy of blocking elections with the NLRB and denying workers the right to vote for as long as possible, it became even more unsettling.
  • When the LAUSD Community Representatives' first contract was settled without the bargaining team present, I also started to question the work we do. As a member of the External Organizing team, how could I assist in bringing in more members when these sell-out deals are the result? Are these members really better off with SEIU? With all the rhetoric we use about unions providing a voice in the workplace, is that really what you call “having a voice”?

For me, the final straw was the unjust termination of Cristina Hernandez on February 3, 2010. I am utterly disgusted by the actions of those responsible and I often wonder how they can sleep at night without feeling any guilt/remorse. They couldn't even show up to the February 3rd meeting! If it’s true that Diana Hong will be leaving Local 721 for Local 99 and that Neneki Lee will be taking over Bill Lloyd's position once he retires, I wish you all the best of luck. In the time that I worked at Local 99, I've worked alongside many organizers and Cristina was by far one of the hardest working and intelligent people I've met. To have terminated her and not give her any explanation whatsoever was beyond me. The actions taken against Cristina (termination without just cause and using an inaccurate interpretation of the staff union contract to claim she was on probation) were way beyond my comprehension of what a labor union should stand for.

And now, Local 99 has rejected FIVE TIMES CWA's requests to meet to discuss the grievances that have been filed. Since there has been no response to requests to meet, CWA has filed for arbitration. On Thursday, Bill Lloyd told CWA that he was done with this issue and that we need to compel him to go to arbitration (by taking the case to Superior Court). He didn't agree with the grievances, he denied the grievances, and he's not willing to go to arbitration. His blatant disregard of the grievance process as a "union leader" is disgusting.

While the fight to reinstate Cristina continues, my time at Local 99 is over. I never thought I would leave the way I did - without saying goodbye to you all. I really do miss working alongside some of you, laughing and chatting with you all over lunch/karaoke, getting through our stressful days together, and learning from you. Words can't express the appreciation I feel. Thanks to those of you who dedicated yourselves, motivated others, and made working at Local 99 an enjoyable experience.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Linda Sin <>
Date: Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 11:15 AM
Subject: Resignation
To: Neneki Lee , "Bill A. Lloyd"
Cc: Alicia Loncar , Beng Panado

This letter serves as notification that effective today, I will no longer be working with SEIU Local 99.

My time here has been quite an experience. I’ve worked with some amazing people (many of whom are no longer at Local 99) and I’ve learned a lot about the labor movement. The late nights I’ve spent working on various projects and campaigns were a result of my belief that working people deserve basic rights in the workplace and that we do make a difference with every new unit that we organize.

Unfortunately, at this time, I no longer believe that Local 99 has the best interest of its members in mind. I can no longer work for an organization that supposedly stands for quality jobs and rights in the workplace, and then goes and commits the same (if not worse) travesties that we fight against in our members’ workplaces.

I genuinely hope that Local 99 does not completely lose sight of what the organization stands for. A large part of that is remembering that the hard-working staff is also deserving of basic considerations in its day-to-day operations. We have all made personal sacrifices to ensure that the job we do is done well and in many cases, this sacrifice goes unnoticed or is punished.

I will make arrangements to have all the equipment I have in my possession dropped off at the office before the week is over. Attached is the exit questionnaire that has been required of those who have resigned in the past. If there are any other areas that I have missed, please email me at

Linda Sin