Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pants on Fire.

A reader sent along this cartoon and note:

"Tasty- SEIU has been flooding us with one lie after another since 2008 when they started hitting us with glossy purple brochures and robo-calls as part of their campaign to "implode" our union. We've learned that you can't trust anything that SEIU says. This pinocchio cartoon pretty much tells it like it is as far as SEIU's credibility in CA."


Check out SEIU's attempt at justifying the trusteeship.


"...Despite our progress, we have not yet overcome all of the negative effects left behind by the former leaders' undemocratic activities and their continued attempts to destabilize our collective bargaining relationships and put us at risk in the workplace. That's why Trustee Dave Regan sent a letter July 16 to SEIU President Mary Kay Henry requesting that the trusteeship continue for a while longer."

Um, define "a while."

There is some confusion about what the word "undemocratic" means...Tasty thinks the reason the trusteeship is still unstable might be more related to this.

Friday, July 30, 2010

September 13th, 2010

Today, the NLRB set an election date for 43,500 Kaiser workers! Ballots will be mailed out on September 13 to workers in the Service, Maintenance, Clerical &Tech unit. Time to get busy, Kaiser workers! You have 6 weeks to get 'er done.

Meanwhile, SEIU continues to try to block elections for three other units of Kaiser workers who also requested elections last month. The NLRB has already held hearings on SEIU's bogus blocking charges, and it's now up to the NLRB's regional director to make a decision. If he acts soon, the NLRB can let these workers vote at the same time as their co-workers.

So how do SEIU's blocking charges square with SEIU's Steve Trossman's hostage-taking charges? Well, Tasty knows this may come as a shock to some readers, but Trossman is not too good with the truth. In fact, while Trossman was screaming that NUHW was somehow trying to hold Kaiser elections hostage, SEIU was filing NLRB briefs and these blocking charges to stop elections for workers in Kaiser's professional units. Trossman is quickly becoming the Pinocchio of SEIU (although there are LOTS challengers for this award over at SEIU). The problem with Trossman's lies is he's SEIU-UHW's Communication's Director. How does SEIU think that workers and the public will actually believe them when they blatantly lie? Glad there are so many attentive readers out there to call SEIU on their B.S.

SEIU is going to bring the crizazy-zombie-action over the next few weeks, keep Tasty informed!

The Trusteeship and the SEIU's Financial Problems---like Death and Taxes.

When SEIU first put UHW in trusteeship in January of 2009, Dave Regan said everything at UHW would return to normal after about three months. Well, 18 months later, SEIU just announced it's extending its failed trusteeship until March of 2011. Under this new plan, SEIU will keep the local's members under trusteeship for 25 months, even though federal law says trusteeships are supposed to last only 18 months.

It doesn't take a PhD to realize that things aren't going too well in Zombie-land. California has become SEIU's own kind of Vietnam/Iraq/Afghanistan, just as Bill Ragen predicted in his famous "implosion memo." Meanwhile, SEIU must now figure out how it's gonna pay $150 million to UNITE HERE. This should be quite a trick after Andy "Bio-warfare" Stern sold off millions of dollars of the union's investments and left SEIU on the hook for $85 million in debt to Bank of America.

One insider tells Tasty that SEIU staffers may face another round of job cuts, just like they did during SEIU's financial crunch in 2009. (Good luck, UUR.) There is, of course, an alternative: Dave Regan could take accept a cut in his annual salary of $265,488. On second thought, Tasty suggests that SEIU staff visit

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

1021 Won't give up $2 Million for the Kaiser Election!

SEIU officials have begun pressuring SEIU local unions into forking over millions of dollars and their entire organizing staffs to run SEIU's campaign against 45,000 Kaiser workers who are trying to join NUHW.

SEIU recently asked SEIU Local 1021 in Northern California to cough up $2 million and all of its organizing staff.

But not so fast, Dave Regan and Mary Kay Henry! Yesterday (July 26), Local 1021's Executive Board rejected SEIU's request by a vote of 24 to 2!

Check out a Local 1021 member Harry Baker's comments about SEIU's demand, which was sponsored internally at the local by a 1021-er named Patrick Ikeda, including a reference to the half million dollars that former leaders of Local 1021 contributed to the Fresno homecare election last year. Since then, a slate of reformers swept Local 1021's officer elections and removed Stern's appointed trustee.

Here are the comments:

Do we now take loyalty oaths in SEIU?

If Patrick wants to try to trick me and others into showing our support for NUHW, hey pal, you got me. I support now and always have supported bottom-up, member-run unionism. I oppose now and always have opposed UHW and our Washington SEIU office interfering, as they now very clearly are doing, in Local 1021's internal affairs. The campaign theme that our Change 1021 team ran and won overwhelmingly on was, "Make 1021 Member-Run!" Not "Make 1021 Stern-run!" Not "Make 1021 UHW-Run!" Not make 1021 Henry-Run!"

Brian's comments of a day or two ago were right on point. He reminded us that this time last year UHW and then Stern-controlled International SEIU tried to pull us out of the California Central Labor Councils in support of UHW and actually succeeded in Alameda County. Brian added, "If we were not in the [San Francisco Central Labor Council] this last budget battle, can you imagine the possible cuts and layoffs or the ability to fight [Politician] Jeff Adachi's attack or passing the Hotel tax on our own? ... Does 'support' mean like in the Fresno campaign where...half a million [Local 1021] dollars and numerous [Local 1021] staff resources were sent last year and this will be a much bigger fight and much more costly."This time last year UHW and then Stern-controlled International SEIU tried to pull us out of the California Central Labor Councils in support of UHW and actually succeeded in Alameda County."

Worthwhile Reading on the SEIU--Unite/Here Settlement

Ben Smith at Politico "The agreement was a kind of lesson in negotiations. The UNITE faction of the merged union thought it was strengthening its position by merging into SEIU. Instead, it was the reverse. SEIU had too much to lose, and wound up paying a pretty high ransom for peace after HERE's combative president, John Wilhelm, made it clear he'd wage an all-out war indefinitely."

Randy Shaw at Beyond Chron "It represents an even bigger victory for the rank and file members of UNITE HERE, who rose to the challenge posed by SEIU’s attacks and reaffirmed their ability to struggle “one day longer” than their adversaries."

NYTimes "...Andrew Stern, the service employees’ recently retired president, had unsuccessfully negotiated to settle their intra-union feud."

Juan Gonzales at NY Daily News "Workers United, the faction that left UNITE HERE and joined SEIU, will keep the needle trades and laundries, two declining industries.

$85 million dollars in real estate and $75 million dollars in returned funds! Tasty thinks Tiger's wife should hire Wilhelm to get a divorce settlement for her--that man can negotiate!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Unite/Here Beats Back the SEIU Attack

Tonight Unite/Here President John Wilhelm issued a statement--the settlement that was imminent is final.

I am pleased to report we have reached a binding agreement with SEIU that brings an end to nearly two years of hostilities.
I credit new SEIU President Mary Kay Henry for personally devoting her energy to making this agreement. For the sake of workers and the labor movement, I hope that this is the first step in making SEIU the great Union it can be under her leadership.
UNITE HERE is proud that the agreement preserves its exclusive jurisdiction to organize in the hotel and gaming industries. It also lays out a level playing field for both Unions in the food service industry.
And it restores to UNITE HERE the bulk of the financial assets that have been tied up in federal court, including the Manhattan real estate. UNITE HERE and SEIU agreed to seek approval from federal regulators to transfer ownership of the Amalgamated Bank to SEIU-affiliated Workers United.
As a result of the above jurisdictional and financial terms, UNITE HERE is in a strong position to represent our members effectively and to bring hope to non-Union workers in our industries.
I congratulate UNITE HERE members, leaders, staff, and attorneys all across the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico whose strength and solidarity proved more than equal to this challenge.
We have won back our Union.

But in the end--SEIU got the bank. Tasty wonders what the details are, and what it means for NUHW...send in your observations, tipsters!

PS Wilhelm really lays it on thick for MK. Wonder if he would say that off the record?

Tarzana Workers Choose NUHW

NUHW 282
Neither 38

That is a 4 to 1 margin, for those of you keeping track.

Bummer for you, Mr. Hickey

Tasty hears that Mary Kay Henry recently reshuffled the deck chairs on the Titanic by reassigning top SEIU DC staffers to new duties. One SEIU topdog who got a serious demotion is Dennis Rivera, the former president of 350,000-member 1199NY. Back in 2008, SEIU appointed Rivera as the President of "SEIU Healthcare," which SEIU described as its "new one million member union." Well, not any more. A recent memo from Mary Kay to SEIU's International Executive Board announces that Dennis is now a "Senior Policy Adviser" to Mary Kay. In fact, Tasty hears he's now reporting to SEIU's newly named Organizing Director, Scott Courtney. Oh, and who took Scott's job running SEIU healthcare's field work? His girlfriend, Joyce Moscato!

Dennis's standing has really taken a plunge in recent years. Dennis famously led SEIU's outrageously unprincipled (and totally unsuccessful) attack on the 42,000-member Puerto Rican Teachers Union in 2008.

So why is Dennis in Mary Kay's doghouse? Tasty wonders if it's because he backed out of being a trustee of UHW in 2009. In a total FAIL right after the trusteeship, SEIU sent out correspondence on trusteeship letterhead listing Dennis as the trustee.

Sounds like Mary Kay is still upset that Dennis wouldn't do a tour of duty in Californiraq. In SEIU-land, if you refuse to sign the loyalty oath, you're either out the door or, if your act of disloyalty isn't too beg, you're relegated to the doghouse.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Holla, Hoyas!

Since Andy Stern left SEIU, he has become a board member at a biological warfare company, listed himself with a speakers bureau, kept his gig with Obama and is sitting pretty with his massive pension. But that doesn't fill the day! So what is Andy up to, now?

He is headed to Georgetown University to be a "research fellow" at the university's public policy school.

Watch out, co-eds! This man is looking to fall in love!

Trusteeships are so fun, they just don't end!

Seems that SEIU has done such an awesome job on the trusteeship that they have decided that they need to extend it! Which means that SEIU feels that they can't "trust" the members to vote for the current "leadership team." Democracy much, SEIU?

Funny, 'cuz a little birdie manager at Zombie UHW told me that they were asking staff for contributions for Dave's slate in the election--almost as soon as people came on staff! Wonder what Dave did with all that money? (Suggestion!)

This was revealed on a highly entertaining UWOC call last night. (Special thanks for the number to a tipster!) X PEREZ BORSELLI also enjoyed the scoop from the call--he writes a great post about it here.

Highlight (in CAPS of course):


Get your mail ballots ready, y'all! This fight is just heating up!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tarzana Ballots to be Counted on Monday!

Stay tuned, but Tasty thinks that NUHW supporters are going to like the results!


Tasty hears that Steve Trossman is up to his deceitful ways again. Trossman is the SEIU Communications Director who reportedly "helped develop a strategy in 2002" to hide reports of Tyrone Freeman's corruption from SEIU members and the public, according to a source cited in the Los Angeles Times.

And thank goodness Trossman did that, because Tyrone only went on to steal more than $1 million from California healthcare workers!

So what's the little guy up to now? Well, last week SEIU pulled a stunt at an NLRB hearing about Kaiser workers' request for NLRB elections. SEIU brought 60 staffers and lost-timers to an NLRB hearing in Oakland and said SEIU would drop its blocking charges and agree to an election date if NUHW signed a written SEIU "stipulation agreement." The only problem was that SEIU's stipulation agreement covered just one of the four groups of Kaiser workers who've petitioned for elections!

Under SEIU's agreement, SEIU would continue to block elections for thousands of Kaiser workers in the other three "bargaining units." Tasty guesses they think they have absolutely NO CHANCE in those units, and would need all of their staff to try to pull something even resembling a victory out in that one unit that would get to vote?!

Plus, SEIU's didn't include any of the dozens of details about how the election would be conducted--like when and how people would vote. It's like asking a Bargaining Committee at a hospital or nursing home to sign a blank contract that gives away your right to negotiate any of the contract's details. I mean, who would do that? (ok, except Mary Kay and her team?)

So, clearly NUHW refused. Enter Trossman. He got right to work trying to trick Kaiser workers into thinking that NUHW is the one refusing to hold elections. Along with email blasts, leaflets and videos, Trossman yesterday put out a joke of a press release that could easily have run in the "National Enquirer." It begins like this:

Day 8: Union Election Held Hostage
OAKLAND, Calif. - (Business Wire) The National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) is still refusing to agree to a union election for 43,000 Kaiser workers...

Well, one thing is for certain, if Trossman ever runs out of work covering up SEIU's celebrities and their misdeeds, he is right there in Hollywood--TMZ and Perez Hilton: are you hiring?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The CHW Scoop

Last week, workers at Catholic Healthcare West, the largest hospital chain in California, started circulating petitions to leave SEIU-UHW and join NUHW. How is SEIU responding? Well, "my old school friends," let's just say it comes directly from Dave Regan's playbook.

Here are two reports:

On Thursday, SEIU staffer Chava Bustamante showed up at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco and promptly fired all of the hospital's Shop Stewards from their elected positions for refusing to sign an SEIU loyalty oath. Bustamante, who apparently fancies himself as a supporter of union democracy, has now shown his true colors for the world to see. Check out the email below from a Saint Francis worker.

Meanwhile, in Sacramento, SEIU sent 20 purple-shirted zombies to storm through CHW's Methodist Hospital. The purple mob, led by SEIU staffers Josie Summers and Sherrie Macias, pushed their way into the hospital's pharmacy and laboratory and began chanting "SEIU, SEIU" as they pumped their fists in the air and tried to intimidate workers who moments earlier had been busy with lab specimens and pharmacy orders. The stunned workers quickly called security guards to remove the SEIU mob from their hospital... but not before Josie Summers and Sherrie Macias fired all of the hospital's Shop Stewards.

Here's the email from a worker at St. Francis Memorial Hospital:

Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2010
Subject: Saint Francis Memorial Hospital

I was a shop steward for the past 6 years at SFMH and you may have heard the entire steward council was fired yesterday by Chava Bustamante. The way we managed not to be canned during the trusteeship is that with each union rep (we are now on our 5th since January 2009, Ruben Garcia) we stood united saying we are not here to talk "politics", but rather stay focused on worksite issues. And we have managed to do some really good work - we recently got our PCC [Patient Care Committee] meeting again; it had not met for about 15 months since the trusteeship was imposed. Yesterday, Chava demanded we sign some kind of loyalty pledge to SEIU and one by one we each expressed our own objections. I said I value democratic values of free choice, etc. I just spoke with someone in the [NUHW's] Emeryville office who told me the circulation of petitions in CHW hospitals began yesterday. Thank God! I have been working at SFMH since the 1970s and have had many unusual experiences in the workplace, but getting fired by my own union takes the cake.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday, Funday!

Check out The Daily Call's important post on Stern and his doppelganger Hugh Hefner!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Don't Worry about Dolores, the Teamsters were Worse.

Readers-I know lots of you get NUHW's emails, but this video warranted a comment from Tasty, based on recent events. Check out this 4-minute video with an account from Dolores Huerta about what she witnessed at three Kaiser hospitals. 80-year-old Dolores Huerta co-founded the United Farm Workers union with Cesar Chavez and is considered a legend for her work on the front lines of labor and civil rights struggles.

SEIU staffer Angela Hewett makes a cameo appearance in the video chanting and beating her fists on tables in an effort to stop workers from holding a meeting.

SEIU staffers even insulted Dolores Huerta, calling her "a scab" and telling her "to go back to the fields."

Tasty thinks that it seems like SEIU is telling its staff to do whatever it takes to try to win... from death threats to shout-downs to insulting respected (and elderly) labor leaders like Dolores Huerta.

Looks like Liz was just "leading the way!"

Friday, July 16, 2010

Even though Tasty still hates the CAPS USE...

check out It's interesting to see the viewpoint of someone who was anti-NUHW and has evolved on the issue.

From TRO to Permanent Protective Order: Tiffany Ford!

Today LA Superior court Judge Minto issued a permanent restraining order that prohibits SEIU staffer Tiffany Ford from getting within 25 feet of Jan Harris, a social worker at Kaiser. She can still be at Kaiser Baldwin Park, but has to avoid Ms. Harris. Cuz' as you will recall, Tiffany THREATENED TO KILL JAN HARRIS-an SEIU member whose dues pay her salary.

Tiffany isn't fired, yet. Because why would SEIU fire a staffer who a judge agrees threatened to kill a member?

Tiffany Ford is SEIU's Mel Gibson.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Latest on SEIU's New "Book"

Remember that new SEIU-funded book called "Stronger Together: The Story of SEIU" that Tasty mentioned earlier? It's the one written by Don Stillman, the husband of SEIU General Counsel Judy Scott? Well, I thought readers might enjoy this excellent review of the book on Beyond Chron.

Interestingly, Beyond Chron's book review got the attention of publishing house Chelsea Green, which SEIU describes as the book's publisher. Not so, says Chelsea Green. Turns out SEIU couldn't even find a company to publish the book, so SEIU "self-published" it and then tried to boost the book's street cred by apparently misinforming the public that it was actually published by a credible publishing house.

Tasty dreams of a world where SEIU gives straight answers, even just occasionally.

Working 5-2-1, ain't no way to make a livin'... embezzle some cash?

Seems like SEIU's knack for racking up more corruption scandals than organizing victories is holding steady. Only days after Tom Balanoff stepped down from the witness stand at Blago's corruption trial, MSNBC published this article about an official at SEIU Local 521 who embezzled more than $350,000 from members' insurance premiums to fund her special passion for, are you ready? Internet gambling!

The official, named Brandi Madewell (I'm not joking), is listed on the Executive Board minutes of SEIU Local 521, where she recently proposed launching a new "Accidental Death and Dismemberment Policy" for union members -- at no cost to the members!

Apparently, leaders at Local 521 were finally tipped off to Madewell's massive embezzlement scheme when numerous vendors complained they hadn't been paid in awhile (kind of a big clue, wouldn't you say?). Various articles in local newspapers say that Madewell was "placed on administrative leave" for stealing the more than $350k.

Administrative leave? Now where have I heard that before... Is she gonna get the same "reassignment-to-the-DC-office" deal that Rickman Jackson and Annelle Grajeda got? Tasty doesn't think so, because SEIU's top officers only give that deal to their special friends and personal appointees. But hey, just in case Madewell has a special relationship with one of SEIU's top officers, Tasty recommends that SEIU staffers in the DC office keep an eye out for perhaps the newest addition to Mary Kay Henry's staff.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Interested in the Tarzana Vote Count?

Yeah, Tasty too.

The NLRB says it will not count Providence Tarzana workers' ballots today so it can respond to more BS from SEIU. Apparently, here's what happened: After Providence Tarzana workers requested an NLRB election last year, SEIU filed bogus charges that stalled the election for months. Eventually, the NLRB threw out SEIU's blocking charges and ordered today's election. SEIU then asked the NLRB to reconsider the Board's decision to allow the election to take place, and apparently the NLRB hasn't completed its "re-review." The bottom line: the NLRB will not count workers ballots today, but will instead wait until they've finished the "re-review" requested by SEIU.

Tasty respectfully requests that the NLRB conduct a "re-review" of SEIU's BS stalling tactics. Gimme a break!

Good Looking Out, Berkman! Sorry, Ben...

Glad to see that readers are watching! A reader posted the following comment on a piece that reported this week's news about the negotiations between SEIU and UNITE HERE. Here's the comment:

"If you're going to poach info from at least give them credit, Ben. You did this with Stern's resignation too, don't think we didn't notice.

Posted By: Berkman | July 13, 2010 at 05:05 PM"

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tarzana Election on Wednesday!

On Wednesday, about 550 workers at Providence Tarzana Medical Center in Southern California will finally get to vote. Last year, workers requested an NLRB election so they could leave SEIU-UHW and join NUHW. But SEIU's army of attorneys blocked the election for months. Tasty hears that SEIU is running scared and has bombarded workers with glossy purple mailers and robo-calls.

Providence Tarzana is the hospital where SEIU assigned Local 221's snake-loving Organizing Director Dequasia Gardner to fight workers' efforts to boot SEIU. Tasty hears that Dequasia has split town and is now working in Florida. (Florida has very loose laws about reptile ownership.)

Providence Tarzana is part of a giant chain called Providence Health. SEIU tried for years to organize the company's workers in Oregon, until Andy Stern and other SEIU officials yanked all the funding from the project in 2008. Why'd they pull the plug on the "break-through" campaign? Tasty thinks it might have something to do with SEIU Local 49's then-president, Alice Dale's, vote against Stern's efforts to transfer all of California's long-term care workers under Tyrone Freeman's control. Super good idea to punish a local union leader who stood up to corrupt Tyrone, Andy!

Good luck, Tarzanans! Don't get fooled by any snake charmers...

SEIU and Unite/Here Settle-Or do they? UPDATED

Check out this Crain's NY article on the settlement. Not a ton of details:

As part of the deal, which still needs to be approved by the executive boards of both unions, the garment workers (Workers United) will also fork over a hefty amount of cash to the hotel workers (Unite Here). The total value of the deal to Unite Here, including the estimated $70 million, 28-story building, could be more than $150 million, according to sources familiar with the agreement. Unite Here will also regain control of some bargaining units that had flipped over to Workers United during the battle.

And this paragraph:

SEIU's new president, Mary Kay Henry, was determined to end the fight and played an influential role in hammering out the tentative deal with Mr. Wilhelm, sources said. Its affiliate is paying a hefty price, but after almost two years of fighting that took time and resources away from organizing workers and a toll on the union's reputation, leaders were anxious for peace, at whatever price.

Well, well. The new Prez settles, but SEIU still loses big. $150 million, plus all the money spent on the fight, plus all the hours spend fighting, plus all the dues lost...and SEIU still has to keep Raynor! Lose, lose!



Unite Here issued a statement on this article:


From: John W. Wilhelm, President

There is no agreement with SEIU, despite rumors to the contrary. While we
continue to talk, and make some progress, difficult issues remain
unresolved. I will notify members of the GEB promptly in the event a
settlement is achieved. Meanwhile, we continue on our present course to
defend our Union, and I remain grateful for your steadfastness and courage.

Something is up...but they must be close, for Crain's to have enough to write a story...will keep you posted. Sorry for any confusion!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tiffany "I'm gonna kill you" Ford

How "old school" has SEIU become in its battle against Kaiser workers? Well, the Los Angeles courts just issued a restraining order against SEIU staffer Tiffany Ford after she threatened to kill two Kaiser social workers and then shoved another Kaiser employee. Apparently, the police were called and, after investigating, the courts issued a restraining order against Tiffany Ford to keep her away from Kaiser workers.

We've seen a lot of Dave Regan-style 'old school' bullying and intimidation since SEIU rode into town. Like the time that SEIU organizers threatened immigrant homecare workers with deportation if they voted for NUHW.

Or the time when a video caught SEIU Staffer Liz Castillo yelling at members and even hitting an NUHW volunteer in a hospital cafeteria.

SEIU's threats and physical violence against workers have gotta stop. It's not even funny anymore. This woman went into a hospital and threatened to kill members? WHAT THE HELL, SEIU? Why isn't she fired?

What does it say about an organization when it keeps multiple staffers on its payroll who've committed violence against workers and even threatened to kill them? Is this the new SEIU that Mary Kay is building?

Apparently, it's not too troubling to SEIU leaders, who've adopted a deliberate strategy of creating "WW III" inside Kaiser facilities.

While SEIU may not be winning over members, it sure is collecting quite a stack of criminal complaints.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Where in the World is Anna Burger?

A reader tipped Tasty off that SEIU pension checks, usually signed by both Stern and Burger, as President and Secretary Treasurer, are now simply signed by Queen MK.

What have they done with Anna? Has she already started to move on?

A selection of Kaiser Election Articles, for your reading pleasure

In These Times

California Healthline

Sacramento and LA Business Journal

SF Appeal

North Bay Business Journal

Counter Punch

Workers Independent News


and the NLRB Press Release on the filing.

Dates to be set soon!