Friday, November 19, 2010

Oh, right! What About the Marshall Report?

'Member when SEIU held that ridiculous "trusteeship hearing" and Stern's pal Ray Marshall wrote that report that essentially said that UHW and it's leaders had done nothing wrong but SEIU should trustee them if they didn't agree to hand over the Long Term care members to Tyrone's local?

And they trusteed UHW?

So, are we about to transfer those members to 6434 now that Laphonza is running the show? Nope. Not happening.

This e-board member is not amused, see his letter below.


November 17, 2010


560 Thomas L Berkley Way

Oakland, CA 94612

Attention: Membership Department

Dear Trustee Dave Regan:

I was informed today that the homecare workers still have not been moved to a California long term care local as demanded by Andy Stern and the IEB in January 2009. Secretary Ray Marshall’s report was very specific that the trusteeship was only warranted if UHW did not follow the IEB’s demand to move the homecare workers to the new statewide homecare local. I assume that though Tyrone Freeman was forced to resign due to criminal financial dealings, SEIU still had plans to create this groundbreaking homecare statewide local. As you well know as a member of the IEB, this destructive action against the member led UHW went against SEIU’s national plan for the rest of the country. In all other states, SEIU was combining all healthcare workers into mega locals creating even multi-state locals. Since we, the member elected UHW Executive Board, refused to follow this obvious attack on our local, UHW was put into trusteeship.

I have waited over 1½ years to see if you will follow the orders of the IEB but I was notified today that the homecare workers are still members of UHW. Furthermore, you are proposing in the new UHW Constitution that the Executive Board be greatly expanded including increased homecare representation. I’m sure you will have no difficulty cherry picking homecare workers to fill those spots. My experience on the Board was it was difficult to find homecare workers willing and able to commit the time necessary to be an Executive Board member. I’m sure you will have no trouble cherry picking homecare workers to fill these vastly enlarged representative seats.

Your actions and the actions of SEIU’s IEB destroyed what was once a very vibrant politically active member driven local. I spent many days lobbying for healthcare reform, safe staffing bills, and other issues in Sacramento as well as phone banking at each election cycle. I engaged the members of my hospital in these efforts. During the most recent election cycle, I saw no political activity at my hospital, no phone banking requests or phone calls to my home, or any other activity to engage union members in this important election.

Sadly, I hereby resign my membership effective. I further am qualifying under the Beck objection and wish to “only pay a fair share fee limited to his or her proportionate share of the Union’s expenditures for collective bargaining, contract administration, grievance adjustment, contract enforcement and other activities germane to the Union’s dues as bargaining representative (called “representative activities”). I expect that any activities related to fighting NUHW is not considered part of this representative activity fee and further object to use of any of this fee for these purposes.


Anthony Aidukas

Former SEIU-UHW Executive Board member


Palm Springs, CA xxxxx

xxx xxx xxx

Desert Regional Medical Center/Tenet

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Slow Lerner

Tasty has received several emails from Zombie UHW staffers reporting that the mood at the Oakland headquarters is a bit blue (well, purplish-blue) following the loss of 1,500 Kaiser professional workers and losses in San Francisco's political elections by the UHW/Chamber of Commerce candidates.

But despite these results, according to Tasty's sources UHW's unelected trustee-for-life Dave Regan was visibly gloating as news worked its way among key senior staff that top SEIU staffer (and IEB member) Stephen Lerner has been fired!

The high-level firing appears to confirm that the 1199 Ohio group (including Tom Woodruff and Scott Courtney) is consolidating power at SEIU, and Tasty is told that the issue came to a head over a dispute about the national union's organizing budget: Would SEIU spend millions of dollars on a multi-city campaign to organize low-paid workers and attack the banks (as Lerner wanted), or would the money be spent on more traditional organizing targets (and on propping up the UHW trusteeship in California, where SEIU has already sunk tens of millions of dollars)?

Other sources tell Tasty that several key SEIU staffers feared Lerner's campaign would be more of the same smoke-and-mirror, media-driven gambits that have soaked up tens of millions of dollars without resulting in new members OR additional credibility for SEIU in the area of financial reform.

The pink-slipping of Stephen Lerner highlights the serious turmoil inside Mary Kay's purple palace as staff leaders jockey for power and control over millions of dollars of budget money (that is... your dues dollars). Tasty hears that Stephen Lerner is not the only staffer who's likely to get the axe, and that other staffers are likely to quit their jobs and follow Lerner out the door. Meanwhile, Lerner's firing creates another vacancy on SEIU's International Executive Board (Lerner was one of the International staffers who also sat on the board), which Mary Kay will have to fill. Stay tuned for more!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

NUHW IS BACK IN THE GAME! 1500 Kaiser Workers Choose NUHW

Despite an intense campaign by the Kaiser and SEIU against NUHW (though what's the difference between those two these days?) and the larger Kaiser unit choosing SEIU, Kaiser Optical and IBHS (psych) workers joined NUHW :

Here are the totals:

IBHS: 3 to 1!

SEIU: 196
NUHW: 603
No Union: 0

Kaiser Optical:

SEIU: 142
NUHW: 154
No Union: 0

Nor Cal Social Workers:

SEIU: 148
NUHW: 139
No union: 2

As far as SEIU's last-ditch attempt to block the ballot count, here's some coverage in a local newspaper.

Congrats to all!

UPDATE: Kaiser Vote Count

The NLRB has ordered the ballots counted.

Counting begins at 1pm.

SEIU tries to impound today's Kaiser ballot count

Tasty hears that SEIU is making a last-minute attempt to block the ballot count for 1,800 Northern California Kaiser professional workers who just finished voting in a mail-ballot NLRB election. This morning, workers and NLRB agents gathered at the NLRB office in Oakland and they've already unsealed the ballots. Now, SEIU is trying to stop the ballot count from proceeding. Gimme a break, SEIU!

So what's the deal with this election? These 1,800 workers are divided into three separate bargaining units, each of which is voting as a separate unit. All three groups (mental health workers, optical workers and medical social workers) first requested elections in June, but SEIU and Kaiser teamed up to block the NLRB from scheduling the elections until after the large, 43,000-member Service & Tech election was finished. SEIU and Kaiser wanted to run the big election first, because they calculated that a win in the big unit would cause the smaller units to vote for SEIU. NUHW wanted all of the elections scheduled for the same time so all Kaiser workers could vote together.

Well, it looks like even though SEIU got its preferred election scheduling, SEIU is plenty nervous about the outcome. Tasty hears that SEIU's "vote SEIU" mailer for the largest unit had only 24 people on it. From what Tasty hears, NUHW has a good chance of winning the biggest unit of 1,100 workers. As for the other two smaller units (approx 360 people each), Tasty hears that SEIU is likely to win one while the other one may be close. Just as we saw in the big unit, Tasty hears that both Kaiser and SEIU ran very dirty campaigns with tons of violations of federal labor law, including captive-audience meetings, etc.

Tasty will keep you updated on developments at the ballot count. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

SEIU Continues With it's Half-Assed Ways

Like a bad case of food poisoning, workers at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital (SVMH) are still feeling the after-effects of SEIU at their hospital. It turns out that SEIU not only agreed to cut 165 jobs at the hospital, they also allowed management to put another 40 workers on a two-week, unpaid furlough.

This latest secret deal was revealed days after the labor board finally certified NUHW as the workers' new union. The 40 furloughed workers run a coffee shop in the hospital's lobby area, and hospital execs approached SEIU about furloughing them because management wanted to change the coffee shop's equipment.

Even a half-assed union would oppose such a request.
Think about single parents struggling to pay their rent, bills, etc who and simply can't afford to lose a half month's pay. Once NUHW was certified, rank-and-file leaders demanded details about the furlough deal, and hospital execs produced emails showing how
SEIU staffer Lauren Sullivan signed off on the furlough deal for SEIU.

At the same time, SEIU began sending robo-calls to SVMH workers' phones, telling them that SEIU plans to fight the labor board's decision to dismiss SEIU's bogus efforts to challenge the election results (in fact, the board has now dismissed SEIU's charges twice). SEIU's robo-call included a shameless effort to gather workers' personal email addresses. It said something like: "We want to stay in touch with you, so please send us your email address and we'll automatically enter you in a contest to win a brand new car!"
If SEIU's trustees never delivered even half-assed support to workers in their jobs, do you really think they're gonna send you a new car???

Meanwhile, check out some of the press on NUHW's demand that the hospital, which made $14 million in profits during the last 14 months, reopen its decision to lay off 165 workers.

Spot of Tea, Tyrone? REDUX

Tyrone Freeman just accepted Tasty's friendship on Facebook. And his page is weird. Either he has lost his mind entirely, or he has been hacked. Or he is a 27 year old Reggae fan who thinks impersonating a loser former SEIU President is funny.

Either way, Tasty loves it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

...And Another One Bites the Dust.

Whoa! Shake up at UniteHERE?

UniteHERE President John Wilhelm is taking a "LOA" until February.

What gives? Tired from beating SEIU and Raynor?

It's Election Day! SEIU and the Chamber of Commerce Get out the Vote!

A few weeks ago, Tasty shared with you that Trustee Extraordinaire Dave Regan is working against progressive candidates for the boss's organization, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce -- as part of the so-called "Alliance for Sustainable Growth."

Well, it's not just Dave. His pal Leon Chow is getting in on it, too! 

You remember Leon, right? Leon Chow has never found a principle he couldn't compromise as long as it advances his personal career. Before the trusteeship, when Chow was a staff member at SEIU-UHW, he signed letters to SEIU President Andy Stern opposing his planned trusteeship of SEIU-UHW. Chow also criticized SEIU as undemocratic and ultimately resigned his membership in SEIU in order to protest the trusteeship.

Then, just six days after the trusteeship, Chow executed a flip-flop of gigantic proportions by signing up for a high-paying job with SEIU's trustees so he could personally implement the trusteeship! And Chow, who formerly worked for HERE, worked side-by-side with SEIU operatives to launch a multi-million-dollar raid against his former union, UNITE HERE.

Chow also sits on the board of directors of the Chinese Progressive Association in San Francisco, which claims to push for "a progressive voice for working-class Chinese immigrants." In another giant flip-flop, Chow is now happily featuring his photo alongside the President of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce on campaign literature that attacks progressive candidates running for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. 


Who's funding the so-called "Alliance for Sustainable Growth"? According to Beyond Chron

Besides SEIU-UHW, funding for the Alliance for Jobs and Sustainable Growth comes from the Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA), Building Owners Management Association (BOMA) and the Plumbers Union.

For those of you who remember the pre-trusteeship version of Leon Chow, he used to go head-to-head with the GGRA, the largest single donor to the failed fight against San Francisco's living wage laws.

Leon Chow's dizzying flip-flops are so extreme, it's hard to imagine what he'll do next. Tasty wouldn't be surprised if he ends up in the Human Resources Department of some big corporation... as long as it pays enough.