Thursday, August 18, 2011

"President Henry, Impound this Ballot!"

Remember how SEIU Local 221 was pressuring county workers to accept sharp cuts to their health and retirement benefits even though San Diego County has budget surpluses and a well-funded pension plan? Well, here’s the latest development.

This week, a county worker arrived at SEIU’s contract-ratification vote and discovered that union officials had printed ballots in such a way as to practically guarantee that workers will vote to cut their own benefits. The employee snapped a photo of the ballot with his cellphone, which Tasty has posted here for readers.

At the top of the ballot, SEIU officials prominently positioned their preferred option: a “Yes” vote on a deal that would cut workers’ pay by 7-17%. The second option – a “No” vote – is presented to voters in starkly different terms with this text: “NO – And I am prepared to be imposed on and face up to one year 7% offset reduction.”

Wait a sec. Usually, if workers vote down a tentative agreement, it simply means the union goes back to the bargaining table and tries to negotiate a better deal.

And what the f*ck does this mean: “I am prepared to be imposed on”? Sounds a bit ominous...

And in case the ballot wasn’t unfair enough, the worker says that SEIU staffers armed with SEIU-scripted flip-chart presentations stood several feet from the ballot box and pressured workers to vote “Yes.”

After experiencing firsthand SEIU's cutting-edge efforts to expand the frontiers of workplace democracy, the worker penned a letter titled “President Henry, Impound this Ballot!," which Tasty has excerpted below:
Dear SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry,
I am writing you to urge that you immediately stop this election at SEIU Local 221's County of San Diego Chapter. The conduct of this election is a grotesque violation of all ethical and moral standards, and a violation of our SEIU Constitution. It is an insult to American values…
If you do not act, you will be putting your own stamp of approval on this outrage against fair elections. These attached photos are about a union contract election on contracts involving thousands of people and millions of dollars.
I took these photos on my cell phone today at SEIU 221. Note the "sign here in blood" language for a "no" vote and all the "bonus" talk for the "yes" vote RIGHT ON THE BALLOT.
Note the layout of the room. Voting booths are a few feet from the presentation board… A union official stands in front of the presentation board and reads off what's on each sheet… These "informational" presentations are transparent campaigning at the polls. If the Registrar of Voters conducted an election this way, what would happen?