Sunday, August 28, 2011

SEIU: Hookin’ & Crookin’ in Michigan

Many readers will be familiar with the dirty tricks that SEIU is using in Michigan. Here’s what’s going on:

Workers report that SEIU just cut a backroom deal with Mercy Health Partners’ Hackley Hospital in Muskegon, Michigan. The tentative contract settlement would apparently hit workers with a wage cut of 6%-11% over the life of the contract by letting management push more health insurance costs and other benefits costs onto the backs of workers.

So how’s SEIU trying to sell this bad deal to union members?

First, SEIU waged a fake fight against the hospital to try to rally workers’ support for the deal. SEIU staged an informational picket at the hospital, and then hours later SEIU Healthcare Michigan president Marge Faville announced she had miraculously reached a wonderful deal for workers (…that’s the bad deal that Faville cut before the picket).

Next, SEIU pushed workers to ratify the deal while conveniently refusing to provide them with copies of the tentative agreements (TAs). Here’s one worker’s report:
After many phone calls and messages to the SEIU union hall, I finally spoke with Norma Kersting on Friday, who referred me to Matt Carpenter. I asked him to fax me the tentative agreements so I could review them over the weekend. He said they didn't want them to “proliferate through the department” and he didn't have time to fax them. SEIU must have a very difficult procedure to fax, because our way is very quick and easy. He told me to come to the “informational” meetings on Monday and gave me the times. When I told him that I couldn't make any of those times, he said I could come to the union hall any time, staff would be there all day, and that because of the "really complicated language" he would need to sit down and "explain it all" to me. No Matt, all I need you to explain to me is why I can't see the TAs that will have a major effect on my life.
Here’s what another worker wrote:
They act like people are stupid and they need their wisdom to figure things out. It's insulting. We can read and use a calculator. And if this is a good contract like they claim, then why are they scared of people seeing it?
Hmm… Marge?? Tasty realizes you have a lot on your mind. There’s your $160,000-a-year salary, your union-paid SUV (price: $47,242) and your union-paid corporate apartment for those weekend trips to the big city ($17,600 per year). And then, of course, there are the union staff jobs you gave to your daughter, son and niece.

Despite the many pressures of your job, Tasty humbly suggests that you tell your salaried children to photocopy the TAs. Then, you should hop in your fancy SUV and deliver those TAs to the workers, who're the ones who actually pay your salary (umm, and the kids' salaries, too). Tasty hears the workers kinda really wanna see what you agreed to with their boss.

Oh, and by the way, Marge. No need to swing by Luther Manor Nursing Home in Saginaw. The workers there saw through SEIU’s bag of tricks. Last week, they voted down a separate sell-out contract settlement that you were trying to push down their throats, by hook or crook, SEIU-style.