Wednesday, September 28, 2011

RICO Rocks the Purple Palace

Tasty hears there’s been lots of finger-pointing inside the Purple Palace ever since SEIU’s devastating court settlement with Sodexo. Apparently, lots of the fingers are pointing at Tom Woodruff (SEIU Executive Vice President) and Mike Fishman (president of SEIU Local 32BJ in New York). 

So what’s “RICO?” It’s the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act, a law created to take on criminal organizations like the mafia. In March, a giant company called Sodexo filed a 125-page lawsuit against SEIU in federal court alleging that SEIU violated the RICO Act by engaging in an “illegal campaign of extortion” where the union engaged in acts of “blackmail, vandalism, trespass, harassment, and lobbying law violations” to get Sodexo to recognize SEIU as its exclusive union.

In late July, a judge threw out SEIU’s effort to dismiss the lawsuit and ordered SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, Mike Fishman, Tom Woodruff and others to stand trial. That’s when the SEIU officials began crapping their pants.

And according to an East Coast SEIU insider, the SEIU executive management was petrified that the union would be subject to fines of up to $1 billion, not an unrealistic assumption since damages pursuant to RICO may be tripled.

Of greater concern was that a public trial would result in the disclosure of many documents and actions that would result in very unfavorable publicity.  This would lead to many extensive legal and ethical investigations into the union’s business practices and political activities, including the conduct and actions of its officers and members.  This, in turn, would jeopardize the SEIU’s reputation and relationship with numerous political entities whose employees are represented by the union… In other words, the SEIU “has too much dirty laundry” and “too much to lose.”
So how did SEIU’s courageous officials respond to the challenge of a jury trial?  They collapsed like a house of cards. The SEIU bosses quickly signed a secret, out-of-court settlement with Sodexo so they could avoid a public trial.

And how much dues money did SEIU officials hand over to Sodexo? It’s a secret. The only part of the deal that’s public is the part that says SEIU must stop its campaign at Sodexo. Btw, Tasty hears that before the lawsuit, SEIU officials spent tens of millions of SEIU members’ dues dollars on the Sodexo campaign, including flying SEIU staffers to Sodexo’s corporate headquarters in Paris, France.

So why are lots of purple fingers pointing at Woodruff and Fishman? These two geniuses ran SEIU’s campaign against Sodexo. In fact, Fishman’s name is splashed all over the lawsuit, which alleges he played the role of the heavy-handed guy who delivered telephoned threats to Sodexo (try doing a search for "Fishman" in the lawsuit, and you'll see what Tasty means). As for Woodruff, some say his role in SEIU’s RICO debacle explains why he’s resigning next year.

What’s the upshot for the labor movement? Not good news. SEIU, instead of running an honest organizing campaign, apparently chose to do the opposite… which will come as no great surprise to Kaiser workers. SEIU’s RICO suit gives a black eye to unions… and may embolden nasty bosses who might wanna try their hand at RICO suits against other unions. And for SEIU, it marks yet another devastating legal loss.

What about the seriously soiled trousers of SEIU’s head honchos? Tasty hopes they’ve been thoroughly laundered… and are ready for SEIU’s next crisis.

Seen this in your mailbox??

A reader sent along this copy of a NUHW mailer that’s landing in the mailboxes of 43,000 Kaiser workers who’ll be voting in a rerun NLRB election that's not yet been scheduled. Check it out! (You can click on the images to see a blown-up version).

Monday, September 26, 2011

Clueless in Seattle

David Rolf
A reader in Seattle sent along this story. On Friday, labor journalist Steve Early had a book-signing event at a Seattle book store attended by NUHW’s Sal Rosselli. After the event, about 40 of the attendees walked over to a pizza parlor to get some food and continue the discussion.

On their way to the restaurant, they ran into 10 purple-shirted organizers from SEIU Local 775NW. Apparently, Dave Regan had told David Rolf, the pre-pubescent president of SEIU Local 775NW, to send the 10 organizers to picket the pizza restaurant and try to bully the people involved.

Rolf, of course, didn’t have the guts to show up at the event. Too bad… because Tasty hears Rolf would’ve learned a thing or two. It turns out that some of the rank-and-file members from Rolf’s own union were at the event and shared some interesting perspectives about Rolf and SEIU.

You see… all of SEIU Local 775NW’s 40,000 members are low-paid homecare and nursing home workers who mostly earn $8-$10 an hour. And like many low-wage workers, they’ve been hit hard by the Great Recession. Well… everyone has been hit hard except for King Dave Rolf. In 2009, Rolf pocketed a $25,000 pay hike (courtesy of workers' dues dollars) that boosted his annual pay to $175,941. Rolf’s $25K pay hike is, by itself, more than what many of his union’s members earn in an entire year.


Two weeks ago, Local 775NW held its annual leadership conference, which -- ironically -- was dedicated to fixing inequality in the US economy (whoops!). Local 775NW’s website is filled with super cool quotes from Dave: “Our country has more overall wealth than ever, but people are struggling… It’s a crisis of consciousness and a crisis of leadership.”

Oh… and Tasty also likes this one: “It will take an army of people to win the Fight for a Fair Economy, and building the army starts with us.”(Does that make Dave the high-paid Field Marshal of his army of poor people?)

Well, Tasty has a few words of advice for King Dave:  Next time, you might wanna actually listen to the workers who pay your salary… instead of bullying them. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Is SEIU Turning Red?

A watchful reader spotted this one. With NUHW’s election victory in Michigan on Friday and NUHW’s role in leading a growing fightback campaign against the nation’s largest non-profit HMO (Kaiser Permanente), even SEIU may be turning red. Check out this shot from SEIU-UHW’s website! 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

More Pics from Kaiser Strike

Check out these pictures from readers. NUHW has posted a bunch more photos here.

Kaiser Fremont Medical Center
Kaiser Sacramento Medical Center

Kaiser Walnut Creek Medical Center

Kaiser Hayward Medical Center

Kaiser Modesto Medical Center

Friday, September 23, 2011

Michigan Workers Vote NUHW!

This just in. The NLRB finished counting the ballots from today’s election at Luther Manor Nursing Home and… workers voted by more than a two-to-one margin to leave SEIU and join NUHW! The final tally was 47 (NUHW), 22 (SEIU), 1 (No Union) and 4 challenged ballots.

Sounds like it’s been quite a week for Luther Manor workers. Last weekend, SEIU tried to lure workers to a barbeque where SEIU promised to raffle off a flat-screen TV. Then, SEIU deployed 15 organizers who knocked on workers’ doors and pushed a fear campaign to try to convince them to stay in SEIU. This morning, when workers arrived at work, they found 8 purple-shirted SEIU organizers standing on the corner near the nursing home trying to offer workers free coffee and donuts.

In the end, all of SEIU’s tricks, bribes and threats weren’t enough to overcome workers who stood strong through repeated rounds of SEIU’s hookin’ & crookin’ … from backroom deals with the boss … to ballot-box stuffing … to SEIU’s forced re-votes of already-rejected contract deals.

The workers are NUHW’s first members in Michigan.  Although not for long. Workers at CHP’s Hackley Hospital are waiting for the NLRB to cut through SEIU’s stalling tactics so they can have their vote. Congrats, Luther Manor workers!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chanting SEIU Away

A tipster tells Tasty that at Kaiser Walnut Creek Medical Center, hundreds of SEIU members walked off the job in solidarity with NUHW and the CNA despite SEIU's campaign of pressure and threats to get them to cross the picket lines of their colleagues.

Tasty thinks between this and the overturning of the Kaiser de-cert election because of the massive collusion between SEIU and management...well, SEIU's true colors are pretty clear to see.

Some chants from Walnut Creek:

"What union is telling people not to stike?  S-E-I-U"

"What union is in bed with Kaiser? S-E-I-U"

Picketing Around Cali

Tasty hears that the lines are full and strong!  In Oakland, the scabs are being brought in on buses with covered windows so they can't see the strikers.  Check it out...

Kaiser Hayward

Kaiser Modesto

Kaiser Sacramento

Off the Line, but Wanna Keep Up with the Workers? Check out the press...



AFL-CIO sending Trumka to Nor Cal Picket Lines, watch NNU livestream here.

I Spy with Tasty's Little Eye...

An SEIU rep in purple shirt standing with security guards and a manager watching the picketers at Redwood City this morning!  Of course the SEIU staffer feels more comfortable with the boss than with the workers...

What are you spying out there?  Email your tips and photos to

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It’s ON at Kaiser!

In Southern California, more than 2,500 members of NUHW began a three-day strike against Kaiser Permanente early this morning. Tomorrow, they’ll be joined by 20,000 more Kaiser workers in the largest strike in Kaiser’s history.

Here’s an article in the Los Angeles Times about today's walkout by 1,100 NUHW Registered Nurses at Kaiser’s largest hospital in Southern California.

And here’s TV news coverage from today's picket line in San Diego, where NUHW’s mental health workers are on strike.

As workers tell the press about Kaiser’s $5.7 billion in profits and its multi-million-dollar executive salaries, Kaiser seems to be having difficulty explaining why it refuses to fix short-staffing problems and is trying to slash frontline caregivers’ health benefits and pensions.

A little birdy sent along this explosive document:  a pay stub from Kaiser’s Chief Operating Officer, Bernard Tyson. How much did Bernard take home during a single two-week pay period?  $805,422!! (Click on the pay stub to see more details). That’s because of the massive bonuses that nonprofit Kaiser pays to its executives. No wonder that Kaiser's execs are hiding in their offices from the TV cameras!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Kaiser Strike Update

Greg Maron
Support for Kaiser workers’ historic strike keeps on growing! The Teamsters have joined 23,000 Kaiser workers (from NUHW, the California Nurses Association and the Stationary Engineers… plus members of the Pharmacists Guild) in pledging to honor the picket line. The Teamsters gave “strike sanction” to the walkout, meaning truck drivers won’t cross workers’ picket lines.

Meanwhile, Jobs with Justice put out the following email that hammers Kaiser for pocketing $5.7 billion in profits while it ‘short-staffs’ its hospitals and clinics and tries to cut health and pension benefits for frontline caregivers.

Even the Democratic Party got in on the action, announcing they’ll be walking picket lines with Kaiser Permanente workers on Thursday. And Beyond Chron published this article on the upcoming strike.

What about SEIU?  Sources tell Tasty they’re getting increasingly desperate as more and more of SEIU’s own members say they plan to honor the strike. This has caused Dave Regan to deploy purple-shirted storm troopers to Kaiser facilities, where they’re teaming up with Kaiser's supervisors to wage their latest fear-and-disinformation campaign. 

Check out the following email that SEIU sent to SEIU’s social worker members via Kaiser’s internal email system (that partnership really comes in handy!). The email threatens SEIU’s members by claiming they’re “not protected” if they honor the strike (which is plain wrong). Check out the last line of the email, which seems to say that Kaiser workers should never strike. Sounds like the boss wrote the email, right?

As for SEIU’s strike-breaking staffers, Tasty hears that SEIU’s Greg Maron put on quite a performance on Monday… which won him Tasty’s “Scab of the Day” award. Registered Nurses at Kaiser Modesto Medical Center report that Maron -- along with SEIU staffers Jared Mayhugh and Jose Santana -- used their Kaiser-issued ID badges to enter the hospital’s locked nursing units and then rip down CNA flyers from the nurses’ bulletin boards.

Maron, who’s apparently been taking charm classes from Dave Regan, then threatened the stunned RNs and on-duty SEIU members by telling them they’d be disciplined if they participate in the strike.

To finish off a performance befitting a third grader, Maron started taunting the RNs that, “CNA is weak.” Way to go, Greg! That makes total sense!  Let’s see… SEIU’s members won’t even listen to you… so you gotta resort to threatening your own members with discipline... so... SEIU is super powerful, dude! You know what would be, like, totally powerful? What about threatening SEIU members’ children? And then tearing up their homework if they don’t listen?

Meanwhile, SEIU’s parade of abuses against its own membership seems to be reaching a tipping point… kinda like a giant pile of bullshit teetering atop SEIU’s Purple Palace. Check out the email below! (B/t/w, “CKPU” stands for “Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions”).

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Crookin' in Michigan -- Round 3

Just nine weeks after the NLRB found SEIU guilty of threatening Kaiser workers during last year’s giant NLRB election, SEIU is doing it again -- this time in Michigan. Here’s what’s going on.

On Friday September 23, workers at Luther Manor Nursing Home will be voting on whether to dump SEIU and join NUHW. Workers requested the NLRB election back in March, but SEIU has been using bogus “blocking” charges to stall the election since then. As the election gets closer, SEIU organizers have been threatening workers that they’ll lose all their benefits and scheduled pay increases if they vote for NUHW. (Sound familiar, Kaiser workers?).

Readers might remember that in early September, SEIU used every dirty trick in the book to ram through a new contract despite workers’ strong opposition. Why was SEIU so desperate to ram through its contract? Because SEIU’s new contract just happens to schedule workers’ next pay increase for right after the NLRB election. This sets the stage so SEIU can threaten workers that they’ll lose next month’s scheduled pay raise if they vote for NUHW.

Of course, SEIU’s threats are total lies. Not only did the NLRB find SEIU guilty of illegally threatening Kaiser workers, but a federal judge found SEIU’s corporate bunkmate, Kaiser CEO George Halvorson, guilty of illegally withholding more than $1 million of scheduled pay increases and benefits from the Southern California workers who’d earlier voted to dump SEIU and join NUHW.

So, Mr. NLRB Man, Tasty humbly requests that you do something about repeat offenders like SEIU. Come on… can’t you do something? Here’s an idea: What about locking the SEIU officials in a room and forcing them to read Andy Stern’s crappy-ass book over and over again? Or what about forcing Stan Lyles to play his video about SEIU’s backroom deals during SEIU-UHW’s upcoming Leadership Conference in Fresno?

PS. Remember this post about SEIU stuffing the ballot box so they could steal the 2nd ratification vote at Luther Manor? Well, it turns out SEIU’s vote fraud was even worse than Tasty first reported. Right after the fraudulent SEIU vote, the NLRB published a list of all the SEIU members employed at the nursing home as part of the NLRB's routine preparations for the upcoming decertification election.

Guess what? There were only 79 SEIU members at the facility -- not 84, like SEIU said. That means that SEIU stuffed the ballot box with almost more votes (77) than the number of actual workers (79). If you wanna believe SEIU’s vote totals, then a whopping 98% of the nursing home’s workers turned out to vote during a two-hour period in the middle of the day… even though all of the night shift workers were still asleep in their beds.

Hey, Marge, don’t you think you cut your ballot-stuffing scheme a little too close for comfort? You might wanna study the numbers a bit more carefully before your next attempt at stealing the vote!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

SEIU Steps Up Strike-Breaking Campaign at Kaiser

As 23,000 workers prepare to make history by striking Kaiser Permanente, SEIU is making its own kind of history by waging one of the biggest union-run strike-breaking operations in U.S. history.

Hundreds of SEIU’s organizers and stewards have been dispatched to Kaiser facilities across California where they’re threatening SEIU-UHW members with discipline and termination if they join their co-workers on the picket line.

SEIU’s threats, of course, are completely bogus… just like the illegal threats that SEIU used during last year’s NLRB election. Check out this fact sheet and an email from the Pharmacists Guild about workers’ right to honor the strike (the email is posted below).

So what’s SEIU doing to try to stop its members from joining the strike? Here are a couple of reports from Kaiser workers:
After talking with co-workers about the strike during a break, I was called into my director's office and was told to stop telling people they have the right to honor NUHW's picket line. She and her managers were telling employees that if they respected the picket line, they’d be considered a "no-show" and would be disciplined. At that point, the SEIU Rep came into her office and told me, in front of my director, that SEIU did not support the strike and would support management's decision to discipline. My manager then said if I was "caught" talking about the strike, she would suspend me.
Here’s a report from another Kaiser hospital:
We were in our monthly department meeting when our director said SEIU wanted to talk to us about the strike. The SEIU rep basically tells us we’d get fired if we honor the picket line. She must’ve figured her threat wasn’t big enuf, so she tries to tell us that all of us would lose our pay increases if just a few of us honor the picket line. SEIU is so full of sh*t their eyes are brown! How much is Kaiser paying them to do this?
Well, one thing’s for sure: SEIU’s aggressive war against its own members means SEIU officials are plenty nervous that their members will join tens of thousands of workers to fight Kaiser. Times are tough for the boss’s union!

Check out this email from the Vice President of the Pharmacists Guild, an independent union at Kaiser: