Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Think YOU can walk more steps than us? Bring it on!"

It looks like Dave Regan is getting increasingly desperate as SEIU-UHW struggles to turn out workers for Thursday's wellness walk at Kaiser Permanente hospitals. Check out the email that SEIU-UHW sent to Kaiser workers today. (Tasty especially loves the subject line).

Did you happen to notice how SEIU is trying to foment competition among Kaiser workers in an attempt to get workers to participate in SEIU's lame event? And that's not all. Tasty hears that SEIU organizers are promising workers that their names will be entered into "a raffle" for "gift cards" if they join SEIU's wellness walk.

Meanwhile, SEIU's latest email reveals that "Dishonest Dave" has pushed his deception to a new level. The email tells workers that "Every step we take sends a message to Kaiser management that we're ready to do whatever it takes to win on our bargaining priorities." But wait a sec! Didn't SEIU's Joe Simoes tell us that this ain't no protest march... it's a wellness walk that Kaiser officials themselves are promoting through websites like this one and this one... with the help of John August from the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions

Furthermore, let's be clear: SEIU has absolutely no intention of "doing whatever it takes to win" at the bargaining table. In fact, Regan recently told workers they can't say "No" to Kaiser's proposals to cut their benefits. And SEIU actually worked side-by-side with Kaiser managers to threaten workers who wanted to join recent strikes against Kaiser's proposed benefits cuts... which are the same exact cuts that SEIU members are now facing at the bargaining table. Hardly sounds like "doing whatever it takes to win."

Hmm.... It's funny how these things work out. Looks like Regan's "5 million steps for a healthy California" have turned into "5 million reason why you can't trust SEIU!"

Monday, February 27, 2012

SEIU's "Dishonest Dave" Does It Again

According to Kaiser workers, SEIU's Dave Regan is up to his dishonest and deceitful ways.

Remember the so-called lunchtime "walk-out" that SEIU officials are trying to organize at Kaiser Permanente for March 1st?

SEIU is aggressively trying to "sell" the event to workers by claiming it's gonna pressure Kaiser into negotiating a fair contract. SEIU's sign-up sheet even discusses Kaiser's proposed benefits cuts and concludes with this language: "YES! I will join the walk and step up to fight for good healthcare jobs..."

So... is SEIU's event actually designed to protest Kaiser's cuts?  Not according to an email from Joe Simoes (the Director of SEIU-UHW's Kaiser Division). Simoes's email -- which was sent only to members of SEIU-UHW's "Contract Action Team" -- says that the event is "a wellness walk!" Here's an excerpt from the email:


And here's the email from the beginning (click to enlarge it):

BTW, did you happen to notice Simoes's lame attempt to talk tough for Kaiser workers? He says, "Thousands of us are going to take a wellness walk on our lunches and breaks and call on Kaiser to walk their Thrive talk." Wow! Look out! The gloves are off!

In fact, Joe "Trash-Talker" Simoes delivered such a devastating rhetorical blow to Kaiser that the company's fat-cat execs have allowed SEIU-UHW to publicize their upcoming "wellness walk" by using Kaiser's internal email system to blast promotional emails to SEIU-UHW members across the state!

Stay tuned for March 1st. Tasty bets the event will bring star-studded appearances by John August, Bernard Tyson, Dave Regan and George Halvorson in matching track suits and purple pedometers!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Thriving in Bed with Bernard Tyson

In case readers have any doubts about whether SEIU has already cut a backdoor deal with Kaiser Permanente, check out this website -- www.ThriveAcrossAmerica.com -- that’s jointly sponsored by Kaiser, SEIU and the partnership unions.

The site, which encourages Kaiser workers to participate in wellness walks, features Bernard Tyson (Kaiser's President and Chief Operating Officer) and John August (the Executive Director of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions). Here's what the homepage looks like:

Did you happen to notice the two guys in suits in the bottom left-hand corner? That's Tyson and August.

Tyson is Kaiser’s second-highest-paid executive. He has eight separate pension plans and was paid $805,422 during a single two-week pay period in 2008.

John August is a former SEIU staffer who’ll be the partnership unions’ lead negotiator when bargaining begins on March 6th. He's become the premier proponent of so-called “21st century unionism” now that Andy Stern is busy with his billionaire sugar daddy.

And don't miss this! The website also features a highly lame video of August and Tyson, who're literally joined at the hip:

As you can see, it's no wonder that John August and Dave Regan have refused to utter even a single word about Kaiser’s $6.1 billion in profits and its booming executive salaries… even though Kaiser execs are trying to slash workers’ health benefits and pensions. Of course... fighting on behalf of union members is sooo 20th century!

P.S.  Readers may have noticed that John August twitches his hands throughout the video. So what's going on? Tasty believes he may be trying to use Morse Code to communicate with viewers... just like a famous U.S. prisoner of war did during a 1966 TV interview. Tasty consulted several experts, and here's what August is trying to say:  “I CAN'T HELP IT. I JUST LOVE ALL THE ATTENTION AND THE $200K SALARY."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

More Purple Palace Intrigue

Tasty hears that staffers inside the Purple Palace are nervously whispering about reports that SEIU President Mary Kay Henry has axed another person from her slate of candidates for SEIU's upcoming convention.

Who's the latest reported victim? Mitch Ackerman. (Tasty already reported about MKH's actions against Gerry Hudson.)

And who's Ackerman? In 2009, Andy Stern appointed him as one of SEIU's six "Executive Vice Presidents" -- the highest positions inside the Purple Palace after SEIU's President and Secretary-Treasurer. Following his appointment, Ackerman quickly settled into a cushy office where he busily counted his $300,000-a-year salary, which is virtually identical to Dave Regan's.

Everything was going swimmingly for Ackerman until 2010, when Stern resigned as SEIU's president and Ackerman made the fatal mistake of throwing his support behind Anna Burger during the ensuing succession struggle. And that's apparently why Mary Kay is axing him.

In fact, soon after Henry moved into Stern's presidential suite, she made her first move against Ackerman by removing him from his assignment as head of SEIU's Property Services Division. Henry then assigned Ackerman to run SEIU's South-Southwest Region, which she's now reportedly planning to eliminate -- which will effectively leave Ackerman "S.O.L."

Mary Kay's power play against Ackerman carries a special sting for the Mitch, who spent many years working at SEIU Local 105 in Denver, Colorado. In several months, Denver is precisely where Mary Kay will preside over SEIU's upcoming convention that'll leave Ackerman facing an unknown future.

Year-Old Kaiser Permanente Document Points to Backroom Deal

Insiders say SEIU’s Dave Regan has already inked a secret deal with Kaiser Permanente to slash SEIU members' pension and health benefits during upcoming negotiations. Meanwhile, a reader spotted an interesting reference -- printed in a legal document that Kaiser sent to bond investors -- about the HMO's year-old effort to 'negotiate with unions' to cut these benefits. Here’s the two-sentence statement, which is buried on page 22 of the 188-page document that was printed in April of 2011. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Here’s the title of the document:

Does Tasty believe that SEIU officials have already signed a backroom deal to cut workers’ benefits?

Absolutely. Think about it. Joe Simoes (the Director of SEIU-UHW's Kaiser Division) recently revealed that SEIU and Kaiser have scheduled precisely 18 days of bargaining to complete complicated negotiations during which Kaiser seeks to slash billions of dollars from workers'  benefits... including workers’ defined-benefit pensions, health insurance and retiree health benefits. 

And get this:  SEIU and Kaiser have already pinpointed the precise date in May when the two "labor-management partners" will sign the dotted line on their new labor contract.

In Tasty's view, it's abundantly clear that a deal is already cooked. What's left are choreographed negotiations that SEIU and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions will try to use to give a facade of legitimacy to their concessions, so they can then try to "sell" their deal to workers.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Worst Day in the History of SEIU. Again.

Remember Dave Regan’s famous announcement about “the worst day in the history of SEIU?”

Well, Tasty guesses that Regan is now discussing “the second worst day in SEIU's history.” Today, the 700,000-member International Association of Machinists announced it’s throwing its support behind NUHW and will be working towards an affiliation of the two unions. Here's the press release.

So why is Regan so panicked? Well, at the same time that Regan has been handing out massive concessions to hospital companies and refusing to enforce workers' contracts, NUHW has been winning victories on the shop floor and at the bargaining table.

For example, NUHW recently completed a successful battle at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital in Northern California, where workers beat back more than 50 concessions and preserved all of their benefits -- including their defined-benefit pension and health benefits -- and also won wage increases. The success has prompted many of the hospital's remaining non-union workers to join NUHW.

The only thing that NUHW needs to continue growing is resources. And now, thanks to the Machinists, they've got them!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sticky Fingers at SEIU Local 1877

A tipster alerted Tasty to a troubling case of skyrocketing SEIU salaries that may be connected to a staffer’s romantic connection to a top union official. It’s happening at SEIU Local 1877, which represents low-wage janitors in California and is headed by President Mike Garcia, who also serves on SEIU’s International Executive Board.

Here’s what’s going on. Back in 2005 and 2006, a staffer named Carmen Bojorquez earned modest pay of $27,000 a year as Garcia's Executive Secretary. Here’s how Local 1877 reported her pay in annual financial reports submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor. (Bojorquez's total pay is in the right-hand column. Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Source: SEIU Local 1877's DOL Form LM-2 for 2005

Source: SEIU Local 1877's DOL Form LM-2 for 2006

 Then, in 2007, her annual pay rocketed to $186,906 even though her job title remained the same.

Source: SEIU Local 1877's DOL Form LM-2 for 2007

In 2008, it jumped even higher – to almost $200,000.

Source: SEIU Local 1877's DOL Form LM-2 for 2008

And in 2009, it rocketed to nearly a quarter million dollars!

Source: SEIU Local 1877's DOL Form LM-2 for 2009
What’s going on? Insiders offer two possible explanations. First, Bojorquez just happens to be married to a top union official named David Stilwell, who’s Mike Garcia’s right-hand man. Insiders say that Stilwell -- whose job title is “Assistant to the President” -- may have rigged a special pay deal for his wife.

The second explanation is this: the large payments may have been a way for Garcia to funnel large quantities of money to a travel agency connected to Garcia’s wife. Workers report that the union has steered lots of business to the travel agency over the years. But many of the reported transactions don't seem to appear on the union’s financial reports. Transferring money to the travel agency via Bojorquez may have been a way to do an end-run around the federal government's reporting requirements.

Whatever the case, this situation needs some serious investigation… including lots of questions for Eddie “Wrong Number” Iny, who was serving as the Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU Service Workers West, the umbrella organization overseeing Local 1877, at the time of the payments.

P.S. Readers can view the union’s LM-2s at this website by plugging in the union’s “File Number,” which is 521-501, and selecting “LM-2” at the bottom of the page.

The Great SEIU-UHW Set-Up at Kaiser Permanente

Dave Regan and Kaiser's George Halvorson

Check out SEIU-UHW's latest leaflet, which urges workers to participate in a lunchtime “wellness walk” just days before the start of SEIU’s upcoming negotiations with Kaiser Permanente.

As Tasty reported last week, Dave Regan and Co are using the "wellness walk" to try to prepare workers for deep concessions during the negotiations, which begin March 6.

The leaflet tells workers that Kaiser will try to cut their benefits during negotiations: “…Kaiser is already talking about how healthcare costs are out of control and they want us to pay for it.”

So… uhh… is SEIU preparing to fight these proposed cuts? After all, Kaiser made record profits of $6.1 billion during the past three years and gave CEO George Halvorson a $1 million pay hike last year.

Nope. Here’s SEIU’s solution:
“We are going to take responsibility for improving our own health as well as be the ambassadors of good health in our communities. We will improve the quality of life of Californians and reduce costs.”
Sounds like the Boss talking, right? Perhaps that’s why SEIU sprinkled a smidgen of faux militancy into its leaflet by suggesting that workers who participate in the “wellness walks” will somehow be engaging in a “walkout”… even though the, err, “walkout” will take place during the middle of workers’ unpaid lunch break. 

Of course, readers already know that SEIU officials aren't particularly interested in walkouts. In fact, SEIU worked side-by-side with Kaiser supervisors to aggressively fight the walkouts by 22,000 members of NUHW, the California Nurses Association and the Stationary Engineers to oppose Kaiser's benefit cuts.

Here’s SEIU’s latest leaflet (click on the leaflet to enlarge it):

Friday, February 17, 2012

Purple Pedometers Signal SEIU's Effort to Sell Out Workers at Kaiser Permanente

Remember the speeches by Dave Regan and John August about “21st century unions?”  At a recent delegates conference of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, the two fat-cat union officials told Kaiser workers that they get paid too much and need to give up four or five concessions during upcoming negotiations for a new labor contract with Kaiser. Instead of fighting cuts, workers should help Kaiser become "more successful," said Regan and August, because that’s how “21st century unions” do it.  

So what does a "21st century union" do when Kaiser officials are trying to eliminate workers' pensions and slash their health benefits even as Kaiser announces an additional $2 billion in profits.

Well, new details have emerged about Dave Regan's "21st century unionism." It turns out that conducting informational picket lines and publicizing Kaiser's profits are super passé. That's like TOTALLY "20th century!"

Instead, when healthcare workers are under attack, a "21st century union" must arm its members with "pedometers" and organize workers to engage in "wellness walks!" That's right. On February 13th, Joe Simoes (the Director of SEIU-UHW's Kaiser Division) held a conference call with rank-and-file leaders where he announced that SEIU-UHW will be mobilizing its members to participate in "wellness walks" around Kaiser hospitals as part of SEIU-UHW's campaign to win a new labor contract at Kaiser.

According to Simoes, if 5,000 workers participate in the wellness walks (scheduled for March 1st), the workers will collectively take "five million steps for a healthy California!" Wow! That'll teach a lesson to those greedy Kaiser execs! What a punishing blow by the purple team! 

So where did Dave Regan got the idea of wellness walks? Hmmm... let's see. Could it have come from this Kaiser website:  www.EverybodyWalk.org?

The site -- which promotes walking as a way to improve wellness -- features Kaiser CEO George Halvorson in a riveting video entitled "An Introduction to Walking" during which Halvorson tries to channel Sean Connery in a hilarious attempt to inject drama and gravitas into the show. 

And if Regan didn't steal the "wellness walk" idea from George's video, he most certainly got it from George's article entitled "Walking Our Way to Better Health," in which Halvorson celebrates Kaiser's "walking programs for our employees..."

Pedometers? Wellness walks? If Regan's scheme wasn't so devastatingly harmful to workers, it would be an utter, pathetic joke. But during this week's conference call, Simoes revealed that SEIU's backroom deal with Kaiser is fully cooked. Simoes announced that officials from Kaiser and SEIU have already determined the precise date and time on which their negotiations will conclude. As those who've participated in regular negotiations know, it's simply impossible to predict how long bargaining will take -- especially when the Boss is trying to slash your benefits.

But with the aid of "21st century unionism" and SEIU's labor-management partnership, Regan and Halvorson think they can impose deep cuts to workers' benefits even as Kaiser has pocketed $6.1 billion in profits during the past three years.

Kaiser workers... it's your turn to step to the plate!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What Happened to SEIU's CHP Campaign in Ohio

Remember all the hullabaloo surrounding SEIU's organizing drive at an Ohio hospital company called Catholic Health Partners (CHP)? That's the one that sparked SEIU's violent attack on a Labor Notes conference in 2008 that sent some conference-goers to the emergency room and left David Smith, an SEIU homecare worker, dead of a heart attack.

Well... Tasty recently learned about a particularly pathetic conclusion to this pathetic episode in SEIU's recent history. Here's some background.

Some years ago, SEIU's Dave Regan, Scott Courtney and Mary Kay Henry launched a campaign to organize thousands of workers at CHP hospitals in Ohio. This trio of Purple Palace officials literally spent millions of SEIU members’ dues dollars on the campaign.

In 2008, CHP executives announced they had decided to use an obscure provision of federal labor law (called an "RM" petition) to run snap elections so that 8,000 workers could vote on joining SEIU. This unusual approach didn’t require 30% of the workers to sign petitions to trigger the elections. Instead, the Boss simply ordered the election. Unsurprisingly, this prompted calls that CHP was trying to install SEIU as its company union.

During the run-up to the election, the California Nurses Association leafleted CHP's nurses about SEIU’s sweetheart deal with the company. SEIU cried bloody murder and promptly cancelled the election. That’s when Regan and other SEIU officials ordered the violent attack on the Labor Notes conference, where the head of CNA was supposed to speak.

Eventually, CHP and SEIU rescheduled the election for the 8,000 workers. Even though SEIU was the only union on the ballot, SEIU got trounced in the election. In fact, SEIU lost 40 of the 44 separate elections in the “bargaining units” covering CHP’s workforce.

Since then, SEIU’s negotiators have been bargaining a first contract for the 600 CHP workers who’re now members of SEIU. Last week, an Ohio newspaper published this article describing SEIU’s new contract. How'd the workers do under SEIU? Not so good. In fact, SEIU’s contract provides ZERO improvements to workers’ wages, benefits and working conditions. Here’s how a hospital official described SEIU’s contract:  
There are no separate standards giving Union employees more money or rights and privileges than non-union employees have in the workplace.
In fact, workers will end up losing money after SEIU deducts 1.75% of their wages for union dues.

So why did SEIU negotiate such a horrible contract? This, my friends, has all the telltale signs of one of SEIU's backroom deals with the Boss. Dave Regan and Mary Kay Henry likely convinced CHP officials to run the union elections in exchange for SEIU’s commitment to negotiate a contract with no increases in wages, benefits or working conditions. That way, SEIU officials could accomplish their #1 goal:  increasing SEIU’s membership… even if workers end up losing money on the deal.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Andy Stern’s Sugar Daddy

SEIU’s President Emeritus Andy Stern -- who’s always fancied himself as a “maverick” -- has apparently 'broken new ground' by becoming the only “labor leader” in history to be sponsored and funded by a billionaire industrialist.

Readers may remember that just weeks after Stern resigned as President of SEIU, he was appointed to the board of directors of a pharmaceutical company (SIGA Technologies) that’s owned by billionaire Ron Perelman. In his first six months on the board, Stern pocketed 35,000 stock options and $116,094 in cash for attending board meetings.

Then, last month, Stern’s billionaire benefactor poured another giant spoonful of gravy onto Stern’s gravy train. Perelman donated a wad of money to Columbia University in New York City in order to create a custom-made job for Andy!  Here’s how Columbia University describes the newly established “Ronald O. Perelman Senior Fellowship” at its business school:

And here's Andy's page in the Biz School directory, complete with Mr. Sugar Daddy's name:

So who’s Perelman? 

He’s the 64th richest person in the world. Perelman, who's a corporate raider and buy-out specialist, has amassed $12 billion in personal wealth by buying and flipping companies -- and their workers -- for a profit. He’s been married five times, owns two personal jets and a 188-foot yacht, and uses a Sikorsky S-76C helicopter to commute from his lavish compound in Manhattan to his 57-acre weekend getaway in the East Hamptons. Oh, and don’t forget about the $13 million estate in the Bahamas, which is located on a part of an island called “The Billionaire Boys Club.”

So how did Perelman become Andy’s Sugar Daddy? After all... everyone knows that a Sugar Daddy doesn’t hand out his sugar for free.   

Well, back in 2006, SEIU President Andy Stern apparently cut a backroom deal with Perelman that allowed Perelman’s security company -- AlliedBarton -- to escape an SEIU organizing drive that was underway among 10,000 of Perelman’s low-wage workers in Philadelphia. According to reports like this and this, Stern simply pulled the plug on SEIU’s organizing efforts after meeting with Perelman.

And presumably, SEIU’s President Emeritus continues to “protect” Perelman’s companies from SEIU organizing drives in exchange for Perelman's generous support of cold, hard cash.

Andy, of course, has been working extra hard to please his patron. No doubt that Perelman was super happy when Andy began jumping in front of TV cameras with Fortune 500 CEOs to publicly pimp for giant tax breaks for U.S. billionaires -- as he did here and here.

All and all, it’s quite a disgusting story. Corruption. Deceit. Backroom deals. Front-page payouts. A so-called "leader" of America's working class who's sucking off the teat of one of the richest people in the world.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Trail of SEIU Corruption in Michigan... from the Rickmaster to Policicchio

Backroom deals with employers... No-show jobs for union officials... Nepotism... Money stolen from union members... These are just some of the details of SEIU's long trail of corruption in Michigan.

And there's more... An SEIU staffer reveals that one of SEIU's most corrupt fat cats -- Paul Policicchio -- is still pocketing $54,000 a year from SEIU's members through a "no-show" consulting contract with SEIU's local union in Michigan!

Policicchio was the union's president from 1988 until 1999, at which point he was pushed out of office for corruption. At the time, he was best buddies with Mary Kay Henry, Eliseo Medina and Andy Stern, who appointed Policicchio as an "Executive Vice President" for SEIU International in 1996.

Check out these excerpts from the SEIU staffer's email.  (B/t/w, "SEIU-HC-MI" refers to "SEIU Healthcare Michigan," which is the name of SEIU's local union in Michigan.)
The corruption at SEIU-HC-MI goes back way further than Marge [Faville] and Rickman [Jackson].  Rickman took over from Willie Hampton who was actually, believe it or not, more corrupt than Rickman, going around splitting charitable deductions that the union made with himself and making sure his relatives always got the local's scholarships every year.  His daughter was on the payroll for years even after Willie was long gone and she did absolutely zip, nothing, no one ever even saw her. 

But people used to say Willie was still better than PAUL POLICICCHIO who was the president before Willie.  Policicchio was pushed out of office for corruption and he is still showing up on the local's LM2s as a "consultant" being paid 50,000 a year and he hasn't been anywhere near the union in at least fifteen years.
Tasty checked up on the facts, and our source is right on! Here's an excerpt from SEIU Healthcare Michigan's most recent filing with the U.S. Department of Labor (you can click on the image below to see it better):

According to the government records, Policicchio also pocked $53,400 in annual "consulting" fees in 2008 and 2009. That's $160,000 in just three years for a no-show job... while most of the union's members -- who're homecare workers -- make little more than the minimum wage.

So how corrupt is Policicchio? Check out this blockbuster article in Labor Notes about his backroom deals with bosses and fat-cat thievery.

What other news does Tasty's source have to offer? Well, check out this description of an incident involving Rickman "The Rickmaster" Jackson, who was appointed as the president of SEIU Healthcare Michigan by Andy Stern. The Rickmaster served as president until 2008, when he was forced from office when the Los Angeles Times revealed how he'd stolen more than $30,000 from low-wage union members. 
When Rickman Jackson turned in his blackberry for a new phone, he forgot to clear out the text messages.  The employee who got his old phone turned it on and found dozens of sex-texts from five different women, none of them his wife, including a video of one of his girlfriends pleasuring herself for him.  But when the Rickmaster was being investigated for his double dipping, Gerry Hudson gushed to the executive committee that HE KNEW Rickman was "a man of the highest personal integrity".  I will never forget hearing that because this was after the phone thing which he got in trouble with the International over.
Ewww!... It's hard to imagine what else will emerge from the fetid cesspool that's inhabited by SEIU's top-paid officials.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mary Kay Picks Fight with SEIU 1199NY by Axing Gerry Hudson from Slate

More news is emerging about the infighting between top leaders in the Purple Palace.

Tasty hears that SEIU President Mary Kay Henry has removed Gerry Hudson from her slate of candidates who'll stand for election in SEIU's upcoming convention in Denver, Colorado. Earlier, Henry had reportedly worked to marginalized Hudson, who in turn began mounting a campaign to challenge Henry for the presidency of SEIU.

Hudson, who's currently an SEIU Executive Vice President, used to be a top official at SEIU 1199 New York, which is by far the largest local union in SEIU and controls 20% of the delegates at SEIU's upcoming convention.

Tasty hears that after Mary Kay Henry's latest move against Hudson, George Gresham (the president of 1199NY) phoned Henry to discuss the fraying relationship between the Purple Palace and 1199NY. Sources report that Henry, rather than return the call, simply blew off Gresham altogether.

Looks like things will get nastier. What does it mean when the SEIU's president is at war with its largest local union? Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

SEIU's Aussie Posse

Tasty hears that SEIU's scab workforce from Down Under continues to slither their way through hospitals, clinics and call centers across California. The organizers -- who work for an Australian union called "United Voice" or "Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union" that's headed by Louise Tarrant -- have been spotted in Kaiser Permanente facilities stretching from Los Angeles and Orange County in the south to San Francisco, Sonoma, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Alameda Counties in the northern part of the state.

Apparently, SEIU-UHW is footing the cost of the Aussies' airfare, hotels, rental cars, wages, expenses, etc. 

Here's a photo of one scab Aussie named David Malley who wore his SEIU-UHW identification badge while crossing workers' picket line during last week's strike at Kaiser Richmond Medical Center in Northern California.

David Malley, Aussie Scab, crossing Kaiser workers' picket line

On the day before the strike, a Kaiser worker snapped this photo of Malley resting inside the hospital after a big meal in the hospital's cafeteria.

David Malley, Aussie Scab, at Kaiser Richmond Medical Center

Meanwhile, at Kaiser Santa Rosa Medical Center, a worker shot this photo of an Aussie who's been busy patrolling the hospital.

Aussie Scab at Kaiser Santa Rosa Medical Center

In the run-up to the strike, this female Aussie and an SEIU staffer approached workers on the job and quizzed them about whether they planned to come to work on the day of the strike. When workers said "No," they tried to bully workers into crossing the picket line by saying they didn't have a legal right to honor the strike line and "that Kaiser and SEIU are expecting you to show up for work."

For the members of "United Voice" in Australia, you might wanna ask Louise Tarrant if your union staffers will be deploying these same tactics against you and your co-workers when they fly back to Australia. Tasty hears that each Aussie organizer will be carrying a purple Bag of Tricks like this one of this one.

P.S. Has the Aussie Posse been in your facility? Send Tasty a photo so Australian workers can see what their union staffers are doing in the US!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

More CA Workers Trying to Bolt SEIU-UHW

Here's a stroke of poetic justice that comes courtesy of California's healthcare workers.

Remember Tasty's post about the three-year anniversary of SEIU's trusteeship in California? Well, back in 2009, just days after SEIU's trusteeship, Trustee Dave Regan triumphantly declared "Mission Accomplished" and announced that everything at SEIU-UHW would be "back to normal" in three months' time.

Looks like Dangerous Dave Regan sorely underestimated California's healthcare workers.

Ten days ago, on the exact anniversary of SEIU's trusteeship (January 27th), 650 workers at Seton Medical Center in Daly City, CA filed a petition with the NLRB to decertify SEIU-UHW and join NUHW!

So why do workers want out of SEIU? It's a familiar story. Following the trusteeship, SEIU officials cut a sweetheart deal with company executives that reduced workers' health benefits and weakened their job security. As a result, more than 100 Seton workers have lost their jobs.

Meanwhile, many workers are paying thousands of dollars a year for health coverage that used to be free... just like at this sister hospital that's run by the same parent company, Daughters of Charity Health System. And in a sign of cuts to come, SEIU has teamed up with the company's execs to push "Wellness Programs" down workers' throats. Oh... and don't forget that SEIU doesn't return workers' calls, grievances aren't handled, and SEIU lets management do whatever it wants on the shop floor.

Not a pretty picture.

That's why SEIU is panicking. Soon after workers filed their petition, SEIU poured purple-shirted organizers into the hospital along with glossy mailers and robo-calls to workers' homes. Tasty hears that last Friday, SEIU had nine organizers nervously pacing the floors of the hospital, including organizers sent all the way from an Australian union called "United Scab Voice" or "Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union." SEIU-UHW also sent in its HR Director, Mary Sacramento, who was last seen chasing workers at California Pacific Medical Center in the run-up to their NLRB election.

Australians?? What's next? Maybe Regan will call in the Bulgarians!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Third Anniversary of SEIU's Trusteeship Reveals Plenty

Did you happen to notice that we recently passed the third anniversary of SEIU’s disastrous trusteeship over California’s healthcare workers? Readers should check out this excellent article by labor historian Steve Early about the anniversary.

Back in 2009, SEIU’s trusteeship was widely condemned as a bogus power-grab carried out by Purple Palace officials trying to eliminate their critics in California.

Now, three years later, the trusteeship -- and SEIU -- have become a ridiculous joke. Why?  In 2009, SEIU officials said they were imposing the trusteeship because they urgently needed to transfer 65,000 long-term care workers out of SEIU-UHW and into SEIU Local 6434 in Los Angeles. Here’s a 2009 letter from Ray Marshall (SEIU’s trusteeship hearing officer) to Andy Stern detailing the justification for the trusteeship:

Well… it’s now three years later, and SEIU has still not transferred the 65,000 workers.  If the emperor had no clothes in 2009, then his whole friggin’ family is naked today!

And, even though the trusteeship is a ridiculous joke, it has helped teach us a lot about how SEIU operates. We've learned that, in SEIU, there aren’t any actual rules, procedures or constitutional guarantees that protect members’ interests. 

If SEIU officials don’t like the outcome of a contract ratification vote, they simply toss out the results and then stuff the ballot box during the re-run election. If workers vote down SEIU’s preferred candidate in a shop steward election, SEIU officials simply change the rules to get their corrupt candidate elected in a second election.  If SEIU officials cut a backroom deal to eliminate workers’ defined-benefit pension plan, they simply lie to SEIU's members in order to implement the cuts. And if SEIU's fat-cat officials don't like internal critics, they make up bogus pretexts to remove them from office.

Perhaps this is the “21st century unionism” that John August and Dave Regan like to speechify about --- a union where SEIU officials make up the rules as they go in order to get whatever they want.