Monday, May 28, 2012

Dave Regan Deploys "Old School" Tactics against SEIU-UHW Shop Steward

Tasty hears that SEIU's Dave Regan is relying on some decidedly old-school tactics to implement his so-called “21st century unionism” at Kaiser Permanente. How old-school? Well, think "13 century"… including inquisitions, excommunications and run-of-the-mill collusion with the Boss. 

Here's what happening:

As workers at additional Kaiser facilities vote down SEIU's tentative agreements with Kaiser, Regan and Co. appear to be getting increasingly nervous about the votes. SEIU-UHW has intensified its "vote yes" campaign of mailers and leaflets to the union's 43,000 members at Kaiser. And last week, Regan retaliated against an SEIU-UHW shop steward who had the gall to vote "no" on the ratification vote. Apparently, the steward never got the purple memo that forbids her from actually voting her conscience or disagreeing with Dave and his “old school friends.”  

Here are the details.

In the run-up to the ratification vote at a Kaiser facility in Contra Costa County (east of San Francisco), an SEIU-UHW shop steward forwarded to some of her co-workers an email that advocated a "no" vote. When another SEIU-UHW shop steward got a copy of the email, she sent it to SEIU officials who quickly launched a witch hunt against the steward.

As workers at the steward’s facility showed up to vote, SEIU staffers questioned each of them about their communications with the shop steward. "Did she email you? Did she tell you to vote 'no'?" Union officials summarily stripped the worker of her position as a shop steward (which, b/t/w, is supposed to be an elected position).

Later, the excommunicated steward sent a text message to the SEIU-UHW steward who’d ratted her out to SEIU officials. The message apparently said something like: "How could you do this? We've known each other for so many years. I hope you have trouble sleeping at night."

Juan Castillo
Well, SEIU officials seized on the message as a pretext for their next old-school tactic. An SEIU-UHW Field Rep named Juan Castillo ran to Kaiser’s Human Resources officials and claimed that the excommunicated steward was threatening fellow employees.

Kaiser officials leapt to action in support of their “labor partner.” Company officials actually suspended the excommunicated steward pending an investigation! That’s right. Kaiser suspended her from her job without first doing an investigation.

Can you imagine? This is the same Kaiser management that refused to lift a finger against an SEIU-UHW Field Rep named Tiffany Ford after she made death threats against several Kaiser workers inside Kaiser Baldwin Park Medical Center. In fact, Kaiser refused to take action against Ford even after three separate Superior Court judges issued restraining orders against the Field Rep due to her death threats. Hypocrisy much, Kaiser Permanente?

Meanwhile, these latest developments point to growing nervousness inside the Purple Palace. After all, when SEIU officials unleash witch hunts and trumped-up charges against the union's own Shop Stewards, things can’t look too good from where they sit.