Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Three SEIU-UHW Shop Stewards Are Sued for Civil Rights Violations

Remember this recent post about the SEIU-UHW shop stewards who harassed, threatened and assaulted an NUHW representative at Kaiser Permanente's Vallejo Medical Center in Northern California?

Well, yesterday, the NUHW representative filed a civil rights lawsuit against the three SEIU-UHW stewards who led the attack: Jennie Edney, Tina Anderson and Ella Henderson. Henderson is a member of SEIU-UHW's Executive Board. And she and Edney have been paid tens of thousands of dollars by Dave Regan to campaign for SEIU-UHW inside Kaiser's hospitals, according to government records.

The lawsuit charges the stewards with assault and battery as well as violations of California’s civil rights laws (see a full copy of the lawsuit below). The suit seeks punitive damages, attorneys fees, and fines of $25,000 for each illegal act by the SEIU stewards! And... it looks like more SEIU stewards and staffers may be added to the lawsuit, which refers to various so-far-unnamed "John Does" and "Jane Does" who can later be added to the suit.

Yesterday's action in superior court came with a stroke of poetic justice. It turns out that the lawsuit was filed on the same exact day that SEIU President Mary Kay Henry was speaking at a national press conference for "Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week."


Mary Kay Henry must've forgotten that many of the nation's workplace bullies wear purple! In August, a California agency issued a formal complaint against Dave "Old School" Regan's SEIU-UHW for "threatening to physically assault" low-wage homecare workers in order to force them to vote for SEIU. Check out this TV news story on Regan's latest scandal.  

Tasty expects that many more SEIU staffers and shop stewards will soon find themselves on the wrong end of lawsuits. Yesterday's suit was filed under California's civil rights laws that are designed to protect individuals’ rights to express their opinions and to freely associate with one another without facing threats, intimidation and violence. The laws give specific protection to union members and staffers who face bullying because of their union activities.

Here are some excerpts from the lawsuit (full copy below)
On July 20, 2012, Ms. Watkins visited the [Kaiser]Vallejo facility. That day, as Ms. Watkins was walking from the cafeteria towards the Radiology Department, she was attacked by the three defendants who, together with others, surrounded Ms. Watkins, yelled at her, threatened her with violence, and/or assaulted her. The three defendants named herein were active participants and/or ringleaders of the violent and intimidating conduct as alleged herein…

Defendant Henderson repeatedly rammed her elbow into the side of Ms. Watkins’ torso as she clapped and yelled, “Call your back-up” and “Get your back-up” at Ms. Watkins. Ms. Watkins understood this to be a further threat to her physical safety…

Plaintiff is informed and believes that when the mob of SEIU-UHW stewards, including the three defendants, planned and orchestrated their violent attack on Ms. Watkins, they were on Kaiser’s paid time. As stated, Kaiser security officers and managers who witnessed the event stood by and did nothing to stop it.