Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dave Regan's Show Trial against Election Rival Shines Light on SEIU-Styled "Democracy"

Remember the email from an SEIU-UHW Executive Board member describing Dave Regan's plan to launch “witch hunts” against “disloyal” union members?

Well, Regan has conveniently decided to launch a witch hunt against his main challenger in SEIU-UHW’s upcoming internal officer elections. His goal? He apparently wants to knock his challenger off the ballot before the campaign begins!

Here's what's happening.

Ten days ago, Sophia Sims received a letter from SEIU-UHW announcing that she’s been charged with “gross disloyalty or conduct unbecoming a member” and “aiding a rival labor organization.” Sims is a rank-and-file member at Kaiser Permanente who came within several thousand votes of defeating Regan during SEIU-UHW's officer elections in 2011.

According to the letter (see below), SEIU-UHW officials have appointed a “Trial Body” to conduct a hearing against Sims.

So WTF is an “SEIU Trial Body?” Good question. As far as Tasty can tell, it’s totally mysterious. Interestingly, SEIU’s rules prohibit Sims from being represented by an attorney.

What “crimes” did Sims commit?

Well… remember the NLRB’s recent re-run election between NUHW and SEIU-UHW for 45,000 workers at Kaiser Permanente? SEIU-UHW says that during the election, Sims “publicly campaigned for NUHW” by wearing NUHW buttons and t-shirts, handing out leaflets in support of NUHW, and even appearing in flyers in support of NUHW.

That’s it?  Yup.

Apparently, the geniuses over at SEIU haven’t realized that the whole purpose of the federal government’s election was to allow Kaiser workers like Sims to freely choose -- and advocate for -- whichever union they want to represent them. In fact, federal law protects workers' right to do exactly this!

Tasty bets the Feds will be none too pleased when they learn that Dave Regan is punishing SEIU’s own members for simply exercising their democratic rights during government-administered elections. Way to go Dave!

Plus, if Sims is guilty of “gross disloyalty” for wearing an NUHW t-shirt or button, then there are more than 10,000 other SEIU-UHW members who did the same thing!

So why is Regan going to such great lengths to try to knock Sims out of SEIU-UHW’s upcoming officer elections? Sources tell Tasty he’s genuinely concerned about the outcome.

In 2011, Sims campaigned on a platform of making SEIU-UHW more transparent and democratic, and giving better representation to the union’s members. During that election, Regan got only 7,000 votes from the union’s entire membership of 140,000 workers. Meanwhile, in the recently concluded NLRB election, 13,100 Kaiser workers voted for NUHW, which campaigned on similar themes.

Finally… in case Regan’s action against Sims isn’t ridiculous enough, Dave added a flourish of idiocy that’s icing on the cake. Did you happen to notice which SEIU official sent the letter to Sims announcing her trial for “disloyalty” and “aiding a rival labor union”? 

Lyles is currently the Vice President of SEIU-UHW. But in the run-up to SEIU’s disastrous trusteeship of SEIU-UHW in 2009, Lyles was a rank-and-file California hospital worker who attacked SEIU for being undemocratic, cutting backroom deals with Bosses, and selling out the union’s members.

In fact, Lyles said these and many other “disloyal” things during videotaped speeches to Teamsters for a Democratic Union, Labor Notes and others. After the trusteeship, SEIU offered him a big paycheck to switch sides, so Lyles pocketed the cash and teamed up with Regan.

Sophia Sims might wanna bring a projector to her “disloyalty” trial so she can show a few clips from speeches by SEIU-UHW’s Vice President like this one! These are some of Stan's "disloyal" quotes from the video:

We have an International union that’s trying to take our voice away. They’re trying to do whatever they can to stop the members from having a say in their local.

We refuse to let the International Union come in and make backdoor deals with the corporation to undermine our membership.

[At Tenet hospitals,] the International Union came in and tried to make a deal to outsource over 10 percent of our membership.

[At Catholic Healthcare West,] the International Union dissolved our Unity Council. The International tried to take over our bargaining. [CHW executives] were hoping that SEIU International would have us in trusteeship so they could make a backdoor deal.