Sunday, July 28, 2013

SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan Sells Out SEIU Local 1021, Pimps for Kaiser Permanente

Tasty hears that Dave Regan’s latest atrocity has many observers shaking their heads in disgust.  

Here’s what happened.

In California, SEIU Local 1021 represents thousands of public-sector employees who work for the City of San Francisco, the city’s courts, city college, etc. Most of these workers get their health insurance from Kaiser Permanente, which is trying to boost the cost of their health insurance by $15 million a year.

San Francisco’s elected officials and the city's workers are fighting back. According to an analysis by city officials that’s cited in this Los Angeles Times article, “nonprofit” Kaiser HMO made a 15% profit margin from the City employees’ business during the past two years. That’s $87 million in profits.

Meanwhile, “nonprofit” Kaiser has pocketed more than $9.5 billion in company-wide profits since 2009.

That’s why elected officials and labor unions demanded that Kaiser lower its proposed rate hike on San Francisco’s workers. The city’s unions -- including SEIU Local 1021, the International Federation of Professional and Technical Employees, Union of American Physicians and Dentists/AFSCME -- even formed a coalition to fight Kaiser’s rate hike. Check out one of their leaflets below, entitled “Kaiser: Stop Draining San Francisco Tax Dollars,” which bears SEIU Local 1021’s logo.

Here’s where SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan enters our story.
SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan

Did “Wall Street” Dave rush to the side of workers and taxpayers in order to fight the disgusting profiteering by the nation’s largest HMO? Not by a long shot.

According to multiple sources, Regan recently appeared at San Francisco’s city hall with a team of Kaiser’s executives and conducted a round of lobbying visits to push elected officials to approve Kaiser’s full rate hike.  

According to several sources, Regan even tried to enter the office of John Avalos, one of the most progressive members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Last year, Regan teamed up with the Chamber of Commerce to try to unseat Avalos by fielding one of Regan’s staffers -- Leon Chow -- as a candidate against Avalos. That is… until Chow crashed and burned in spectacular fashion after evidence surfaced that he violated multiple election laws!

SEIU-UHW's Leon Chow
So… when Regan recently walked into Avalos’s office, Avalos reportedly told Regan to get out. At which point Regan began jabbing his finger at Avalos’s chest in “old school” fashion before “Wall Street” Dave and the Kaiser suits beat a hasty retreat.

Regan and his business-suited buddies then continued to lobby other elected officials to approve Kaiser’s multi-million-dollar rate hikes.

Quite a story, right?

Remember that famous labor song that says, “Which side are you on?”

Well… what does it mean when a top SEIU official shows more solidarity for a multi-billion-dollar HMO than for SEIU’s own members -- not to mention workers in general?

At a time when lots of people are asking well-deserved questions about the future of the U.S. labor movement, this recent episode speaks volumes.

Notably, Regan’s vision of company-dominated unionism is shared by the top leaders of SEIU, one of the nation’s largest unions. In fact, Tasty’s sources say SEIU President Mary Kay Henry hasn’t voiced the slightest opposition to Regan selling out San Francisco’s workers in favor of a giant HMO. 

Here's SEIU Local 1021's leaflet on Kaiser's price-gouging: