Thursday, February 6, 2014

Oregon Workers Defeat Power Grab by SEIU's Purple Palace

Here's some interesting news from Oregon.

For years, SEIU has been maneuvering to merge its two Oregon locals into a giant “mega-local” …just like Andy Stern did when he was perched atop the Purple Palace.

In this case, officials are trying to merge Local 503 -- which represents 57,000 public-sector workers -- and Local 49, which represents 9,000 janitors, security officers and hospital workers and is headed by Dave Regan’s BFF, Meg Niemi.

Over several years, SEIU has been orchestrating a kind of “unification dance” between the two locals. And earlier this month, Local 503’s Board of Directors officially approved the deal.

But last weekend, the deal suddenly came to a crashing halt!

On Saturday, Local 503’s “General Council” -- a decision-making body that’s much larger than the Board of Directors and involves hundreds of rank-and-file members -- met at the Doubletree Hotel in Portland and nixed the deal by a vote of 118 to 75. (The “General Council” was established when the union was still independent and hadn't yet affiliated with SEIU.)

So why did the General Council vote against merger?

Here’s what Local 503’s former president says about SEIU’s so-called “unification:”  
“It's simply a smokescreen for an SEIU international takeover of the union,” said DiNicola, who noted that the proposed new bylaws provide prominent new powers for the union leadership based in D.C. DiNicola also charged that the leadership is trying to rush through unification.
Opponents charged that the real goal of the leadership was to rewrite Local 503 bylaws to shift more power to the international union's headquarters in D.C.
Hmmm… a  D.C. power-grab dressed up as “new strength and unity” for workers? That’s totally SEIU, right? Looks like Mary Kay Henry is pulling her cues directly from Andy Stern’s tired old playbook.

Don’t be surprised when SEIU announces it’s gonna conduct a ‘re-vote’ of the decision… and then launches a ‘dirty tricks’ campaign to try to win the vote.

Finally, here's a one-page piece called “10 Reasons to vote NO for Unification” that opponents of the deal circulated in advance of the vote.