Friday, October 30, 2015

Unionization Election Points to 'Tale of Two Unions'

Here's an interesting "tale of two unions" story.

SEIU-UHW is failing to win unionization elections engineered through Dave Regan's backroom deal with the California Hospital Association.

For example, workers at Mission Hospital rejected SEIU-UHW in an election held earlier this year despite the fact that the hospital's executives gave every possible advantage to SEIU-UHW and basically pleaded with their workers to join the purple union.

Meanwhile, non-union workers continue to join NUHW through NLRB elections. Earlier this month, 160 workers at one of California's largest nursing homes (181-bed Novato Healthcare Center in Novato, California) voted to join NUHW. It's the latest in a string of election victories for NUHW.

What accounts for the difference?

Regan has chosen a deliberate strategy of trying to grow SEIU-UHW by making it the bosses' preferred union. Regan gives special assistance to hospital corporations by helping them slash workers' benefits, implement lengthy no-strike clauses, impose gag clauses, and freeze wages. In exchange, Regan asks these bosses to herd their workers into SEIU-UHW, the bosses’ union.

So far, workers aren't buying what Regan (and the bosses) are selling.


It ain’t rocket science. 

Most workers don't like their bosses -- typically giant corporations squeezing profits from their hard work. Workers want fair wages, health insurance for their kids, a good retirement plan, and dignified treatment. And they want a union that'll help them fight for these goals.

This month's unionization victory at Novato Healthcare Center seems to confirm this notion. The workers launched their effort to join NUHW only after learning about NUHW's recent strike at a nearby facility run by the same parent corporation.

"I want some of that action," workers seemed to say.

So... a strike and a fighting union inspired workers to stand up to their boss.

It makes sense, right? And it represents a striking counterpoint to SEIU-UHW's strategy of purple company unionism. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan Trashes SEIU International at Annual Membership Meeting

SEIU-UHW's Leadership Assembly featured a "giant custom flame bob"
A union member who attended SEIU-UHW's recent "Leadership Assembly" in Fresno, California sent along the following report, including news that Dave Regan used the event as a platform to trash SEIU International and President Mary Kay Henry.

The report begins this way:
I have just finished a few days at the leadership conference, and do I feel dirty. Not because of the members, they were the saving grace, but because of the SEIU-UHW staff leadership that are also on the executive board. These people are not members, they have no concept of the struggle that working people face, they don't know us or the work of the members.

As far as Regan trashing SEIU International...
The other part that I found so completely strange was the mention of the Home-care members being put in their own union. Regan was blasting the International, and their wrong decision to create SEIU 2015. Reagan and others have said several time that the International "stole" their members. I may be naive, but aren't they still in a union? Actually, they are still with SEIU. We are fighting for the same things and the same political agenda's, but they act like these members are their property to be stole. Really, I am sure Dave is just sad about the lack of dues and Cope. I was shocked about how much crap Dave was spreading about the international. I can't imagine that the International will just sit back and take this.  I am actually more than fine with Dave and his minions get kicked out by the international.

(FYI, the term "COPE" refers to voluntary political contributions that SEIU-UHW collects from some of its members and uses to fund political campaigns.)

Tasty's source says Regan also referred to his collapsing deal with the California Hospital Association, apparently confirming details disclosed in last week's post penned by California Watchdog President Jamie Court.
Regan said that if the hospital CEO's would not support the medi-cal measure then maybe they would start going after their high pays and bonuses. … Why would hospitals NOT support this measure. This will be more money for them. It was clear that we are spending members dues to push Reagan and his buddies agenda.

Regan has already spent more than $10-$15 million of SEIU-UHW members' dues dollars to twice file and then withdraw the same ballot measures he's now considering re-filing for third time.

And here's a final excerpt. Btw, check out this union member's dead-on description of Regan and SEIU-UHW’s fatcat staff leaders: "a greedy man and a few sycophants who are more boss than working people." 
Of course, the biggest message was around Cope. Pretty much, UHW has become a lobbying group. They are pushing that all executive board members must collect ten $10 dollar COPE cards every three months. The staff are the ones pushing these goals, and if they are not met staff is disciplined. We are constantly losing good staff and member leaders. … The problem is the people making the decisions on behalf of UHW members is a greedy man and a few sycophants who are more boss than working people.  Not only was Regan's message all about cope (And man was he a boring speaker), but about the upcoming ballot initiatives that we will be pushing. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Consumer Watchdog: ‘Death Rattle Shakes Dave Regan’s Pact with California Hospital Association’

Jamie Court, President of Consumer Watchdog
Today, the President of Consumer Watchdog reported the following news about SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan’s deal with the California Hospital Association in a blog:
Word on the street is that union President Dave Regan's Faustian bargain with the California hospital industry -- cuddle up with hospitals' management to keep patient problems quiet and receive more than 60,000 new hospital workers -- is now teetering on the brink of collapse. Apparently Regan shut up, but the hospitals didn't put up the new workers. Good riddance.

Consumer Watchdog, founded by public interest lawyer Harvey Rosenfield, is a non-profit consumer advocacy organization with offices in California and Washington, DC. It has won legislation to reform HMOs and utility companies as well as court battles to defend consumers against banks, oil companies and insurance corporations.

Jamie Court, Consumer Watchdog's president, describes additional details about SEIU-UHW's "Pax-Lucifer" with the CHA in today’s blog on his organization's website:
Inside sources says talks between the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) and the California Hospital Association (CHA), the industry's lobbying group, have stalled...

As a result... Regan reportedly is now considering re-filing the same statewide ballot initiatives that he’s already filed (and withdrawn) twice at a cost of tens of millions of dollars to SEIU-UHW's membership. According to Court:
Regan may be threatening to take those two initiatives out of the closet again as a club for the hospitals, but it's not clear he has the money or connections to actually get them to the ballot. No one with any juice wants to work with Regan anymore.  He had 70,000 of his 150,000 members recently stripped from UHW and has lost any leverage to gain more members. Can you hear the death rattle for the corporate collaborator?

Court describes how SEIU-UHW threw patients and consumers under the bus in exchange for Regan’s backroom deal to add more workers to the union's membership rolls:
[SEIU-UHW’s] labor-management deal with the hospital industry is a business model to stop the public and regulators from knowing about quality of care problems at hospitals -- one pioneered by SEIU-UHW at Kaiser Permanente for years...
The most pernicious part of the Pax-Lucifer was that Regan agreed the union would never oppose any hospital industry political position or have a public difference of opinion in the policy world.  That's led his union's name to be affiliated with many anti-patient positions, including opposition to health insurance rate regulation, patient safety protections and good consumer bills. His slap down by SEIU leaders was well deserved. Now he's getting the other side of the hand from the hospital industry.  It's a cautionary tale. But Regan doesn't strike me as guy who knows his Faust.

As Regan thinks about re-filing his ballot initiatives, he might wanna take a glance at a new law approved last year by California’s governor that turns Regan's ballot-initiative bamboozle into a crime punishable by up to three years in jail. 

Then again, Dave might look good in pinstripes...

Here's a link to Jamie Court’s full blog.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

SEIU Official Makes Bail after Surrendering to Authorities on Corruption Charges

Check out this two-minute TV news clip with the latest details on the corruption scandal involving SEIU's Dana Cope. 

Cope is the latest member of SEIU’s International Executive Board to face criminal corruption charges.

In recent weeks, Cope surrendered to authorities and posted bail after being charged with two felony counts that could land him in jail for 15 years, according to WNCN TV in Raleigh, N.C.

Cope was nabbed by union members who blew the whistle after uncovering records that he spent $570,000 of workers' dues dollars on personal flying lessons, clothing, jewelry, massages, plastic surgery, landscaping for his home, a trip for his family to China, etc.

COPE is a member of SEIU's International Executive Board and also is the highest official at the State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC), an SEIU local that represents 55,000
Mug shot of SEIU's Cope
state employees.

On the news clip, Michael Weisel, an attorney who represents the whistleblowers, says the following about SEIU: 
"There was a complete failure within the organization itself. They didn't follow their own rules. They didn't follow the written bylaws. They didn't follow the written procedures..."

After union members blew the whistle on Cope's corruption, SEIU officials "vilified" them... until journalists and criminal investigators proved they were completely correct.

Cope is the latest SEIU official to face charges, an indictment, an/or jail time for corruption. Others include Tyrone Freeman, Alejandro Stephens, Annelle Grajeda, Janett Humpries, Byron Hobbs, Rickman Jackson and Paul Varacalli.

Click the following hyperlinked text to see the WNCN news story: “Dana Cope Makes Bond after Surrendering to Authorities.”