SEIU Trusteeship for United Healthcare Workers West? (Click here for full article)

The Decision Is In

The second shoe has dropped in the saga of the contentious battle between United Healthcare Workers West (UHW), the 150,000 member California local union, and its parent International Union, Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Ray Marshall, former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, was chosen by SEIU president Andy Stern to conduct a hearing to determine if UHW should be placed in trusteeship (International union seizes control of the Local) and have local leadership ousted.

He recommended that UHW not be placed in trusteeship at this time, but only if UHW complies with certain conditions.  The main condition is that UHW has to agree to cooperate with the SEIU Executive Board direction to create a single Local Union in California to represent long term care workers.  That means UHW would have to give up approximately 65,000 of its dues paying members to the new Local.  Mr. Marshall recommends that Mr. Roselli retain his leadership position in UHW if he accepts this sacrifice.  Otherwise, the trusteeship will be imposed and he will be removed altogether.

For a copy of the complete Marshall report call us at 909.980.8736 or write to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

 

The second shoe has dropped in the saga of the contentious battle between United Healthcare Workers West (UHW), the 150,000 member California local union, and its parent International Union, Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Ray Marshall, former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, was chosen by SEIU president Andy Stern to conduct a hearing to determine if UHW should be placed in trusteeship and its leadership ousted.

Throughout six days of testimony, both SEIU and UHW hurled charges at each other.  The International Union contended:
• UHW used members’ dues moneys to establish a $6million tax exempt fund to battle any efforts by the international to put the local in trusteeship
• Sent $475,000 of members’ dues moneys to a law firm to fight possible trusteeship proceedings.  Sal Roselli, the head of UHW, had sole authority for spending the $6million fund.

UHW asserted that the trusteeship hearing was part of an organized retaliation campaign by the International Union that included:
• Creating of a “war council” to plan the campaign
• Operating “a ‘skunk team’ that attempted to discredit Sal Rosselli
• Removing Sal Rosselli from his position as president of the SEIU State Council
• Initiating jurisdictional hearings to remove 65,000 long term care workers from UHW
• An unrelenting barrage of telephone calls, email blasts, and flyers with false, misleading and inflammatory statements against UHW
• Attempts to organize UHW’s members against UHW

So what did Mr. Marshall decide?  He concluded that, while there are policy disagreements between UHW and SEIU, the basic problem was UHW’s reluctance to accept the decision of the International Executive Board regarding long term care workers in California. 

He went on to say “The UHW-SEIU conflict is hurting both organizations at a critical time in the development of the labor movement and progressive policies in the country. The main beneficiaries of this conflict are anti-union employers and politicians who have geared up to use this conflict against our efforts to pass legislation to help workers, especially the Employee Free Choice Act.”

He recommended that UHW not be placed in trusteeship at this time, but only if it complies with certain conditions.  The main condition is that UHW has to agree to cooperate with the SEIU executive board direction to create a single local union in California to represent long term care workers.  This means that UHW would have to give up approximately 65,000 of its dues paying members to the new local.  Mr. Marshall recommends that Mr. Roselli retain his leadership position in UHW if he accepts this sacrifice.  Otherwise, the trusteeship will be imposed and he will be removed altogether.

Roselli has been fighting this reorganization all along.  When the International Union conducted a hearing in July to take testimony about how long term care unions should be organized in California, UHW mobilized 6,000 people to march and shout around the hotel where the hearing was being conducted.  The same day that the International Executive Board adopted their long term care reorganization, Roselli served notice asking the International Union to schedule an election for UHW to disaffiliate from SEIU. 

In a statement released by UHW, the local contends that Mr. Marshall exceeded his authority, that his recommendation is not based on the charges filed, but rather “is a political decision designed for political expediency.” 

The unrepentant statement goes on to call the report “a bludgeon to force UHW members into accepting a wrong-headed, undemocratic decision by Andy Stern and the IEB (International Executive Board) to divide rather than unite California’s healthcare workers.”

On Monday, the UHW Executive Board issued a response to Mr. Marshall’s recommendations and the action taken by the International Executive Board.  In it the leadership of the local said they would turn over their 65,000 long term care members if a majority of those members so voted in a secret ballot election.

Mr. Stern’s response was quick.  On Tuesday he announced that he had removed all the UHW leaders from office and put the local in trusteeship.
For a copy of the complete Marshall report call us at 909.980.8736 or write to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/23 at 07:40 PM
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