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House Divided

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gilroydispatch

SEIU opposes the sale of a failing California hospital chain to Prime Healthcare for petty political reasons. Now, a number of SEIU members are bucking their union and supporting the proposed sale. SEIU wants to sell the hospitals to a New York-based private equity firm that has no experience running hospitals, reports the Gilroy Dispatch.

The California Nurses Association, which as an organization stands in Prime’s corner, is at odds with the SEIU-UHW. But within that service employee union, factions are splintering.

Centeno, a union steward for the SEIU-UHW, held back tears as she presented representatives from the attorney general’s office with a petition covered in 100 signatures from her colleagues who, like her, are bucking the union’s leadership and backing the for-profit buyer.

German Leyva, an SEIU-UHW union member and SLRH employee for 10 years, agreed with her sentiments.

“The union doesn’t speak for me or my co-workers. We’re not a part of it by choice; we have a ransom we have to pay,” said SEIU-UHW union member and SLRH employee German Leyva, referring to his union dues.

http://www.gilroydispatch.com/news/city_local_government/hospital-battle-rages-in-gilroy/article_f3e16784-9ced-11e4-9a6a-03218ab24c92.html

gilroydispatch

SEIU opposes the sale of a failing California hospital chain to Prime Healthcare for petty political reasons. Now, a number of SEIU members are bucking their union and supporting the proposed sale. SEIU wants to sell the hospitals to a New York-based private equity firm that has no experience running hospitals, reports the Gilroy Dispatch. […]

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Mitigating Expected Loss

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FresnoBee

It appears that SEIU is preparing for defeat. Maybe if SEIU spent more time representing members and less time meddling in politics, they wouldn’t have so many disgruntled members, reports the Fresno Bee:

Members of SEIU’s bargaining unit 02 have been trying to decertify union representation for correctional officers in the Fresno County Jail and juvenile justice center, as well as security, child support officers and program technicians, a total of about 840 employees. An election could occur in the spring.

But the union has filed a petition with the Fresno County Civil Service Commission that could narrow decertification voting to Fresno County Jail corrections officers, less than half the bargaining unit. It is the third decertification effort in three years for the bargaining unit’s employees, an effort led by jail corrections officers… If SEIU’s proposal is supported, other employees in the bargaining unit — consisting of other job types — will vote, too, but separate from the jail corrections officers, union officials said. It’s expected to be discussed during next month’s civil service commission meeting.

Get full story at http://www.fresnobee.com/2015/01/15/4332104_union-wants-only-jail-corrections.html?rh=1

FresnoBee

It appears that SEIU is preparing for defeat. Maybe if SEIU spent more time representing members and less time meddling in politics, they wouldn’t have so many disgruntled members, reports the Fresno Bee: Members of SEIU’s bargaining unit 02 have been trying to decertify union representation for correctional officers in the Fresno County Jail and […]

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Harder than it looks

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roc-nyThe Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC), a worker center group that has received SEIU support, loves to try to tell restaurant owners how to do their job. In 2006, the front group decided to try to show restaurant owners how they should do their job and opened “Colors” in New York City. To put it mildly, the restaurant has had a troubled history.

The restaurant was advertised as a co-op owned by workers from a famous New York restaurant destroyed on 9/11. In 2007, several workers sued the Restaurant Opportunity Center for failing to pay them what they were owed and failing to give them the ownership interest they were promised. As reported by the New York Post:

“ROC-NY used us and many others to perform hundreds of hours of unpaid work to raise money and promote its name and the co-op restaurant project. They even had us kick back our tips when we worked at parties and events as cooks and waiters,” one of the former Windows [on the World] employees, Orlando Godoy, said.

“We put in the time because we believed that we were ‘worker-owners’ . . . The only owners are ROC and the Italian investors. Our work remains unpaid.”

Godoy was one of 330 people employed at Windows when it was destroyed on 9/11, killing 73 of his co-workers.

At one point, the executive director of the Restaurant Opportunities Center, Saru Jayaraman, demanded workers sign a contract agreeing to pay dues and attend protests, among other things. The plight of the restaurant workers was so bad that a union lawyer agreed to take the case pro bono. Again, from the Post in 2007:

[Former restaurant board member Behzad] Pasdar charges, Jayaraman used ex-Windows staffers as a “golden goose.” “She dragged them around town to [raise money from] foundations. But she wouldn’t even pay them as promised.”

Nereda Pena’s story seems to confirm that. The Mexican-born former Windows worker, whom ROC used to fund-raise for Colors, spoke recently to The Post in Spanish. “I came to ROC everyday, sometimes as early as six. I worked all day. I was told I would get paid, but they never gave me anything. Instead, I’d get back to ROC at the end of the day and ask for enough to buy a subway fare home. They refused even that,” she said. This, she says, went on for months…

“[ROC’s executive director] would often say, ‘We don’t want white people here. We don’t work with white people.’ We would argue that as a social-justice organization, we can’t distinguish between races. But she said we use whites and then leave them.”…

“I’ve spent my whole life working in city restaurants,” says Pasdar, “but nothing was as bad as the three years I spent with ROC.”

In late 2007, a new chef arrived to try to turn around the restaurant, which was deeply in debt. Things were so bad that the restaurant struggled to pay its rent and workers voted to slash their minimum wage by more than $4 an hour. This time, from the New York Sun:

“I walked in and I was asked to pick up the pieces,” Christopher Faulkner, who took over as Colors’s chef in November, said. “I walked into a disaster.”

The previous chef had left months earlier along with almost half the original staff of 58. The remaining employees hadn’t been paid in weeks. Dishes on the menu were deleted, one by one, and there wasn’t enough money to order food supplies.

In 2009, the restaurant closed for five months. It closed again in 2012 and wasn’t reopened until last fall.

In addition to its financial and labor problems, the restaurant has also had sanitation problems. The New York Department of Health twice cited it for “critical violations” involving rats and mice.

Who Pays?

Early on, the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union provided funding; Bruce Herman, a former union leader, helped arrange additional funding.

Union support continues, according to Workercenterwatch.com:

“The unions have been a major source of initial and on-going funding and in fact, have provided significant in-kind contributions as well. In fact, the ROC chapter in Los Angeles has been housed within the SEIU offices for some time. The support comes in various ways – direct subsidies, in-kind support and grants such as the hundreds of thousands of dollars they have received from the AFL-CIO-related Consortium for Worker Education.”

It also appears that SEIU is supporting ROC’s efforts in Seattle. Liberal foundations and government agencies provide additional funding for ROC.

Maybe the Restaurant Opportunities Center should treat its own employees better – and learn how to run a clean, successful restaurant – before it goes around lecturing everyone else.

roc-ny

The Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC), a worker center group that has received SEIU support, loves to try to tell restaurant owners how to do their job. In 2006, the front group decided to try to show restaurant owners how they should do their job and opened “Colors” in New York City. To put it mildly, […]

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Raising the Minimum Wage: Figures Don’t Lie But Liars Figure

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By Don Todd

Both the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are strong proponents of raising the minimum wage. For instance on July 18, 2012, Mary Kay Henry the President of SEIU emailed her members the following: “Together with organizations like the National Employment Law Project, CREDO, and Moms Rising, the 99% are uniting to tell Congress it’s time to raise the federal minimum wage Join with us for our Rise Up Summer, and together we can put more money in the hands of the 99%.”

Henry also praised the recent vote by the Seattle City Council to raise the minimum wage stating that the “members of SEIU are tremendously inspired by today’s breakthrough vote by the Seattle City Council to lift the wage floor there to $15 per hour.” (For further examples, just Google UFCW or SEIU and minimum wage.) In the face of years of experience that price fixing by the government distorts the market, unions produce all kinds of charts, graphs and a multitude of bought and paid for “studies” that say it isn’t so.

For instance on October 16, 2014, the union financed Economic Policy Institute, which receives funding from both SEIU and UFCW, issued a policy paper on raising the federal minimum wage. The paper points to academic studies “proving,” the positive effects of labor price fixing.

In the same vein, working hand and glove with the unions, the Department of Labor has produced an entire web page devoted to the notion that raising the minimum wage will have nothing but positive effects.

This is similar to the current Administration’s shills in the media and elsewhere proclaim at every opportunity that the economy is booming when in fact a smaller percentage of people are working than at any time since Jimmy Carter enacted similar policies.

The disastrous effects of the minimum wage are all around us making one wonder should you believe the “studies” or you own eyes.

There was a time not too distant past when what we now call gas stations were more commonly referred to as service stations. One would pull into a station and a young attendant would come to your car window and ask how much gasoline in dollar amounts you wished to purchase. While the gas was pumping the attendant would wash your windows, check your tire pressure oil, radiator, and other fluid levels.

During the same time period it was the rule in a super market that what was then called a “bag boy” would not only bag your groceries but carry them out to your car and load them into your trunk.

All these stepping stone jobs have disappeared largely because of the government’s intrusions in the labor market including minimum wage on the state and federal level.

According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report published on December 5, 2014, the unemployment rate for teenagers aged 16 to 19 is 17.7% and has been as high as 23% in the last several months. Many of our young have been deprived of that first job that teaches them what it is like to have a job and how one must behave to keep one.

It is estimated that 5.6 million youth are disconnected from the labor market, meaning that they not working, not looking for work.

This is a human and societal tragedy and you don’t need a union bought study to realize it.

Don Todd is the director of research of Americans for Limited Government.

Minimum_Wage_Spike-HD

By Don Todd Both the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are strong proponents of raising the minimum wage. For instance on July 18, 2012, Mary Kay Henry the President of SEIU emailed her members the following: “Together with organizations like the National Employment Law Project, CREDO, and […]

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SEIU Local Treasurer Busted for Embezzlement

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By John Schreiber

A former labor union treasurer was sentenced Monday to five years probation for embezzling about $15,200.

Cedric Earl Hughes, 36, of Los Angeles, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder to repay nearly $15,200 to United Union Professionals at a rate of $250 per month.

Hughes pleaded guilty in September to a federal count of embezzlement and theft of labor union assets.

He admitted that, in 2010, he embezzled the money from the union by writing unauthorized checks to himself, making unauthorized ATM withdrawals, and conducting unauthorized debit-card purchases.

Hughes then used the cash for his personal use, including vacations, limousine service, and an automobile sound system, prosecutors said.

Get full story at http://mynewsla.com/crime/2015/01/12/former-union-treasurer-embezzled-15000-gets-probation/

MyNewsLA_Logo_TEST6

By John Schreiber A former labor union treasurer was sentenced Monday to five years probation for embezzling about $15,200. Cedric Earl Hughes, 36, of Los Angeles, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder to repay nearly $15,200 to United Union Professionals at a rate of $250 per month. Hughes pleaded guilty in […]

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SEIU Puts Politics before People

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huffpo_logoA liberal media outlet slams SEIU – hard – for its opposition to the sale of a flailing hospital chain:

The California Nurses Association is holding rallies all week to support the sale and keep the hospitals open. SEIU-United Health Care Workers vehemently opposes it, seemingly more out of concern for its own political power than the communities involved. As a secret tape recording of the UHW union leader’s conference call shows, SEIU-UHW is punishing Prime for not joining a $100 million political action pact it made with other hospitals.

SEIU-UHW has made it clear to state politicians, as part of its vendetta against Prime, that state officials who take contributions from Prime will be persona non grata…

There is  no other real buyer for these Daughter of Charity hospitals and the community desperately needs them.  At each hearing, the case for approval becomes clearer.

SEIU-UHW doesn’t seem to care if the hospitals close. Communities would lose, but victory would mean more power for the union. 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamie-court/sen-boxers-successors-sho_b_6437896.html

huffpo_logo

A liberal media outlet slams SEIU – hard – for its opposition to the sale of a flailing hospital chain: The California Nurses Association is holding rallies all week to support the sale and keep the hospitals open. SEIU-United Health Care Workers vehemently opposes it, seemingly more out of concern for its own political power […]

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SEIU opposes 40 hour work week

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noobamacareCurrently, Obamacare requires many employers to provide health insurance to employees who work 30 or more hours per week or pay a penalty. As a result, many employers have an incentive to cut hours for employees to help contain health care costs, which makes it harder for workers to find decent jobs and make a living. (Of course, it can be quite difficult to find and juggle two or more part-time jobs successfully.) Congress is considering legislation to raise the threshold to 40 hours to help solve these problems. Unsurprisingly, SEIU stands with Obama and opposes this common-sense, bipartisan legislation.

Read SEIU statement at: http://www.enewspf.com/opinion/commentary/58115-seiu-s-henry-house-bill-would-lower-wages-and-take-away-the-healthcare-people-get-through-work.html

noobamacare

Currently, Obamacare requires many employers to provide health insurance to employees who work 30 or more hours per week or pay a penalty. As a result, many employers have an incentive to cut hours for employees to help contain health care costs, which makes it harder for workers to find decent jobs and make a […]

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National Legal and Policy Center: SEIU Local Secretary-Treasurer in Ohio Sentenced

Latest updates | Scandals

nplcBy Carl Horowitz

On October 23, Rena Opre, former secretary-treasurer for Service Employees International Union Local 323, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to paying a $250 fine and a $25 special assessment for falsifying financial records of the Chicago-based union. Opre, a resident of Toledo, had pleaded guilty in May after being charged in March. The actions follow an investigation by the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Permalink here.

nplc

By Carl Horowitz On October 23, Rena Opre, former secretary-treasurer for Service Employees International Union Local 323, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to paying a $250 fine and a $25 special assessment for falsifying financial records of the Chicago-based union. Opre, a resident of Toledo, had pleaded guilty in May […]

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SEIU bashing NYPD

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NYPD_logoOther than the Revolutionary Communist Party no organization has played a larger role in the New York police bashing demonstrations than SEIU. When Mayor Bill de Blasio decided to hold a secret meeting and conspire with the rioters where did they meet? The SEIU headquarters of course.

The December 19th New York Post reports:

Mayor de Blasio held court on Friday with ringleaders of the city protests that have led to cop assaults and other mayhem — lending a sympathetic ear as they ticked off their demands.

Hizzoner had tried to keep the location of his meeting with the members of Justice League NYC a secret, but reporters discovered it was at the Midtown offices of a union connected to the one that employs a man charged with busting an NYPD lieutenant’s nose on the Brooklyn Bridge.

“They have a list of demands, some which I agree with, some which I don’t,” de Blasio said as he left the confab at 1199 SEIU’s headquarters.”

See the full story here: http://nypost.com/2014/12/19/de-blasio-meets-with-protest-leaders/

One of the duties of a union is to work to improve the working conditions of its members. Apparently SEIU 1199 believes that returning New York to the crime ridden hellhole it was in the 1970’s is just the thing. It is doubtful their members would agree.

NYPD_logo

Other than the Revolutionary Communist Party no organization has played a larger role in the New York police bashing demonstrations than SEIU. When Mayor Bill de Blasio decided to hold a secret meeting and conspire with the rioters where did they meet? The SEIU headquarters of course. The December 19th New York Post reports: Mayor […]

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Wash. Times: Unions agree to cut pension benefits

All Categories | Latest updates | Union Mismanagement

WashTimesLogoBy Jeffrey Scott Shapiro

When it comes to standing by the obligation unions made to provide pensions to retirees, UFCW pleaded poverty in persuading Congress to let chronically underfunded union pension plans cut the benefits of workers, including those already retired.

“Declining participation and factors like the Great Recession have created a new reality for Taft-Hartley multiemployer plans wherein many of them are substantially underfunded,” departing UFCW President Joseph T. Hansen wrote to the House Education and the Workforce Committee in a letter this month.

“The simple fact is that in order to save some of the most vulnerable pension plans trustees must be given the ability to slightly reduce benefits. This is the only realistic way to avoid insolvency and preserve as much of the promised pension benefits as possible,” the union boss wrote in a letter urging lawmakers to allow underfunded union pension plans to cut promised benefits.

Numerous other unions, many of them big spenders on the political front, also lobbied for the concession.

Congress obliged in a last-minute deal approved by lawmakers as they fled town for Christmas break. On Dec. 15, President Obama signed the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 into law, empowering any multiemployer pension fund — commonly managed by unions — to cut benefits for workers and current retirees if the plan is 20 percent or more underfunded.

In another words, Congress and the president let workers who spent decades toiling away to vest in retirement programs take the hit for union managers who failed to keep pensions fully funded.

In all, more than 10 million U.S. workers rely on multiemployer pension plans. About 1 million of those could get notices next year informing them that the pension benefits they were promised when they signed on to their jobs may be cut. Only those older than 75 get any relief.

Get full story  here.

WashTimesLogo

By Jeffrey Scott Shapiro When it comes to standing by the obligation unions made to provide pensions to retirees, UFCW pleaded poverty in persuading Congress to let chronically underfunded union pension plans cut the benefits of workers, including those already retired. “Declining participation and factors like the Great Recession have created a new reality for […]

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