Fraud

Dirty tactics 0

watchdog newsFirst, SEIU tried harassing an elderly personal care assistant to get her to join their union. When that didn’t work, someone apparently forged the Minnesota woman’s signature, and the union started collecting dues from her. After she complained to SEIU that dues were being deducted from her checks without authorization, SEIU sent her a copy of an organizing card with a signature that she says is different from her own.

Home-care worker Patricia Johansen isn’t a fan of unions. Never was.

So it didn’t take much — $76.67, exactly — for the Fergus Falls grandmother to take on the Service Employees International Union.

She alleges someone signed her name on a union card authorizing dues be taken from her paycheck. The 74-year-old personal care assistant. who tends to her daughter’s two special needs children, demanded — and got — her money back.

“I called them and said I never signed any papers to join the union,” Johansen said about her first call to SEIU in St. Paul. “… And he said, ‘We have your signature right here.’ And I said, ‘Well, you need to prove it because I didn’t sign anything. You send me a copy of it.’”

Union officials sent Johansen a copy of a SEIU organizing card dated May 3, 2014, with what appears to be her signature at the bottom. The card committed Johansen to supporting an election over whether to establish a union for home-care workers and to paying dues for at least one year.

Johansen says she never saw — much less signed — any such card.

“He sent me a copy of what I supposedly signed, and it doesn’t look anything like my signature at all,” Johansen said. “I’m left-handed, the letters are all formed differently. So they didn’t have my signature. Somebody else just signed my name to it.”

SEIU organizers approached Johansen about the union election in 2014, and she turned them away.

“Before they voted to bring in the union, they came to my door twice, and I wouldn’t let them in,” Johansen said. “I just said, ‘No, I’m just not interested,’ and I wouldn’t let them come in, and then they kept calling me.”

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