0

Failure

Shady Lobbying

northjersey.com2Because SEIU is at war with a developer, it opposes a multifamily  development in Teaneck, New Jersey. Despite SEIU’s opposition, the township council voted to rezone the land clearing the way for the new housing.

The issue had been brewing in the township over the past month, after the council introduced the ordinance. Since then, robo calls have been made and mailers sent to residents’ homes by opponents. Much of the opposition has been backed by the Service Employees International Union, which has long had a dispute with AvalonBay…

Other residents welcomed the zone change; they said their taxes are too high and there needs to be more apartment rental options in Teaneck.

“It’s really hard to afford to live here. What you can do to mitigate that would be appreciated, from my personal perspective,” said resident Charles Whelan.

northjersey.com2

Because SEIU is at war with a developer, it opposes a multifamily  development in Teaneck, New Jersey. Despite SEIU’s opposition, the township council voted to rezone the land clearing the way for the new housing. The issue had been brewing in the township over the past month, after the council introduced the ordinance. Since then, […]

1

New York AG Colludes with SEIU Frontman on Press Release

All Categories | Shady Lobbying

New-York-AG-Eric-T-Schneiderman-Kendall-Fells-SEIU-FOIL

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed suit against Papa Johns, cites SEIU Fast Food Forward front man Kendall Fells in press release

The SEIU has been working heavily to mandate unionization through “workers centers,” shell organizations funded by the union, to organize new members in a legal grey area. One such group, Fast Food Forward, has well documented ties to the SEIU and has worked as an organizing arm to push the union’s agenda. So it should not come as any surprise that former SEIU Representative and Fast Food Forward director Kendall Fells is involved with a lawsuit against a fast food chain. What is surprising is that he is so involved with the suit the New York Attorney General actually quotes Fells in a press release from their office (emphasis original):

“Fast-food workers all across the city and country are organizing for higher pay and union rights,” said Kendall Fells, organizing director of Fast Food Forward. “This suit shows why their campaign is so important. And it shows that Attorney General Schneiderman is serious about holding fast-food companies accountable for wage theft. Workers who make the minimum wage, or the even lower tipped minimum, cannot afford to have their employers stealing from their paychecks.”

Our blog has previously covered Kendall Fells’ strategy (and by extension that of the SEIU), leaked in a video posted online, to make the “fight for 15” minimum wage issue actually about unionization. Fells’ quote fits perfectly with his earlier statement, using minimum wages as a front to get access to employee’s pocketbooks through their mandatory dues checks.

But there is a serious ethical concern not only with Fells’ true motives, but with the amount of collusion between himself and the New York AG department:

If Fells was part of the AG’s investigative team and privy to legal actions before they became public, this taints the investigation with the stench of labor union organizing politics.

Unfortunately, the press release issued by the state’s Attorney General announcing a lawsuit and including an advocacy group’s comment lead a reasonable person to believe that there was collusion which may not have been lawful or ethical.

To say this press release stinks of collusion and shady lobbying between an SEIU front group and a legal office is an understatement. Towards that end, Americans for Limited Government is filing a FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) request seeking communications between Fells and the New York AG office. We will be keeping this blog updated with any findings from the inquiry.

NY-AG-Eric-T-Schneiderman-Kendall-Fells-SEIU-FOIL

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed suit against Papa Johns, cites SEIU Fast Food Forward front man Kendall Fells in press release The SEIU has been working heavily to mandate unionization through “workers centers,” shell organizations funded by the union, to organize new members in a legal grey area. One such group, Fast Food […]

2

SEIU to Protest Fast Food with Illegal Acts Thursday

Uncategorized | All Categories | Dirty tactics | Latest updates | Shady Lobbying

Service Employees International Union backed Fast Food Forward and SEIU’s Fight for 15 plan a protest strike/walkout, illegal acts Thursday, September 4

15-minimum-wage-replacementThe Service Employees International Union and Fast Food Forward is targeting fast food companies like McDonalds and Burger King with illegal acts, escalating their efforts in their “Fight for 15” $15 minimum wage campaign.  In the lead up to tomorrow’s protest, one worker told The Guardian that the union adopted a motion to do “whatever it takes” to achieve their goal:

“Thirteen-hundred workers unanimously adopted a resolution at our convention in July to do whatever it takes to win $15 an hour and union rights, including participating in non-violent, peaceful protests in the tradition of the civil rights movement.”

Despite the call to nonviolence and reference to the civil rights movement, that has not always been the case when the SEIU has been involved. The SEIU’s history is replete with examples of violent behavior and use of threats to get what they want. In fact, the SEIU was quite friendly with the violent protest organizers of Occupy Wall Street, even offering them free office space.

Meanwhile, according to the New York Times, the SEIU will be using home healthcare workers to artificially increase their numbers:

..this time labor organizers plan to increase the pressure by staging widespread civil disobedience and having thousands of home-care workers join the protests….

Some franchise operators have dismissed the walkout, saying that in previous one-day strikes, only a handful of employees at their restaurants walked out, barely disrupting business.

This attempt to artificially inflate their numbers is certainly not new for the SEIU. Previously, protesters have been caught on video admitting to being paid to protest for the union. Using outside, unassociated union members to escalate visibility and pressure when the real numbers would only amount to a handful is par for the course.

Meanwhile, there is increased concern being voiced about whether these efforts have anything to do with what the SEIU is supposed to be about‒helping their own members achieve better wages and working conditions. The SEIU has spent millions in the fast food area, and there is no clear indication the industry will be unionizing any time soon.

In fact, the SEIU’s efforts may be the worst way to endear themselves to the industry, as well as undermine the very employees they say they want to help. An increase of wages to $15 is more likely to result in fewer jobs for workers, as companies like McDonalds and Burger King turn to automation to replace the handfuls of workers who leave their company to protest.  And the SEIU’s efforts polarize the conversation and add potentially violent disruption to the conversation in tomorrow’s protest may backfire, as did the aims of Occupy Wall Street.

Tomorrow’s protest highlights the disconnect in the SEIU between their goals and their members’ needs. They are willing to spend millions on an artificial movement with no clear benefit to their membership, but aren’t willing to consider the consequences for those they say they want to help. Is it any wonder the SEIU continues to shrink?

15-minimum-wage-replacement

Service Employees International Union backed Fast Food Forward and SEIU’s Fight for 15 plan a protest strike/walkout, illegal acts Thursday, September 4 The Service Employees International Union and Fast Food Forward is targeting fast food companies like McDonalds and Burger King with illegal acts, escalating their efforts in their “Fight for 15” $15 minimum wage […]

0

SEIU Joins MoveOn.org, Planned Parenthood to Defend Obamacare

Dirty tactics | Shady Lobbying

The Service Employees International Union joins two partisan powerhouses pushing Obamacare- a policy hiking healthcare costs on their members, causing strikes

SEIU Endorses Obamacare

SEIU Endorses Obamacare

The SEIU was beside itself with the passage of Obamacare, releasing statements about how wonderful it was, even as concerns mounted about potential issues. However, the impact of the policy wasn’t necessarily good for their local unions, as Obamacare raised healthcare costs for local union members.

And yet, the SEIU marched on, even using member’s dues money to pay people off to protest for Obamacare, a practice they frequently accuse their opponents of using called “astroturf.” And it seems they’re going to double down on Obamacare with even more money and membership drives. Via Weaselzippers:

Planned Parenthood Action, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and MoveOn.org are teaming up in an effort to boost the law, and to boost officials who backed it.

SEIU leadership clearly believes Obamacare is best for their membership, despite the fact that their members are seeing a direct cost increase specifically because of the policy. SEIU International is spending their dues money to defend policies costing their membership money. Then, instead of taking responsibility, they call for their membership to strike against their employers to make up the difference.

This reckless policy hawking not only harms their membership, but undermines their case that the SEIU has the best intentions for their members. Rather than advocating for policies that work for their membership, they are letting partisan politics run their advocacy. This is one more sign the leadership is out of touch with their membership, and should be replaced.

SEIU Endorses Obamacare

The Service Employees International Union joins two partisan powerhouses pushing Obamacare- a policy hiking healthcare costs on their members, causing strikes The SEIU was beside itself with the passage of Obamacare, releasing statements about how wonderful it was, even as concerns mounted about potential issues. However, the impact of the policy wasn’t necessarily good for […]

0

SEIU Front Group “Wisconsin Jobs Now” Promotes ObamaCare, Law Breaking

All Categories | Shady Lobbying

The “nonpartisan” Wisconsin Jobs Now, funded nearly entirely by SEIU Healthcare, is an Obamacare certified application counselor with a history of lawbreaking.SEIU_wisconsin_jobs_now

“Wisconsin Jobs Now” is a self-described “community-based, non-profit organization” focused on issues like “economic justice” and “fighting income inequality.” However, when you look into their financial statements, it becomes immediately clear that they are little more than an arm of SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin and SEIU International, from whom they received over $100,000 in 2012.

Their partisanship was clearly on display in 2012, where they were at the forefront of the Wisconsin State Senate recall elections:

The group Wisconsin Jobs Now! gained notoriety last year when it was caught handing out barbecue chicken dinners to voters in conjunction with free rides to the polls in last summer’s Wisconsin state senate recall elections. That activity landed them an investigation by prosecutors. This year the group, which bills itself as a “non-partisan organization” on its website, is leading early voting efforts in Milwaukee that predominantly benefit the Democratic candidates for governor and lieutenant governor.

The article further explains the ties to the SEIU, describing how many of the top organizers of Wisconsin Jobs Now also drew paychecks from the SEIU directly.

But the questionable activity did not end there – Wisconsin Jobs Now organizers have been legally implicated in 40 arrests and multiple investigations:

Police cited Zellner and 16 others for harassing and disrupting a political fundraiser held by a Republican state official in January of 2012. In addition to Zellner, at least three of those cited worked for Wisconsin Jobs Now. They were Matthew S. Finnell, who still blogs and writes for the organization, Nicholas A. Janis, and the previously investigated Stoner.

An early participate in the Occupy Wall Street movement, Wisconsin Jobs Now has hosted sit-ins at district offices of Republican members of Congress and recruited people to disrupt an in-district speaking engagement of Congressman Paul Ryan. The result was 19 people arrested for disturbing the peace at the office of Senator Ron Johnson, and three people arrested during the Ryan speech.

And now, the group responsible for so many broken laws and arrests is certified to promote Obamacare in Wisconsin. Despite the fact that they have zero experience with healthcare, they will be responsible to “help people understand, apply, and enroll for health coverage through the Marketplace.”

If their previous experience is any indication, you can expect to see more questionable activity. Particularly given the fact that as of October 2013, “less than 50” people had signed up for Obamacare in the whole state of Wisconsin. Given their history, it wouldn’t be surprising if even that number was manipulated as well.

SEIU_wisconsin_jobs_now

The “nonpartisan” Wisconsin Jobs Now, funded nearly entirely by SEIU Healthcare, is an Obamacare certified application counselor with a history of lawbreaking. “Wisconsin Jobs Now” is a self-described “community-based, non-profit organization” focused on issues like “economic justice” and “fighting income inequality.” However, when you look into their financial statements, it becomes immediately clear that they […]

3

Irony: SEIU Strikes Hospital as Obamacare Forces Healthcare Costs Up

All Categories | Dirty tactics | Shady Lobbying

Providence St. Peter SEIU Obamacare Strike

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1199NW members picket Olympia’s St. Peter Hospital as the Obamacare plan SEIU advocated increases their costs

There seems to be some trouble in paradise for the SEIU, as disputes between employees and employers increase across the country. As the economy has been hurting more and more recently, employers are asking their employees to start sharing the burden of the higher costs, and unions are responding with strikes and picketing:

Five hundred members of the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, walked off the job for what the union calls health care workers striking over the rising cost of health care. … “We’re going to be fully staffed,” says Susan Meenk, VP for Human Resources at Providence St. Peter. “We do have some replacement workers coming in from other Providence hospitals, and temporary workers.”

Now for those who remember, the SEIU was instrumental in promoting legislation specifically to stop the rising costs of healthcare. According to them, the Affordable Care Act, more popularly known as Obamacare, was supposed to handle all of these problems and more. SEIU President Mary Kay Henry had this to say about Obamacare:

The healthcare law means that working families can move forward toward more affordable, secure healthcare and better health, not backward to the status quo of skyrocketing premiums, insurance denials and unchecked profits for insurance companies.

So how is it possible that healthcare prices are still going up? The Nation, a notably progressive magazine that calls itself the “flagship of the left”, acknowledges that higher prices is a direct result of Obamacare:

High-deductible “catastrophic” or “consumer directed health plans” shift the cost of healthcare from employers to employees and are a permitted form of coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

In reality, the Obamacare act which was supposed to result in lowered healthcare prices has actually resulted in increases in premiums, a far cry from the “more affordable” promises of Mary Kay Henry.

Strangely enough, the SEIU seemed to know this in advance, and arranged for 6 of their local union chapters to receive Obamacare waivers:

That brings to six the total number of SEIU locals that have received waivers from Obamacare…. The waivers granted to the SEIU locals exempt them from having to comply with the phasing out of the annual benefits caps.

Sadly for the members at the St. Peter Hospital, there were no waivers that could stop Obamacare’s impact from coming down on them. Their frustration at the rising costs should be directed at the SEIU who advocated for the policies that are now impacting them. Their frustration against their employer is pointless, particularly as the hospital is already having them replaced.

Providence St. Peter SEIU Obamacare Strike

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1199NW members picket Olympia’s St. Peter Hospital as the Obamacare plan SEIU advocated increases their costs There seems to be some trouble in paradise for the SEIU, as disputes between employees and employers increase across the country. As the economy has been hurting more and more recently, employers are […]

0

VIDEO: Ex SEIU Organizer was Illegally Required to do Political Work

All Categories | Dirty tactics | Scandals | Shady Lobbying

 

An explosive new video has come out, slamming the SEIU for illegally pressuring their organizers into volunteering for Democrat candidates. A former SEIU organizer admits on video that he and other SEIU organizers “were required as staff” to do political work:

We need to go canvassing for this candidate, so we need you to sign this sheet to say that you are requesting a personal day today, so that you can go do this. We’ll make it up to you later,’” he said in the interview.

And I [thought], ‘Is this really legal? Can you require me to volunteer for a candidate that I can’t even vote for? I don’t live in that jurisdiction, that district that they are running from.

And that happened a lot around election time. The staff was — it was — I called it ‘mandatory volunteerism.’ And that happened to everybody. We were all told that we had to volunteer for this candidate on this day.

According to the article, the FEC “does not allow volunteers for federal candidates, including Presidential candidate[s], to be paid by third parties for volunteering, and state laws vary on the point. But the unions get around these rules by compensating volunteers to do general political organizing work and get-out-the vote efforts for the benefit of specific candidates.”

This is not news to those of you who followed our video of SEIU members admitting to being paid $20 to protest Obamacare – the SEIU often uses underhanded tactics to coerce people into advocating for their causes in what they often accuse other groups of using- “astroturf,” or artificial grassroots organizing.

Important to note as well is that the former SEIU member in the video has his identity protected to prevent the SEIU from retaliating against him. Not only did the union pressure him into doing something he clearly felt uncomfortable with, but they also left him with the impression that there would be retribution if he were to divulge this information. This isn’t a movie or a dramatic TV show- this is real life, and this man is afraid of being attacked by real life thugs.

The SEIU is operating illegally, and using threats of coercion to prevent people from exposing them. This former SEIU organizer has found a way to expose them without revealing his identity- with any luck his testimony will help encourage more SEIU members to speak out as well.

SEIU-Organizer-Forced-Political

  An explosive new video has come out, slamming the SEIU for illegally pressuring their organizers into volunteering for Democrat candidates. A former SEIU organizer admits on video that he and other SEIU organizers “were required as staff” to do political work: We need to go canvassing for this candidate, so we need you to […]

0

SEIU Local 617 President: Tax Money to Fake Company “Depends on Democrats being in Office”

All Categories | Dirty tactics | Latest updates | Scandals | Shady Lobbying | Union Mismanagement

James O’Keefe, made famous for exposing the organizing group ACORN’s involvement in illegal activity, has published a new video, this time exposing the SEIU. A secret recording captured SEIU Local 617 president Rahaman Muhammad’s complicity in using federal money for wasteful and pointless organizations to literally dig holes and fill them back up.

If you listen carefully, Muhammad is explaining the SEIU’s relationship with Democrat politicians. In his own words, “union dues fund elected officials who support working people”- in this case “working people” whose only job is to dig holes and fill them up. Organizations like ones O’Keefe describes get the support of legislators, but it “depends on Democrats being in office.”

Specifically, Democrats like Senator Robert Menendez “get support from the union” for their support of SEIU-organized jobs. According to Muhammad, with SEIU’s support, “Menendez gonna be like ‘Oh, for real? SEIU? Oh good, great!’

Project Veritas, O’Keefe’s organization, sent out an email explaining the impact of this collusion:

Since 2005, labor unions have reported spending $4.4 billion dollars on political activity, with the vast majority of that money going to Democrats like Robert Menendez – despite the fact that half of SEIU members identify as Republicans or Independents!

Besides an obvious conflict of interest, the worst part about the financial arrangement between unions and elected officials is that much of the money going into campaign coffers comes from compulsory member dues.

In other words, union members are forced to pay for political candidates or activities they may not even support.

As we’ve stated before, according to Mary Kay Henry, President of the SEIU, about 30% of SEIU members vote Republican, and an additional 20% are independents. They should be very concerned about this kind of “pay-for-play” bargaining done on their behalf.

If the SEIU wants to be taken seriously as an organization, they need to do more than show concern for supporting Democrats who promote their initiatives. They need to be concerned about wasteful spending and government programs- after all, SEIU members pay those taxes as well.

SEIU Local 617 president Rahaman Muhammad

James O’Keefe, made famous for exposing the organizing group ACORN’s involvement in illegal activity, has published a new video, this time exposing the SEIU. A secret recording captured SEIU Local 617 president Rahaman Muhammad’s complicity in using federal money for wasteful and pointless organizations to literally dig holes and fill them back up. If you […]

3

Cringeworthy: Pointless SEIU Video Parodies “Call Me Maybe” (VIDEO)

Dirty tactics | Scandals | Shady Lobbying | Union Mismanagement

We apologize in advance for any involuntary shudders you may experience while watching this video, but in this case, it’s one of those things you need to see to believe.

The first portion of the video explains that at a Congressional Hearing in June 2012, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon had promised that he would set up a phone call with a local SEIU  janitor, Adriana Vasquez, to discuss wages for janitors.

What’s interesting is the part where the video begins- where the SEIU says that “despite multiple calls, she hasn’t heard back.” In response, the SEIU mounted an elaborate publicity campaign claiming Dimon hadn’t contacted her, using a riff off the (arguably overplayed) pop song “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen calling it “Call Me Jamie.”

The SEIU would go on to make a full online campaign culminating with this video showing janitors dancing with mops to prove a point- that JP Morgan Chase needed to fulfill their promise.

But according to CNBC, JPMorgan Chase actually did reach out to the SEIU:

JPMorgan Chase tells me Vasquez has never called. Ever. The bank says after Dimon’s testimony, JPMorgan representatives asked Vasquez for her number, but they claim she refused to provide it. They also say they followed up with the SEIU. “If she calls us, we will call her back,” says a bank representative.

Not only that, but JPMorgan isn’t responsible for paying their janitors- Chase Building, the building Vasquez works in, “merely has a Chase branch inside. The firm says it has nothing to do with managing the building or contracting out the cleaning crews.”

Ultimately, JPMorgan did finally get in touch with Vasquez. A JPMorgan representative met with Vasquez, and presumably slowly and patiently explained that JPMorgan did not, in fact, control their pay, and that the owners of the building should be the target of their campaign rather than the tenants of the building.

So it appears that the SEIU, rather than taking their phone call or listening to reason, would rather create websites and petitions and poorly choreographed dance routines embarrassing their members than actually working with the employer. It’s this kind of move by the union that creates antagonism rather than happy endings. When unions act like this, it’s not much of a surprise that union membership is declining and more are opting to work directly with employers than through a union.

It’s also worth noting that at the time this article is being published, there are just over 1,800 views of the video- even after it was posted on the CNBC website. There’s no word on how many petitions were signed, or visitors went to the website (which has since expired), but based on the poor viewership of the video, one has to imagine it was not a highly successful campaign. Also not known is the time and money that went into the production of the video, website or petitions.

What is clear is that the SEIU spent member’s time and dues money to create a pointless campaign that did nothing besides antagonize the employer, embarrass their members and waste time before anyone could realize that JPMorgan was not, in fact, responsible for paying the janitors.

At least they had the forethought to disable comments on the video.

Screen Shot 2012-08-22 at 8.57.10 AM

We apologize in advance for any involuntary shudders you may experience while watching this video, but in this case, it’s one of those things you need to see to believe. The first portion of the video explains that at a Congressional Hearing in June 2012, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon had promised that he would […]

0

SEIU Michigan Dues-Skimming Ruling Appealed, SEIU Doubles Down

All Categories | Dirty tactics | Shady Lobbying
Some good news and bad news for those watching our stories on the SEIU dues skimming in Michigan– the Attorney General of Michigan is on your side:

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette will appeal the federal court ruling that brought back to life the Service Employees International Union’s “Home Health Care Dues Skim.”

On June 20, U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Edmunds ruled that the state had to keep withdrawing dues money from the Medicaid checks of disabled residents to pay to the SEIU, which had challenged in court the state law that banned the practice.

“Private individuals do not transform into government employees simply by participating in taxpayer-funded programs like Medicaid,” Schuette said in a statement. “We will fight to defend state law prohibiting the withholding of public union dues from private citizens who provide home help to the disabled.”

This is good news for Michigan families who had previously seen $95 a month regularly disappearing from their paychecks to pay for “services” they had neither requested or needed.

And of course, the bad news- the SEIU just won’t take no for an answer: they’re promoting a ballot proposal to amend the state constitution ensuring the SEIU can still skim dues from caretakers. That’s right- the SEIU is so attached to taking money from caretakers of the sick and disabled they want to make it into a constitutional right.

It is also a near certainty the SEIU will be spending more of their members dues money to promote the amendment as well, rather than proving they can provide any benefit for caregivers. The SEIU needs to change its focus to emphasize their benefit to employees, not exact dues in any way possible.

Some good news and bad news for those watching our stories on the SEIU dues skimming in Michigan– the Attorney General of Michigan is on your side: Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette will appeal the federal court ruling that brought back to life the Service Employees International Union’s “Home Health Care Dues Skim.” On June […]

UA-23878307-1