SEIU to Spend $300,000 in Dues for Immigration Reform Ads

In what would seem to be the promotion of a natural enemy, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is launching TV ads to promote a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants:

The Service Employees International Union will begin to air $300,000 in ads nationwide on Wednesday to call for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

“Our immigration system is broken, and Congress has a chance to fix it the fair and accountable way, with back taxes paid, English learned and a real path to citizenship,” a voice says in the ad. “No half measures. Let’s fix it once and for all.”

Naturally, one would assume that unions like the SEIU would be naturally opposed to increased immigration, particularly when unemployment is high. Increase in competition for labor means lower pay and less opportunities. In fact, the inverse has been proven- immigration to the United States has significantly dropped since the economy has been suffering.

An influx of new workers will necessarily decrease the ability for workers as a whole to demand more pay- something the SEIU also seems to want. It doesn’t make economic sense that the SEIU would simultaneously try to increase wages while increasing the work-seeking population, unless the increased pay or population could advantage them directly somehow.

It could be that the SEIU is not as concerned with the employment or pay of their workers as much as they are concerned with the fact that they can more easily recruit dues-paying members. Immigrants can represent an easier target for unions like the SEIU to prey upon, as they know less about the union or appropriate working conditions most employers offer.

The SEIU is much more concerned with the opportunities that immigrants can bring to their coffers rather than what happens to their existing union members. Even with higher unemployment, their business model remains the same- get as many union members sending in monthly dues as possible. And they’re not afraid to spend their member’s due’s money in the process.

In what would seem to be the promotion of a natural enemy, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is launching TV ads to promote a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants: The Service Employees International Union will begin to air $300,000 in ads nationwide on Wednesday to call for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented […]

SEIU 1199 Hosts Vigil for Venezuelan Dictator Hugo Chavez

SEIU Local 1199 celebrated the life of Hugo Chavez, socialist dictator of Venezuela, with a candlelight vigil through New York on Friday.

SEIU 1199 Celebrates Hugo Chavez with Candlelight Vigil

The Local 1199 chapter of the Service Employees International Union is hosting a candlelight vigil for Hugo Chavez in coordination with The Bolivarian Circle of New York. They started the march in their own personal offices and ending at the statue of Simon Bolivar: (Note, the event has been updated to delete this information, but another article citing this text can be found here)

A Celebration and procession for the life of our comrade Hugo Chávez extraordinary human and revolutionary. Your energy, love and example will not be forgotten. … Join us and spread the word, show your solidarity and support in memory of President Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution … Bring candles will walk to the statue of the Liberator Simon Bolivar in Central Park.

For the SEIU to be so publicly supporting the late president of Venezuela shows that their roots to socialism truly run deep. Unfortunately, Chavez’ policies ultimately hurt the people of Venezuela, and restricted their freedom. RNC spokeswoman Alexandra Franceschi had this to say about Hugo Chavez:

“Chavez systematically cracked down on the basic freedom and liberties of Venezuelans, nationalized private industries, and befriended anti-American dictators like Castro, Ahmadinejad, and Assad. Americans should stand together with the freedom loving people of Venezuela as they hope for a peaceful transition to a democracy, instead of praising the former dictator.”

By endorsing and commemorating Chavez’ life and actions, the SEIU is showing how out-of-touch they really are with today’s workers, and how little they actually understand the consequences of the policies they propose. As we’ve shown again and again, policies the SEIU promotes such as the minimum wage ultimately hurt workers more than they help.

The wrong-headed ideals of Chavez have done little to promote life for the workers of Venezuela, and have often resulted in fewer personal liberties and less freedom. The SEIU would do well to avoid his example.

SEIU Local 1199 celebrated the life of Hugo Chavez, socialist dictator of Venezuela, with a candlelight vigil through New York on Friday. The Local 1199 chapter of the Service Employees International Union is hosting a candlelight vigil for Hugo Chavez in coordination with The Bolivarian Circle of New York. They started the march in their […]

Guilty! SEIU President Tyrone Freeman Convicted for Embezzlement

Tyrone Freeman, former SEIU Local 6434 president, has been convicted of embezzlement, tax evasion, mail fraud and more- 14 criminal counts in total. This could mean a jail sentence of up to 180 years for 43-year-old Freeman, who will be sentenced in April.

“This was a case about abuse and betrayal,” U.S. Atty. André Birotte Jr. said in a statement after the verdict. “Freeman abused his position as leader of the SEIU, and he betrayed the hardworking people whose interests he was supposed to represent.”

As we’ve stated in our previous SEIU Monitor coverage of the Tyrone Freeman trial, a 180 year sentence is not likely, but hopefully justice will be served for the SEIU members whose dues money he recklessly spent on extravagance for himself.

While many SEIU members were eking out salaries of $9 an hour, Tyrone Freeman was busy embezzling money on top of his $200,000 a year salary. He arranged for special privileges, paid for his wedding in Hawaii, and put personal charges on the SEIU credit card.

But for justice to be truly done, there needs to be a shake-up within the SEIU- Tyrone Freeman was appointed President, and it is highly unlikely that nobody within the SEIU leadership knew about what he was doing with the dues money of rank-and-file membership.

A shakeup of the SEIU leadership is unlikely, but putting Freeman in jail will certainly be a good start.

Tyrone Freeman, former SEIU Local 6434 president, has been convicted of embezzlement, tax evasion, mail fraud and more- 14 criminal counts in total. This could mean a jail sentence of up to 180 years for 43-year-old Freeman, who will be sentenced in April. “This was a case about abuse and betrayal,” U.S. Atty. André Birotte […]

Occupy SEIU, Local 1000 Member Sues Union for Transparency

 In what would seem to be a quixotic quest, SEIU Local 1000 member Mariam Noujaim has spent $18,000 of her own money in an attempt to make the local union’s spending more accountable by personally inspecting their accounting books:

…Noujaim was invoking her right as a union member to see how the union “spends her dues and the dues of other members similarly situated,” specifically financial records and expense reports for 2009 and 2010.
She picked that time frame because that’s when the state imposed three unpaid days per month on state workers, equal to nearly a 14 percent pay cut.
“Let’s see how much of a cut (union leaders) took while we were on those furloughs,” Noujaim said.

To promote her cause, Noujaim created a new group, ironically named Occupy SEIU, which was aimed at bringing attention to SEIU’s bad accounting practices:

While the legal saga played out, Noujaim’s group, dubbed Occupy SEIU, crashed a Local 1000 rally at Cesar Chavez Plaza supporting the national Occupy Wall Street movement. Noujaim, some of her supporters and several paid pickets carried signs at the November event such as, “UNION DUES FOR UNION MEMBERS,” and “SEIU OFFICERS ARE THE 1%!”

This is a particularly forceful jab at the SEIU, which nationally supported the Occupy Wall Street movement and lent many of their member’s support and efforts to the movement. Publicly, the SEIU leadership have embraced the language of the “99%” in many of their publications, speeches and talking points.

However, when it comes to their own organization, they seem to act like the 1% by taking their member’s dues money and spending it on their own purposes without any transparency or oversight. In fact, many of those running the SEIU have salaries that rival those of the 1% they so deride.

See also- SEIU Pays for OccupyDC Offices, Tells Them Not to… Occupy

Fortunately for Noujaim, it seems her group has accomplished something of far more permanence than any other of the SEIU-supported Occupy-style movements:

In July, she wrote up a list of 17 documents for inspection: bank accounts, checks and electronic funds transactions, payments to SEIU’s state and national organizations, emails, redacted W-2 forms and more. Zamora said satisfying the request filled four file boxes.
Barring something unforeseen, Noujaim will see those records Tuesday. She can’t make any copies or take any pictures. She can take notes. The judge also allowed her to take along one person.

The union will have monitors on hand to watch it all.

Noujaim’s dedication deserves praise. She recognized that the SEIU’s leadership takes a “do as I say, not as I do” hypocritical approach with employers was hurting those who they claimed to be standing for- the workers.

Noujaim shows that a single SEIU member can make a difference. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, her notes from the accounting books would show, seeing as the SEIU will very likely be doing all that it can to prevent anything of interest from being read. But the fact that a member has gotten access to their accounting books means that the walls around the SEIU may be falling.

With more members like Noujaim standing for their rights to see what’s going on behind the SEIU’s walls, the SEIU might just have to start practicing what they preach.

 In what would seem to be a quixotic quest, SEIU Local 1000 member Mariam Noujaim has spent $18,000 of her own money in an attempt to make the local union’s spending more accountable by personally inspecting their accounting books: …Noujaim was invoking her right as a union member to see how the union “spends her dues […]

NLRB Wants Alleged SEIU Nursing Home Saboteurs Reinstated

The National Labor Relations Board is requesting that striking SEIU District 1199 members, including some who allegedly sabotaged Connecticut nursing home center HealthBridge, be returned to work:

The NLRB, which is responsible for enforcing workers’ rights, is asking U.S. District Judge Robert Chatigny to force HealthBridge to take back nearly 700 striking workers. The workers walked out in July after the company unilaterally cut benefits and terminated the pension while increasing wages 2.2 percent.

These are the same striking SEIU members who left a trail of carnage among their elderly patients as they left their work to strike against the nursing home center. According to Healthbridge, the SEIU’s sabotage was dangerous and would potentially endanger patients:

SEIU District 1199 employees committed “multiple illegal and dangerous acts against Center residents.”
…The director of the facility in Newington, Conn., told police that “the name tags on the patients’ doors for the Alzheimer’s ward were mixed up. The photos attached to the medical records for these patients were removed, further complicating, but not making impossible, the identification of the patients. Also, dietary blue stickers affixed to the door name tags were removed.” Some medical equipment also went missing.

If true, the SEIU has seriously crossed a line here. With the wrong dietary information, patients could be prescribed medication or given food which could seriously harm or kill them. With their actions, SEIU members have put the lives of the elderly in jeopardy because of a labor dispute. This is beyond the pale.

At a bare minimum, it is irresponsible for the NLRB to advocate putting SEIU members back on the job after they have directly jeopardized the lives of those they were entrusted to protect. The SEIU’s behavior is reprehensible, and time will tell whether those who took part in the actions will see justice for their actions.

The SEIU needs to take a stand against those actions, and attempt to make sure those who took part are brought to justice. If they do not, they can be seen as accomplices to the crimes, and readers would be well advised to make sure none of their loved ones are in SEIU-run nursing homes lest this situation repeats itself.

The National Labor Relations Board is requesting that striking SEIU District 1199 members, including some who allegedly sabotaged Connecticut nursing home center HealthBridge, be returned to work: The NLRB, which is responsible for enforcing workers’ rights, is asking U.S. District Judge Robert Chatigny to force HealthBridge to take back nearly 700 striking workers. The workers […]

Guest Post: SEIU marchers closing down Los Angeles International Airport should be arrested

By Rick Manning, NetRightDaily.com

The City of Los Angeles should arrest any person who blocks traffic without delay. If these Service Employee International Union (SEIU) occupiers are allowed to arbitrarily disrupt the City of Los Angeles without interference, they will be encouraged to engage in further, even more disruptive temper tantrums when they don’t get their way. Mayor Villaraigosa has a responsibility to the entire City of Los Angeles to order the arrest of anyone who blocks LAX traffic in this unlawful protest. If the Mayor’s office has permitted the protest, then the City should be liable for reimbursing the costs for every person who misses their flight as a result of this action. See more to view the video and description of these protests:

From Breitbart.com:

Ready to fly out of Los Angeles today to get to your family before Thanksgiving? Not so fast. Los Angeles’ labor unions have decided to protest on Thanksgiving Eve – one of the busiest travel days of the year – to snarl traffic around Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). President Obama’s favorite union, the Service Employees International Union, is spearheading the obnoxious effort; it’s supposed to last from 11 a.m to 4 p.m., virtually the entire day. The LAPD says that travellers should arrive 90 minutes earlier than usual. LAX already advises people to arrive two hours in advance.

What exactly is SEIU protesting for? They say that an airport contract is breaking the city law on living wages – which, of course, is nonsense, since that would be prosecutable. They also say that the contractor has eliminated “affordable healthcare” for over 400 workers. Which is, again, bull. After all, can’t the SEIU just rely on Obamacare?

Leave it to the unions to ruin Thanksgiving. They’ve ruined every other day of the year.

By Rick Manning, NetRightDaily.com The City of Los Angeles should arrest any person who blocks traffic without delay. If these Service Employee International Union (SEIU) occupiers are allowed to arbitrarily disrupt the City of Los Angeles without interference, they will be encouraged to engage in further, even more disruptive temper tantrums when they don’t get […]

Michigan Caregivers Win Against Proposal 4 and Forced SEIU Dues

As frequent visitors of this site know, we have been focused like a hawk on Michigan’s Proposal 4- the SEIU’s heavy-handed attempt to unionize all home caregivers in the state of Michigan, often parents of adult children with disabilities.In one overwhelmingly positive election result, the SEIU’s Proposal 4 has been defeated, and by a wide margin- winning almost every single county and by a margin of over 500,000 votes. Now, the SEIU’s contract will end in February and not be renewed. This is great news for families directly impacted by the dues skim- families like the Glossop family, who rely on the checks to help defray the costs of home healthcare:

Steven Glossop provides care for his mother, Linda, who lives with medical complications following heart surgery and a stroke. Through the Home Help Program, Glossop receives a monthly Medicaid check to help defray the costs involved with the home care.

“I think the fact that this (Proposal 4) was defeated is terrific,” Glossop said. “Especially after they (the SEIU) had all of those ads on TV that made it look like something good. It’s just great to know that the people of Michigan don’t believe everything they see in commercials like those. At some point, they began to understand that if something looks too good, you need to look closer and find out more about it.”

Unfortunately, until that time comes, the SEIU will still be making money off of these families- by current publication count, the SEIU has skimmed just under $33,000,000 from them. They will continue to collect this money until February 25, 2013, driving that sum even higher.

The SEIU spent tons of money to promote Proposal 4- and the Michigan voters proved themselves to be smarter than their advertising. It is clear that despite SEIU’s best efforts, the people of Michigan have rejected their attempts to force unionization on home caregivers who neither want nor need the SEIU’s intrusion and involuntary dues.

To make things right, the SEIU should be paying back the families whose money they took without their permission. Rather than spending more money to take money out of the hands of those who need help the most, they should be returning the money to those who may have had to go without the money they had previously come to expect to help take care of those with disabilities.

For the SEIU to not only take that money out of the hands of the disabled, but to then use that money to prevent them from ever getting it back, is beyond reproach. Unfortunately, we can only expect to see this issue resurface elsewhere- from the SEIU’s previous efforts to double down on dues skimming, they do not give up easily.

As frequent visitors of this site know, we have been focused like a hawk on Michigan’s Proposal 4- the SEIU’s heavy-handed attempt to unionize all home caregivers in the state of Michigan, often parents of adult children with disabilities.In one overwhelmingly positive election result, the SEIU’s Proposal 4 has been defeated, and by a wide […]

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

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.

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 […]

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

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.

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 […]

Update: SEIU Forced by NLRB to Leave Chapman Medical Center

Following the NLRB investigation of SEIU coercion at the Chapman Medical Center we previously posted about, the NLRB has signed a settlement between the SEIU and Chapman for the SEIU to remove their representation. As we’ve said before, this is a victory for workers who would otherwise be forced into paying dues they didn’t want to pay to go to a union they didn’t support.

Mark Mix, the president of the National Right to Work group who provided legal services for Chapman’s employees, had this to say:

Schemes like this show that the ultimate goal of union officials is more forced dues collected from workers, even when rank-and-file employees want nothing to do with the union.

From the SEIU’s actions here, Mix’s statement has an undeniable ring of truth. As we’ve discussed before, the SEIU appears to be moving from a system of employee representation to a mechanism for the union’s leadership to continue to collect dues from as many groups as possible with a minimum of expense.

This time, the employees were able to stand up and have the union removed from their work. As to whether the next group of employees will be so fortunate, that’s up to groups like NRTW and others. The SEIU certainly seems not to be changing course any time soon.

Following the NLRB investigation of SEIU coercion at the Chapman Medical Center we previously posted about, the NLRB has signed a settlement between the SEIU and Chapman for the SEIU to remove their representation. As we’ve said before, this is a victory for workers who would otherwise be forced into paying dues they didn’t want […]