Incredible Hypocrisy

SEIU won’t allow Fight for $15 (and a Union) employees to join SEIU’s staff union, and SEIU may have violated the contract with its staff union.

A small group of organizers for Fight for $15 — the nationwide campaign advocating a fast-food workers’ union and a $15 minimum wage — are demanding the right to join the staff union of the Service Employees International Union, the labor group behind the $15 campaign.

In some cases, union employees may form a union of their own. That’s how the Union for Union Representatives, a group representing approximately 100 SEIU staff members nationwide, came about. Now the UUR is insisting that organizers with the Fight for $15 campaign should also be unionized — and that the SEIU has violated its own staff’s collective bargaining contract by not letting Fight for $15 workers join UUR.

Although the SEIU has sometimes described Fight for $15 as a semi-autonomous entity, distinct from the union itself, the UUR says workers affiliated with the campaign are effectively SEIU employees. As such, they should have representation of their own, said the UUR in a statement Monday…

It’s an awkward question for the SEIU and Fight for $15, which often accuse other companies of misclassifying workers in order to shirk their responsibility for fair pay and working conditions…

California Fight for $15 organizer Emiliana Sparaco told International Business Times she and her colleagues were “in the same position” as the fast-food workers they’re trying to organize: overworked, underpaid and precariously employed…

The SEIU did not return a request for comment…Though assigned to the Fight for $15 campaign, Sparaco told IBT she had been hired by the SEIU, and someone from the union was her direct supervisor.

“The only thing that keeps me from being an SEIU staffer myself is that my paycheck has another name on it,” she said.

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