No Unions For US

The SEIU claims to be united for workers’ dignity, improving the lives of workers and their families, and creating a more just and humane society.1

However, the SEIU ignored the well-being of its own staff. Hamilton Gramajo, an SEIU employee, claimed that organizing for the union was so stressful that his health suffered. Gramajo said that he could not even get a few hours to go to church. When he attempted to join a union for job protections and limits on working hours, the SEIU was not pleased. In fact, the SEIU fired Gramajo which prompted an Unfair Labor Practices complaint against the union. The complaint also claimed the SEIU reduced their employees’ pay and refused employees’ requests to use leave for illness and vacation.2

In another case, the Houston Organization of Public Employees, an organization formed by the SEIU, had allegedly fired six employees for activities involved with organizing an internal union. The NLRB required that organization to post a sign for 60 days stating that employees could not be interrogated about their union sympathies nor fired for joining another labor union.3

In March 2009, the SEIU Headquarters in Washington, DC, also axed 75 members of its internal staff union. They wanted to reallocate the money they spent on staff to spend on lobbying. The staff union filed unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB.4

It is ironic that SEIU, an organization determined to bring unionization to as many workplaces as possible, fires its own staff, sometimes for trying to form their own union.


1Fast Facts, Our Union, Service Employees International Union Web Site:http://www.seiu.org/a/ourunion/fast-facts.php
2L.M. Sixel, “When Employees Of Unions Organize,” The Houston Chronicle, 11/23/ 08
3L.M. Sixel, “When Employees Of Unions Organize,” The Houston Chronicle, 11/23/ 08
4Alec MacGillis, “Union In Dispute Over Layoffs,” The Washington Post, 3/19/09

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