The SEIU’s Persuasion of Power appears to be wearing thin even within its own membership. Over the last several months, SEIU members have been asking questions about SEIU policies with respect to use of membership dues for politics, excessive executive compensation, member intimidation, misleading propaganda and election irregularities.
A recent article, NLRB Quickie Election Fact Check, exposes an SEIU training document (in place while Member Becker was that union’s Associate General Counsel) that encourages organizers to “steal, steal, steal.” Evidently SEIU members in California feel this philosophy is being applied to its own membership. Mariam Noujaim a.k.a. “Mariam the Mighty” and Erica Soules are leading a group of disgruntled SEIU members who are demanding the SEIU open its financial records so members can see how dues money is being spent through www.HelpSaveOurState.com (see State Worker Takes on Union to Save California). In fact, Erica took the fight national with an appearance on Fox Business News where she exposed the SEIU’s misuse of membership dues for political purposes (see America’s Nightly Scoreboard).
These two ladies have also challenged recent raises the SEIU’s “big labor bosses” have bestowed upon themselves at a cost of $ 295,000 annually. Apparently they feel overworked by these elected positions for which they voluntarily ran (see SEIU Compensation Initiative, SEUI Open Letter and SEIU Officers Compensation). They also challenged the SEIU’s strike fund, which had reportedly accumulated $10,000,000, when there was no provision for the SEIU to strike in the contract (see Four Letters Served). The initiatives by these brave ladies, as well as the initiative led by member Ken Hamidi to allow members the choice to opt out of paying dues not germane to membership benefits (dubbed ” Fair Share Fees”) have thrown a bright and unwelcome spot light on SEIU financial practices (see SEIU Non Germane).
The SEIU is no stranger to thuggery and doesn’t hesitate to use those tactics against anyone, including its own members (see SEIU Watch – Campaign Manual Promotes Breaking the Law and SEIU Thugs Beat Up State Worker Ken Hamidi in Sacramento). Much like they do during their Corporate Campaigns, the SEIU uses not only physical intimidation, but also psychological warfare through misrepresentation of the facts. Is thi s SEIU Propaganda – Lies or Just Carelessness? The SEIU also likes to distort the facts in addressing its own members on its labor television network (see Channel 100). These are all standard “playbook” tactics developed and used by the SEIU, as discussed in Corporate Campaigns: Vehicle to Forced Unionism and Political Payback.
In addition to its questionable financial practices, member intimidation and misleading propaganda the union is now being charged with irregularities during union recognition elections exposed by its own members. “Mariam the Mighty” observed ballots with no U.S. postmark (as required by the SEIU) being opened and counted. When she challenged the process, she was forced to leave the room, as stated in the “Unfair Practice Charge” filed with State of California’s Public Employment Relations Board (see SEIU Ballot PERB). The response from the SEIU was typical propaganda. They stated that Mariam acknowledged there was no problem before sh e left on her own accord (see SEIU Ballot Response). In another long drawn out representation election, between the SEIU and NUHW, SEIU members exposed questionable electioneering by the SEIU in an attempt to discredit NUHW (see SEIU Electioneering in Kaiser Conference Room). This led to an election rematch between the two rival unions as the Administrative Law Judge who presided over the case, brought by the NUHW and disgruntled SEIU members, wrote a 34 page decision citing a long list of irregularities by the SEIU (see Kaiser Election Results Koed NLRB Judge Orders Rematch).
The sad part of this activity is not only that the SEIU big labor bosses are betraying the trust of their own members, but that they are supported by a political system that encourages the corruption. Even more astounding is the fact these stories represent activities in one state. Multiply this by 50 and you will understand why we as a country are failing to address the disease of labor corruption as noted in Addressing the Symptoms, Not the Disease.
About the author: David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.