Thursday, August 23, 2007

ULP Filed against SEIU Local 721

Hello www, SEIU's bullying of its staff continues to be met with resistance. Local 721's attempt to force an unfair contract including a demand to waive legally protected rights has so far been resisted with the staff voting down their contract proposal by a wide margin days after filing an Unfair Labor Practice Charge against the employer. Apparently it is a violation of labor law to demand a waiver of legally protected rights as a precondition of settling a contract.

The 721 staff union, UURLA, had a long standing contract with legacy local 660, one of the more highly regarded and successful SEIU locals in California yet 721 management doesn't seem to believe that their staff are deserving of anything remotely similar to the 660 contract. We do not yet know where this fight will go but its clear that there's plenty of dirty laundry yet to be aired out.

Keep your ears out for this one, apparently UURLA's brothers and sisters to the North at Local 521 have filed Fair Labor Standards Act violation claims for not being compensated for their long and irregular hours of work. It's unfortunate that a stubborn management beant on forcing unfair contracts on its staff forces these kinds of actions.


art2thebone said...

We're proud of you staffers for standing up and fighting for your rights as workers. We will continue the fight at our end. Let's keep the pressure up from both sides. We might have different goals, but I think we can both end up with results that will be beneficial to both our sides. Stay strong!

fightcorporateunions said...

Hey out there.

We are looking to hook up with other seiu staffers to discuss how to unite.

This month we filed a UPL and voted down an odious contract proposal. We'll see what step management takes next. They act so crazy half the time because they don't listen to their members not to mention their staff. They have a big problem in that for every person they hire one quits because the working conditions are unbearable for more than a year.

And hear's the really vile part: They hire young people of color because that reflects their membership. Often these young folk are fresh out of school and are the first in their family to go to college; the hope of their community. At 25, they are paid more than their father or mother ever made, certaainly more than their activist college friends working for non-profits. Then the Union treats them like shit, makes them work 60+ hours a week allowing them no community involvement. There is no thinking or exploring ideas, not even any labor history. No body is mentored or shown any real support or love. They are told they are organizing when at best they are mobilizing and at worst they are doing sales.Training consists or 'learning the rap'. The SEIU harps on building the "Labor Movement" but unlike a real movement allows no criticisms or independent thoughts. If they offer any different ideas they are told that they are being negatve.

Withing a year more than half are gone. But many times they are lost to activistism of any sort. They go to Law school or worse yet sell annunities.

Let's call this for what it is:RACISM. SEIU takes talented and commited young folk and cynically uses them up and burns them out. Maybe they even take a job in Human Resoources! Luckey SEIU they don't even have to pay a pension to these people; they don't work long enough to vest.

But they damage to our communities is done. WE have been robbed of our hope and young talent.

anarchy now said...

I was an organizer for local 521 from Febuary through June, 2007. I was terminted for ostensibly being a bad organizer. I won't dignify that with a response, as my work speaks for itself. What I will mention is that this past weekend, the local 521 barganing team, met after a strike vote, and asked the E Board to demand the resignation of Velvet Hazard, the 521 organizing director. That at a most critical time, the leaders of the union, would demand the resignation of so senior a manager speaks volumes to the situation at SEIU 521, and all SEIU public Sector Locals. The president of 521, (herself appointed by the International) reaffirmed the support of the International for Velvet, and was visibly upset that the negotiating team would have the temerity to question the competency or intergrity of senior SEIU managers. The problems at 521 go much deeper than back pay for staff. The culture and tactics of senior management mimic the worst behaviour of the anti-union employers we fight every day. The lack of democracy, and of respect for rank and file members and staff, show a consistent disregard for the hard fought principles of the labor movement.
SEIU 521 has the distinct honor of having it's entire organizing department quit it's most crucial organizing and contract campaign. unprecedented! The lead organizer and the most senior staff organizer are now being blamed by senior SEIU management for the dire problems with the extra help campaign. That the membership of the local has been able to mobilize, and to vote overwhelmingly for a strike, is a testament to their hard work, and committment to the labor movement and each other. That they have insisted on the termination of the corporatist, and anti-union Organizing Director, and demanded accountability and democracy from the appointed local president, should energize all of us who care about workers rights and power, and democratic and progressive unions, to fight the corporate culture of SEIU International, and it's suspect leadership. I will help in any way that I can with current SEIU organizing staff, and SEIU public Sector members, and I encourage all who care about the labor movement to do the same.
In Solidarity,
Adrian Maldonado

unionworker2 said...
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Heared Enough said...

I do not work for 721. I work for a newly merged local not in Cali that is..ah..somewhere else.

A co-worker found this blog and so much of the same garbage is going on here. They recently changed our healthcare plan to one with $40 co-pays and terrible coverage. No discussion, just "take it or leave it".

We are all terrified of being fired for our attitude or looking at the president the wrong way, not laughing hard enough at his jokes. "Just cause"?? Fuggetaboutit.

He too is an International "appointee" -- never elected by the membership -- and he is a total paranoid juvenile drunken embarassment to the movement and SEIU.

They promise us anything to get us to rat out each other or work 80 hour work weeks. They promise the members all this pie in the sky crap that we can all see we don't have the resources to implement just to get them to approve the merger.

A couple of the directors are complete incompetents who have their jobs only because they suck up to the boss. They spend money on whatever they want for themselves but deny us gas reimbursement, decent healthcare even enough computers to do our jobs.

The worst nursing home owners out there aren't as screwed up as these idiots. What the hell is the international doing?

Heared Enough said...
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Heared Enough said...

The International is on a collision course with itself.

The growth side has generated this layer of middle and upper managers just as "fightcorporateunions" describes -- Flight Team survivors who, with rare exception, could only outlast the experience if they were incapable of independent thought -- the "rap" artists who have genuine concern for the individual members beaten out of them.

Meanwhile, the International is pouring big money into the Institute for Change, the IDEO project and pilots to increase member involvement and encourage the outsider thinking it will take to refashion how we engage members post contract. Without that, no "member army" to meet their ambitious long term growth goals.

The two schools of thinking (well one of thinking and one of marching) collide in these new merged mega-locals.

In my local (which is not 721 or anywhere on the west coast) we are watching this tension drag the new local into chaos. We suffer for inexperienced "leadership" who only know to distrust truly active members and anyone who thinks differently than Tom Woodruff.

Bottomline -- you can't successfully internally organize and activate the membership with the mindset and attitudes of new organizing. And yet all the "experienced" people come from new organizing.

Mark said...

I'm a 521 member, there are many very unhappy members. Can you please provide information on how one files ULP. We are also going through many of the same issues. I understand that 1021 is also having problems. It would be so great if ALL members, ALL the locals that are having this same issues/problems come together to fight to get our locals back.

seiu said...

Holy cow. I thought it was just MY local! Sounds like we're a carbon copy of yours.

I'm an organizer at another local, we are having the same problems. If there is anyone who still checks this blog, PLEASE send me an email!

Hope things are better for you since last summer.

javier said...

Stop complaining. YOu earn a living off of working people and you complain like babies. Want a 9-5? Go work somewhere else.

I hate people who talk all this leftist bullshit and are lazy as hell!

Think your members that have two jobs get your anger and fury? Nope. You want more money, and working less. Hey we all do. We just don't all work for a social or labor organization. Cesar Chavez would fire you!

CE said...

This happening throughout the US. The SEIU lies to all the people they try to "organize" and, once you're there, too bad for you!
Vote to get rid of the appointed leadership. Vote for one of your previous stewards to lead the local. Vote to eliminate agency fees and hopefully the SEIU will leave you alone because they won't make enough money off of you!