The Bay Area is at the center of the mother of all union dust-ups – one complete with a leaked secret memo and accusations of double dealing. At the center of it all is Sal Rosselli, president of the 155,000-strong Service Employees International Union local in Oakland, who recently made headlines in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal when he branded union President Andy Stern “undemocratic” for allegedly holding secret bargaining sessions with health care companies behind the backs of local union leaders.
Well, now we’ve been handed a document showing that one of Rosselli’s own top negotiators recently signed a pact with nearly a dozen of the state’s biggest health care companies for some secretive bargaining of their own.
So secret, in fact, that Rosselli’s Southern California counterparts – who have jointly negotiated with his union in the past – were kept in the dark. They were, that is, until somebody dropped the dime on Rosselli’s alleged back-door power move, which among other things forbids all parties from disclosing “either the existence of such discussions or the contents.”
“We are outraged and flabbergasted,” said Tyrone Freeman, president of the 190,000-member SEIU local representing much of Los Angeles and other parts of the state. “It’s the most anti-democratic behavior, and it just shows the hypocrisy of the charges he has leveled against the SEIU” national leadership.’
Rosselli and his right-hand man, John Villardina, call Freeman’s characterization of the meetings “a total lie.”
They say Freeman’s group was invited to the same meetings, but opted instead to hold separate “exploratory” talks with employers in Southern California.
What’s more, Villardina said, the real purpose of the meetings was to find out how the companies were faring under new Medicare reimbursement rules, and that no bargaining took place.
Freeman, in turns, calls that assertion preposterous and says he has copies of the exchanged proposals to prove it.
So much for SEIU unity.
Andy Stern fom SEIU has always said that members don’t care about democracy, just good contracts. That’s why city workers in SF had the dues increased twice without a vote. All the officers in SEIU public sector in the Bay Area were appointed by Stern, not elected. None of the SEIU officers are from or work in San Francisco. This explains the wimper from the union in the face of huge job loss with the budget cuts and downsizing of LHH. The core beef from UHW and Rosselli is not abut democracy for members, but control of the union treasury. Rosselli is from the private sector and elected. Tyrone Freeman, initially appointed by Stern, is Stern’s lap dog. Members in SF refer to SEIU not as “Service Employees” but “Screwed Employees”
One should not be surprised by the shenanigans of the seiu, they are typical of most organized labor; corrupt, self serving parasites. I know since I belong to two of them siu (seafarers int. union) and local 2 here in S.F.
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