The civil war at UNITE HERE escalated Friday when John Wilhelm- the leader of the “HERE” faction of the union – and his supporters rushed the union’s Manhattan headquarters. The executive offices were being controlled by the Bruce Raynor-led faction, which house the offices of Raynor and the “UNITE” portion of the union.
A judge recently ruled against Wilhelm’s request that would have granted him control of union assets, leading Wilhelm and his supporters to storm the headquarters to seize and protect documents from destruction.
Both sides provided different accounts of what transpired.
A spokeswoman for Workers United claimed that Wilhelm brought security guards and a locksmith at 4:00AM to break into the office.
The spokeswoman for Wilhelm’s faction said actions were taken to “preserve what remains of the status quo and to prevent the further theft and destruction of UNITE HERE property and documents.” According to the spokeswoman, Raynor’s side had been destroying records with “Defense Department-grade” software.
Take a second to internalize what both sides said. One side said the other broke into a building to steal records. The other side alleged that “Defense Department-grade” software had been utilized to delete records. Both sides would probably agree that their actions and tactics are entirely justified. It’s just another example of what lengths and measures unions will resort to in order to win, even if it is against their own side.