Some days it seems like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is leading the charge against the deceptively-named Employee Free Choice Act. At least, that seems to be the case according to its action.
Smack-dab in the middle of the biggest labor legislation fight in a generation, the SEIU decided it was a perfect time to raid (a labor no-no of serious proportions) two major unions.
The first raid was in California, where the SEIU took a dissident local into trusteeship. Now, with the local’s former leaders siphoning off members, this morning’s LA Times reports “SEIU borrows business’ anti-union tactics to fend off a rival.” The article notes:
“The SEIU is advocating free choice for every employee in the United States, unless you’re an SEIU member,” said John Borsos, an interim vice president of the National Union of Healthcare Workers, which says it has enough signatures to represent nearly 100,000 employees. “The only reason the SEIU doesn’t want elections is that they know they would lose.”…
The SEIU has turned for help to an agency that it has frequently scorned and whose ways the free choice act aims to reform: the National Labor Relations Board. The union has filed a welter of unfair-practice charges with the board, alleging in part that the new group has restrained and coerced workers in plotting to launch the breakaway organization.
The second raid occurred with the breakup of UNITE HERE. In a recent letter to SEIU chief Andy Stern, UNITE HERE’s John Wilhelm had this to say:
You and Raynor plotted to break up UNITE HERE, remove assets from the Union’s control, and organize in UNITE HERE’s traditional industry jurisdictions. Having made this attempted burglary you now want to have a third party divide up the spoils. Only UNITE HERE would be at risk in such an arbitration – SEIU would have no risk.
No victim of a theft would ever agree to such a proposition.
No International Union would agree to put its future members, its jurisdiction, and assets in the hands of an arbitrator.