Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

SEIU Fights for Overtime

SEIU 503 from my home state of Oregon is many things: powerful, shrewd, and increasingly, something of an embarrassment. It has led the charge to make more home care workers into quasi-government employees so they could be unionized (and pay union taxes in the form of dues). Among the union’s claims is that home care workers (and all state government employees) work too hard for the money they get. Now one of the SEIU’s own leaders says the same about the unions.

The Oregonian reports:

The largest union for state employees in Oregon is embroiled in a messy political and legal struggle over a claim from its elected president for nearly $110,000 in back overtime pay.

Outraged members of Local 503 of the Services Employees International Union, including several board members, launched a recall campaign against the president, Joe DiNicola.

In turn, DiNicola is seeking a court order charging that union and government resources are being used to aid the recall, which SEIU denies. He also has filed a civil rights complaint charging he has been discriminated against for making his wage claim.

One union member who sits on the board was (reasonably) defensive:

“I know there are people who are going to say, ‘Oh, this is just another corrupt union,’ ” said Barbara Casey, an SEIU board member backing the recall. But, she added, “we are correcting this internally. . . . We want to hold our leaders accountable just like the public wants public employees held accountable.”

Why would people say “this is just another corrupt union”? Maybe because it is?

Categories: SEIU