SEIU-UHW vs. Sal Rosselli and 24 other NUHW officials – Federal Court in San Francisco Day 7

NUHW Wants Stewards To Collect Back Dues:

In finishing up his cross examination of UHW Finance Director, Edgard Cajina, NUHW attorney asked why UHW is seeking damages for lost dues from NUHW when the dues are ultimately owed by the workers. Mr. Cajina explained that the cost involved of taking action to collect dues from individual members would be greater than the amount collected and that it would not be feasible. As if it were not enough to ask that the union sue individual members, Mr. Siegel went as far as to suggest that shop stewards should go around their facilities collecting money from their co-workers.

“Don’t Spend Time With the Members:”

We heard testimony from more UHW staff members that were told to turn out members to meetings, create lists with our confidential information, and teach members how to be confrontational. Abby Reeve explained how working for defendant Barbara Lewis she could  dedicate only 30% of her time to representing members at grievances and bargaining. May Ann Durazo from the Homecare Division was invited by defendant Gabe Krystal to attend a “secret meeting” in early January 2009 where Rosselli was to speak about a “great plan.” But she started to ask questions, and the defendants didn’t like that so they withdrew their invitation.

Durazo continued to say how in early January 2009, she found herself dedicating most of her time (90%) to charting facilities, handing out flyers, and encouraging members to turn out for meetings,  versus only 10% doing actual representational work like processing grievances. When she expressed concern to her division director, defendant Vellardita, he told her, “Don’t spend time with the members.” Alex Espinoza from the hospital division added to this pattern when he told the jury how he too found himself representing members less and representing the interests of Sal more. He went on to say how a couple days before the trusteeship, and after the attack on the LA office where a mob stole confidential documents, defendant Lewis confronted him about information coming her way where he was “assessed as a 1,” meaning he had been labeled an SEIU supporter. Lewis then quizzed him about his employment plans after a trusteeship. Not making any accusations how this information came her way, but read yesterday’s post about witness (Nancy Stengel’s) testimony about the raid on the L.A. SEIU office and who they gave stolen documents to.

Lynn Templeton an operations coordinator at the Oakland office told how defendant Phyllis Willett told her to figure out the costs of buying the cell phones we mentioned yesterday. She continued to say how at Willet’s instruction she was to alter the contract for these phones so they would be purchased by the Patient Education Fund (the bogus fund set up by the defendant’s with $3 million of our dues money) not SEIU-UHW. In her testimony, she also told how Willett told her to remove from her office documents relating to the PEF.

Philip Rodokanakis, an expert in the field of computer forensics, recounted his analysis of the computer used by John Borsos. He determined that there were “many irregularities.” Of 5,700 e-mails that were “double deleted” he was able to recover 3,000. In the computer used by Fred Seavey he discovered that the user registry file was missing, also gone were event logs and Windows was (re)installed in February 2009. The biggest surprise was the discovery of a document he named “NUHW Staff List.” This document was created on January 21, 2009, six days before trusteeship when Seavey was still employed by SEIU-UHW. For the past week the defense has maintained that they were just expressing opposition to the International’s decision to move 65,000 long term care workers out of UHW and the trusteeship that followed their refusal, but this demonstrates how they were already working to undermine the union they worked for and betray us, the members.

Dumbest Question of the Day;

While cross examining Mr. Cajina, a native of Nicaragua, NUHW attorney Jose Luis Fuentes asked him, “Did you know Daniel Ortega?” FYI..Ortega is the current president of Nicaragua and also served in that capacity from 1985-1990.

4 thoughts on “SEIU-UHW vs. Sal Rosselli and 24 other NUHW officials – Federal Court in San Francisco Day 7”

  1. Thank you Rudy- It really all makes sense now.  Here’s what I experienced and the evidence proves to me exactly what was going on.  Sad that some people just don’t get it.

    Wow, I wish I knew then what is so plainly/painfully clear now. I am an SEIU-UHW member having worked for Kaiser 16 yrs now, serving as a Shop Steward at least the last 14 of those years.

    I had a deep respect for the Union having grown up with my grandfather who worked for the refinery, and my mother who worked for the county. Lots and lots of stories about unscrupulous management and scabs and 2×4’s…So I was very proud to become a hospital worker and have a union myself. I enjoyed representing my co-workers when they were treated unfairly, standing up to the “boss” and winning, advocating for patients and getting support from my Union leaders, knowing they had my back. It was very satisfying to not only have a job I loved in healthcare but to serve as a shop steward, making sure the contract was followed and our rights were respected.

    That satisfaction started to dwindle a few years ago. Something didn’t feel right and I couln’t quite figure it out. I found it getting more and more difficult to get the back-up from Union staff when I needed support. Management seemed to not take grievances so seriously, and started dragging their feet to schedule important grievance meetings. It was hard to get “union business” taken care of because our Field Reps were not returning calls. Then the Field Reps started coming out to the workplace less and less. Grievances were backing-up, co-workers were complaining to stewards about not getting taken care of by the union, Management started to blatantly disregard the contract, morale suffered in the work-place, morale suffered amongst the shop stewards…I started to really dislike being a shop steward and I began getting really pissed off at “the Union.”

    This de-evolution process really became evident to me in 2008. The message from “the Union” became one of blame. The “union” at that time are the defendants now on trial! We were all pissed off and in the latter parts of 2008 we were told that the disfunction of our union was due to the Monster, SEIU and SEIU was to blame. We were told that we had to fight SEIU, resist what the bad International Union was accusing our leaders of. Blah, blah, blah.

    Brilliant. When I look back at all this now, how my Union abandoned me and all of us. Angered us to the point of hating the union then twisting our anger to be targeted at SEIU- brilliant. The old “divide and conquer” strategy. Well, it ain’t working. Thanks to the trial and testimony and TRUTH being made known, I can be rid of my anger. Thank you for sharing your thoughts in this blog and thank you SEIU witnesses for telling what was really going on. Come on Borsos- 5700 double-deleted emails on your computer alone? All of the defendants: you sold us out. Angry? No, not any more. It’s more like DISGUST!

  2. It is so amazing the level of servitud unionrudy @ all have for the SEIU thugs and make the trusteeship lawful in thier minds. They forget about union, independance and autonomy, while Andy “rudy” Stern have manipulated the SEIU constitution and bylaws to grab more power and destroy local unions, these blogomaniacs applaud his actions and bow to their leader Andy “rudy”. They accept their role ob submissive servants and gave away their voting rights and union local democracy. When real union workers learn that their union dues are being tax by a percapita monthly payment to the International Union is  an eye opening to see how union dues are wasted and how much power is given to international union pseudoleaders and how corruption spreads in the international when the majority of International Presidents are appointed by the power of the trusteeship. Way to go Andy, but when real workers ask tough questions they are demonized and ignore and they become the target of the ill leader with only one goal in mind, destroy, destroy, destroy. Why don’t you union rudy check the past articles in newspapers and investigate how many corrupt SEIU appointed leaders are being found guilty and how many people in the labor movement is supporting the raids of SEIU. Just read you i…..t  

  3. From: Linda Sin

    Date: Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 11:08 AM

    Subject: Fwd: Resignation


    As many of you may already know, I submitted my resignation on Thursday, February 11. After working alongside you all for quite some time, I apologize for not giving some of you proper farewells.

    But if the recent actions taken by the leadership of SEIU Local 99 are any indication of what’s in store for the future of the organization, I wanted no part in it. While there are a number of issues, I’d like to highlight a few:

    •When two female coworkers had to fight for maternity/paternity leave benefits during their pregnancies and I saw the stress they were both put under, I was angered and embarrassed to be working for such a hypocritical organization. To attempt to deny them the same benefits that had already been given to male employees in the past was discriminatory and made absolutely no sense.

    •When our proposal to add steps based on seniority in our wage scales and to make sure that no one at Local 99 made less than $30k a year was denied during bargaining, I was flabbergasted. There was no rationality involved in the decision to reject our proposal, as our proposal would have cost Local 99 less than their across-the-board increases and $1000 bonuses. After being promised the year before that these steps would be added to the staff union contract in 2009, the flat-out denial made me think that SEIU Local 99 is no better than some of the worst employers we come across. Unfortunately, this notion became reality time and time again, as Local 99 proved themselves to be just as terrible as some of the worst anti-union employers out there.

    •When the entire External Organizing team was assigned to work on the UHW mess, we assumed it was partially in response to the petition staff had submitted requesting that Local 99 remain neutral in the mess or because of the embarrassment faced by Bill when featured Local 99 in a blog entry. Despite the varying opinions of staff on the UHW-NUHW mess, when it comes down to it, wasting so much money/resources on the UHW vs. NUHW fight and to not properly inform our members of where their dues money was being spent was just plain wrong. Additionally, when it became apparent that our work at UHW evolved around the strategy of blocking elections with the NLRB and denying workers the right to vote for as long as possible, it became even more unsettling.

    •When the LAUSD Community Representatives’ first contract was settled without the bargaining team present, I also started to question the work we do. As a member of the External Organizing team, how could I assist in bringing in more members when these sell-out deals are the result? Are these members really better off with SEIU? With all the rhetoric we use about unions providing a voice in the workplace, is that really what you call “having a voice”?

    For me, the final straw was the unjust termination of Cristina Hernandez on February 3, 2010. I am utterly disgusted by the actions of those responsible and I often wonder how they can sleep at night without feeling any guilt/remorse. They couldn’t even show up to the February 3rd meeting! If it’s true that Diana Hong will be leaving Local 721 for Local 99 and that Neneki Lee will be taking over Bill Lloyd’s position once he retires, I wish you all the best of luck. In the time that I worked at Local 99, I’ve worked alongside many organizers and Cristina was by far one of the hardest working and intelligent people I’ve met. To have terminated her and not give her any explanation whatsoever was beyond me. The actions taken against Cristina (termination without just cause and using an inaccurate interpretation of the staff union contract to claim she was on probation) were way beyond my comprehension of what a labor union should stand for.

    And now, Local 99 has rejected FIVE TIMES CWA’s requests to meet to discuss the grievances that have been filed. Since there has been no response to requests to meet, CWA has filed for arbitration. On Thursday, Bill Lloyd told CWA that he was done with this issue and that we need to compel him to go to arbitration (by taking the case to Superior Court). He didn’t agree with the grievances, he denied the grievances, and he’s not willing to go to arbitration. His blatant disregard of the grievance process as a “union leader” is disgusting.

    While the fight to reinstate Cristina continues, my time at Local 99 is over. I never thought I would leave the way I did – without saying goodbye to you all. I really do miss working alongside some of you, laughing and chatting with you all over lunch/karaoke, getting through our stressful days together, and learning from you. Words can’t express the appreciation I feel. Thanks to those of you who dedicated yourselves, motivated others, and made working at Local 99 an enjoyable experience.

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