California Gov’t Unions Waste Millions Fighting for Health Care Contracts

In California, big government labor unions like the SEIU are making so many millions of dollars by forcing employee membership, that they are increasingly becoming embroiled in huge, expensive litigations over anything and everything. If California government union workers really knew and understood how much of their money is being stolen and squandered and spent on electioneering, wouldn’t they RATHER have the money than pay the union dues to a bunch of criminals?

Think about that, California and government union workers nationwide, as you read this story. Government employee unions certainly screw the taxpayers who foot the bill for all this folly, but these union leaders are also screwing their own workers BIG TIME.

Government labor unions in California are a trial lawyer’s dream. The unions are spending millions fighting over who gets t0 represent the enslaved government workers, because the union that gets the contract, gets access to millions of taxpayer dollars through union dues the workers are forced to deduct from their paychecks.

The unions are also spending nearly uncountable millions in donations, plus more millions from soft-dollar “volunteer” union workers’ time, on California elections. The result in 2010 is that California now has every single statewide office held by Democrats, and a majority of Democrats in the legislature. It is a one-party state run by big labor unions.

A case underway right now is a great example of the kinds of abuses that go on because big government labor unions simply have way too much money at their disposal:

It features big Labor union goons calling other big labor goons GOONS….and thieves. (hat tip: Jane Smith, Facebook)

Try to follow all this and count how many millions of dollars are being spent:

Sal Roselli, the Service Employees International Union- United HealthcareWorkers West (SEIU-UHW) former president in the San Francisco Bay area is fired and accused by SEIU with 15 others of stealing $25 million. A federal jury later says they need to pay back $1.57 million.

Roselli sets up a competing new union, National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW.) (Some of the workers that these unions fight over are government health care workers. Some work for hospitals. Either way, through taxes or health care insurance, the taxpayers/ratepayers get screwed.)

The SEIU-UHW and NUHW proceed to fight viciously and expensively in California to represent healthcare workers. NUHW in January of last year took Kaiser Hospital employees away from SEIU in elections overseen by the National Labor Relations Board.

This week, Roselli and his new NUHW crew are suing SEIU-UHW for HARASSMENT and INTIMIDATION:

“….saying the union has a “policy and practice of utilizing physical intimidation against those in the labor movement who they consider to be ‘enemies.’ “


plaintiffs’ attorney, Angela Alioto, said SEIU employees “crossed the line” by intimidating, battering and threatening the plaintiffs.

One plaintiff, Beverly Griffith, a former administrative vice president of SEIU-UHW who worked at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, said “five SEIU agents” followed her at the hospital in February 2009, “yelling at her and preventing her from doing her work.”

Obviously, lawyers’ fees GALORE are being spent by both sides. Meanwhile, SEIU goon-spokesman Steve Trossman says:

“We in no way whatsoever condone any kind of intimidation or any other tactics,” Trossman said. “We want people to be free to make up their own mind.”

Is that so, Mr. Trossman? SEIU-UHW is just a bunch of misunderstood sweethearts?

Read here about some of the SEIU-UHW shenanigans and brute force tactics in union elections in California.

Then review what SEIU-UHW did in Fresno over the past few years so that healthcare workers could be “free to make up their own mind” about leaving SEIU-UHW to join NUHW. [ Again, keep in mind these healthcare workers are funded through county and state. All these MILLIONS of dollars being spent to litigate come from dues taken from these low-paid workers’ salaries.]

Note: Despite the plethora of astounding and frightening complaints by workers listed below in 2009, the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) has just ruled that SEIU-UHW did nothing wrong. After spending $10 million on the campaign to win representation of Fresno’s home health care workers, SEIU-UHW won narrowly by 250 votes. NUHW stands by its allegations and will appeal the PERB ruling.

Here’s what the healthcare workers were saying in 2009 about SEIU intimidation:

NUHW newsletter, June, 2009:

Fresno County homecare providers spoke out today at the County Hall of Records to tell their stories of SEIU’s illegal tactics to interfere in this month’s union election. Thousands of providers petitioned for the election in March so they could quit the scandal-plagued SEIU and join the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW).

SEIU spent an estimated $10 million on attack mailings, robo-calls, TV and radio ads, and 1,000 paid staff flown in from across the country, but failed to win enough support from workers to win the election without breaking the law. Homecare providers reported scores of incidents of voter intimidation, illegal threats, and ballot manipulation by SEIU staff. In addition, delays by the State Mediation and Conciliation Service (SMCS) in sending replacement ballots could have disenfranchised hundreds of providers whose ballots were not counted because they arrived after the June 15 deadline.

“Throughout the election, SEIU demonstrated an appalling disregard for the truth and the law,” said Sarah Jones, a homecare provider in Fresno. “In mailings, phone calls, and at our doors, they threatened us over and over that we would lose our health insurance, our paid hours, and our wages if we voted for NUHW.”

California’s Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (MMBA) makes it illegal for either an employer or a union to discriminate, threaten, or do anything against any employee for choosing a union or for participating or not participating in union activities. It is also illegal under the MMBA for an employer to change wages or benefits because workers chose to unionize or choose to change their union.

Even after it was pointed out to an SEIU-UHW deputy trustee that these threats were unambiguously illegal, SEIU continued to use them, both verbally and in writing.

Other homecare providers reported being intimidated by physically threatening behavior by SEIU staff.

“I was at the door of a fellow homecare provider, explaining why I was voting for NUHW,” said Phally Pov, a provider and NUHW volunteer. “An SEIU organizer saw us and ran around the corner. Minutes later two huge men pulled up in a car, jumped out, and started coming toward us and yelling. They yelled over me and wouldn’t let me talk with the provider. I noticed that the men smelled strongly of marijuana. I was afraid for my safety, and the provider I was visiting was visibly shaken. They threatened the member that if he voted for NUHW he would lose his benefits. When they were finished yelling at us, they handed the other provider a t-shirt and told him he’d better vote for SEIU-UHW.”

Several cases were documented of vandalism and theft by SEIU staff targeting NUHW supporters.

“I saw a man in purple walking up to my door,” said Lesalie Kyle, a provider in North Clovis. “I had an NUHW sign behind my locked screen door because I didn’t want SEIU harassing me at home. He rang the bell, and when no one answered he kicked my screen door in and put a bunch of SEIU flyers in front of the sign.”

Silbenia Conley, a provider in Kerman, filed a police report after three family members in her home witnessed an SEIU staffer steal a sign she had put on her door to show her community that she supported NUHW.

Fresno homecare consumer and advocate John Wilkins supported the workers in their challenge to the election. “Homecare providers make great sacrifices to care for seniors and people with disabilities in our community, and they deserve a fair election to choose their union. As a homecare advocate I am deeply troubled by these reports from providers in Fresno County.”

Despite SEIU’s illegal tactics, just 117 out of almost 6,000 votes could swing the outcome of the election. More than 500 ballots could remain uncounted because of mistakes and flawed decisions by SMCS–some because SMCS did not send replacement ballots in time for workers to vote before the deadline, and some because the election officer chose to ignore votes from providers who had taped their ballot envelopes shut instead of gluing them.

On Feb. 25, 2010, SEIU staff disrupted a group of healthcare workers and union supporters meeting peacefully in the cafeteria of Garden Grove Hospital. This video shows SEIU staffer Lisbeth Castillo yelling at a hospital employee and spouting obscenities before lunging at an NUHW volunteer and striking him.

Read here about SEIU and other big labor influence and spending in California’s November election.

California taxpayers AND government union members should be very offended that these unions are legal and authorized to steal, scare, beat the crap out of people and commandeer elections. These unions are now CRIMINAL enterprises and need to be decertified at a national level. There is simply too much union power in California, and there is no will by patsy politicians like governor Jerry Brown to do anything meaningful to rein them in. Congress must do it and SHOULD do it before the 2012 election.

Unless these big unions are defunded and their grubby hands removed from our pockets, taxpayers nationwide are paying for big labor to help Democrats get elected.

Cross-posted at

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