The Huffington Post posted an article today (Internal Memos Show How Andy Stern And Union Sold Workers Out) commenting on a San Francisco Weekly article detailing the organizing tactics of Service Employee International Union (SEIU) President Andy Stern. Supposedly, during negotiations with nursing home operators, the union head conceded some issues generally left to collective bargaining contract negotiations to the nursing home owners. Nursing home operators may:
set pay rates, pay increases, and incentive plans. They hire, lay off, demote, discipline, and determine benefits for workers without union input. The employers may outsource work performed by union members, and speed up, reassign, or eliminate jobs at will. The employer may eliminate vacations, or any other time off, as the employer sees fit.
In return, “SEIU got the right to represent workers, if shoddily, and to get paid.”
Sounds to me like a complete giveaway. Is the SEIU so desperate for growth, money and power that it will sell its soul to gain access to employee paychecks? Once all the above issues of pay, strikes, etc., were taken off the table, there isn’t much left to bargain for. These issues are the heart and soul of traditional collective bargaining. At least the United Auto Workers (UAW) are more intellectually honest. They would never dream of handing over concessions like these even in the face of rising losses and plant closures (UAW to members: We’ll fight givebacks, UAW meets to plot bargaining strategy).
The Post writers received the same internal documents as Smith at the SF Weekly and posted them at the above link. Check out for yourself how the SEIU sold out here to gain unfettered access to workers paychecks.
The SEIU performed its part of the deal in Washington state. Blogger David Postman, from the Seattle Times reported how the above agreements played out during the House floor debate on the Washington state budget.
SEIU tries to kill budget when it can’t get its way – During House debate on the budget Monday, SEIU was working the doors hard, summoning legislators out one at a time to be lobbied to put another $15 million in for nursing homes. The union was working alongside nursing home operators trying to make good on their agreement to get at least $40 million more in Medicaid reimbursements. That’s what’s spelled out in a draft agreement between the union and the operators that my colleague Ralph Thomas wrote about earlier this month.