SEIU bemoans employer efforts to avoid unions in the workplace, but SEIU uses the same policies against its own employees.
In January 2007, unionized members of SEIU Local 1.on, organized through the Teamsters, went out on strike against SEIU over complaints about low wages. Elsewhere, the union’s own employees filed a federal complaint against the union for its behavior as an employer. An announcement from employees said, “SEIU’s bullying of its staff continues to be met with resistance” after the union attempted to “force an unfair contract including a demand to waive legally protected rights.” It was just the latest evidence of a pattern of SEIU abusing its own staff.
Labeling SEIU’s management as a “well-oiled de facto politburo” former SEIU organizer Kevin Funk exposed his union’s hypocrisy, which he argued was “characterized by an often subtle yet convoluted net of deceit, fear-mongering, incompetence, and, in fact, union-busting.”
The hypocrisy doesn’t stop there. SEIU funds allies that are also tied to union busting.
SEIU Doesn’t Fall Far From ACORN Tree
In 2006 alone, SEIU sent more than $2.5 million to the “community group” known as ACORN (which actually operates two SEIU locals). SEIU hires ACORN to train the union’s employees, as well as to plan and execute PR smear campaigns against SEIU-targeted companies.
ACORN maintains leadership ties with SEIU Local 880 and Local 100 – which is run by ACORN founder Wade Rathke. Rathke has an impressive history of “union avoidance.” In 2003, ACORN was found guilty by the National Labor Relations Board of illegally busting a unionization drive of its employees.
In an earlier case, a former employee reported that after employees provided Rathke with a petition demanding union recognition:
Rathke quickly called a meeting of ACORN’s inner circle, which included his wife, Beth Butler, head organizer of Louisiana ACORN, and Rathke’s brother Dale, who is the financial guru of the outfit. The troika devised a variety of tactics, such as can be expected from any union-busting corporation, to divide and destroy our solidarity.
Rathke allegedly “tried to red bait a number of his former organizers.” SEIU was successful in beating back the unionizing drive.