Internecine battles that go public always tell you more about how an organization operates. For example, a court battle after a Democratic primary in East Chicago, Indiana led to both sides testifying against each other in court about how they stole votes and 32 convictions on voter fraud. Whenever reporters and liberals claim that voter fraud doesn’t happen, just refer them to the court testimony. By the way, these are absentee ballot fraud, the same sort of at-home coercion that occurs in "card-check" union organizing drives.
A similar battle is going on California. last year, the San Francisco-based SEIU-UHW (United Healthcare Workers West) had been under attack by the SEIU national organization and the Los Angeles-based local whose head Tyrone Freeman, an Andy Stern protege, was forced to step down after charges of embezzling local funds. Eventually, Sal Roselli, the head of the San Francisco organization was kicked out. He is now counter-attacking as National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW).
There have long-been allegations that ACORN and SEIU are closely related and that ACORN runs training programs for SEIU. In this case, SEIU-UHW is claiming that the NUHW is playing dirty. Check out this blog post from their site in which union members claim to have been lied to and coerced:
Examples of the tactics used by NUHW, which home care workers share on video and can be viewed here, include:
Asya Tilman, was told to sign "a petition to protect our rights," and it was not until "a few months ago that I realized that, through their lies, they try to move me to a different union." After Asya signed, she was then asked whether her daughter, also a home care worker, was at home, "and he said that I could sign under her name. And that is what I did."
Yuk Wan Leung was overwhelmed when two workers from the hotel union knocked at her door pressuring her to sign a petition. They told her the petition was for their voting freedom and it would not affect her union. Then they refused to leave until she signed.
Mei Fong Tsoi was approached while walking to work and was told to sign the petition to support the union, "I am a working member and I know my union. I even signed for my husband because he is also a homecare provider."
While one local is claiming thuggery in San Francisco, at first under the direction of a criminal and now by a dissident organization, the national organization is claiming that coercion doesn’t happen in union battles. Curious, eh?
Note: The first version of this post misunderstand the relationships between the various California locals. I thank a union official for a correction. However, the core messaging problem still stands, and in some way is strengthened. An SEIU is claiming union thuggery, while the national denies it. After a several-year-long campaign of thuggery against a dissident. As in East Chicago, this is just how union infighting looks.