Response to Dave Regan's (SEIU 1199) Letter
YOUR LETTER to Mr. Rosselli was quite interesting, but had many of our SEIU
California members puzzled. I say puzzled because we here in California also
got quite a dose of SEIU's statistics, figures and projections about
"unification" for "more power". We learned firsthand what that really meant
to our membership.
It meant that the "vote" to "unify" our locals was not for more power to
our members, but for consolidation of our dues money with no accountability
from the "new" leadership structure. What the merger turned out to be was
actually a trusteeship in disguise. How do I know this? Because in August of
2007 there was a three-day hearing at the Los Angeles Employee Relations
Board over the certification process as a result of SEIU 721's petition to
become the successor union to Local 347, and I got to cross-examine SEIU's
witnesses regarding the 2006 voting process. Here's what was learned;
1) The membership in California was lead to believe that they were going to
vote on whether or not there would be a "redistricting" of members unions.
SEIU did not let on how this was going to be done, the vote was only
"whether" it should be done.
2) It turns out that the voting was so "secret", the SEIU witnesses could
not agree on how many members were sent ballots. The testimony ranged from
150,000 to 200,000. Why is this significant? Because the results were 31,408
in favor and 4,256 against; an alleged "landslide". And the witness
testified that there was no way to prove that all the "affected members"
received ballots. Even though the voting was by mail. But wait, there's
3) The witnesses testified that they could not tell us what locals voted,
how many Local 347 members voted, whether the majority of Local 347 members
voted for or against it. In fact, not one Local 347 vote in favor of the
"merger" could be produced!
4) Our elected Local 347 Executive Board was dissolved and replaced by an
appointed Board. The SEIU witness testified that you had to have held an
elected position in a prior local to be appointed to the "new board", but
the appointed president, Annelle Grajeda, had never held such a position.
Ms. Grajeda appears to be the "go to" person for SEIU truteeship.
5) Our Local 347 dues money (about $6M per year) is being sent to Local 721
by a "verbal agreement" between the former staff director of Local 347 and
Annelle Grajeda. Even though the Local 347 Constitution and Bylaws does not
6) Where Local 347 could once hire and fire their staff, they are now
powerless to oust any incompetent staff and cannot have a say on how their
dues money is spent.
If you add this up, it spells trusteeship.
Brother Regan, before you try and sell us any more of the "positive"
aspects of what SEIU has done for it's members, please try and understand
that the rank and file members are looking at an entirely different picture.
In your letter to Mr. Rosselli, you speak of disappointment with his
actions. If you want to taste disappointment, try being on the other end of
Another statement of yours was quite interesting; "Just as we expect
members of our local unions to unite behind a common strategy after there
has been full debate and a majority has reached a democratic decision". In
our case, the majority, and how it was reached, is under serious question.
Perhaps you would like to rephrase that so that our Local 347 members could
better understand what you mean by "democratic decision" and "majority"?
In short, Mr. Rosselli displays all the signs and symptoms of having a
conscience that bothers him. Mr. Rosselli is no rookie to organizing and his
observations about SEIU's direction will not go unnoticed or unheeded.
Brother Regan, don't feel alone; you aren't the only one who is
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