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In the interests of the 1021 membership-SEIU Member Speaks Out
Date 10/03/01/01:34

IN THE INTERESTS OF the 1021 membership, I am asking that Harry Baker and Sin Yee Poon drop out of the 1021 elections; there is nothing personal in this statement; however, this statement comes from the FACTS, THE ACTIONS taken by harry Baker and Sin Yee Poon during last years bargaining.

Not only have Sin Yee Poon and Harry Baker still stand by the FACTS, and THE ACTIONS they have undertaken - they are a liability to the slate of Roxanne Sanchez and Alysabeth Alexander, Karen Bishop and Jacqueline Sowers whose candidacies are now jeopardized because of this misbegotten choice.

These facts, these actions include:

Their role in not allowing TA#1 to come to a vote; there were hundreds of members who wanted this to come to a vote, but, this was discarded because Sin Yee Poon stated that it would not pass, and with whatever number the language election called itself, the committe came back to the negotiating table with the news that TA#1 would not be considered. Sin Yee Poon and Harry Baker try to justify this with the comment that the entire bargaining team voted on it - however, did they have a choice? TA#1 was now history. Fair and open, democratic? Hardly. The line the team came up with was that the members were not smart enough to understand TA#1.

The actions, the facts of Poon and Baker's behavior during the subsequent votes:

Poon and Baker voted to allow the SEIU International to come and help pass TA#3. This fact, this action demoralized hundreds of SEIU San Francisco members; they laughed at the local and what the International was telling them. One custodian, who was considering voting yes, voted NO after he received 3 phone calls telling him what to do from the International.

Poon's repeated statement that TA#1 did not have any layoff clause; as anyone knows who has been on a bargaining team, even in decent economic times these clauses are extremely, but extremely rare. Sin Yee Poon, in recent e-mails, strikes out and tells people that if they didn't like TA#2 or TA#3, they wanted layoffs. Not only is this a ludicrous statement, it is weak and far from the truth - Poon is speaking, falsely, for hundreds and hundreds of SF members that she cannot

Poon and Baker repeatedly state, with faulty math and faulty logic, that TA#3 was the best offer around and it didn't affect wages. Anyone who receives longevity pay knows that this is affected whenever we get those unpaid federal holidays. When we don't receive holiday pay, it does affect me and you.

Baker's attitude regarding his 1021 talk list during the ratifying of the agreement: not only was Baker and several others who shared his viewpoint delivered the most offensive, divisive and, certainly not open, fair and democratic statements regarding other members, it did quite a bit of damage to the unity, the solidarity of the SF membership. They were vitriolic; members were being told that they were selfish for not agreeing with them, that they were close to retirement and that's why they were disagreeing with them.

Their actions, the facts of what they did during the vote for TA#3: not only did they disrespect the vast will of the majority, Poon and Baker (and Baker, always a vocal opponent of Varacalli, did exactly what Varacalli did when the vote did not turn out the way he wanted; Varacalli stated, and then so did Baker and Kinchley: "We are going to vote again until we get it right.") Who would have thought they would mimic Varacalli - even using his exact words.

These bargaining actions brought SEIU SF 1021 to a low never seen before in SF labor; however, the new SEIU doesn't care what anyone else thinks: they are right. Therefore, we have Poon and Baker carrying forth the Andy Stern playbook: victory at any cost; we don't care about lying to the members, we don't care if it's unethical - we will do whatever we have to to win.

And, Poon and Baker still stand by the actions they have undertaken last year and to this day. What is probably the most outrageous action, fact, is when Harry Baker, on behalf of himself and other Civic Center members from the rent board, tried to get out of the contract using the (weak) excuse that their departments receive federal monies. Not only was this request of Baker's denied, but, more importantly, what type of moral character does this reflect? None. He degraded other people to take the contract, threatened to have rallies in front of the worksites where members voted no, did not have voting available at the worksites where members voted no - again, just a mimic of the Andy Stern playbook.

And, I am more than certain that now, Poon and Baker will denigrate me as I recall their actions, the facts, what they did. And they have no problem with their unethical behavior. SF members lost a great deal of money from this sham - from Poon stating that TA#1 will never pass instead of bringing it to the members. It is shameful that Baker wanted to exempt himself from the contract while letting other members - who make half as much as he does - to take the hit.

I wanted to support Sin Yee Poon, I even told her I would - but for CEO of this union, absolutely no way. And, Baker emulates bully behavior when people disagree with him. There are countless examples; I don't want to waste time recounting them - but, I certainly will if people want to know.

For the good of the membership, for the other qualified and decent people on Roxanne's slate - Poon and Baker need to excuse themselves. Otherwise, the information given here will go far and wide. The union is that important to me. Also, I believe in open elections - why invite anyone to a meeting - and your website says nothing about CHANGE, only member run, nothing about change - and tell them not to run against anyone. Not fair and open and democractic. Really, I would think such an action, such a fact would embarass your team. Anyone can call themselves a reformer, a progressive. Republicans call themselves reformers.

In Peace and Solidarity for a more open and fair labor movement,

Nancy Snyder, Recording Secretary Emeritus of Local 790/Legacy Local

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