SEIU Brings Out the Guillotine
A press release just issued by the Washington headquarters of the Service Employees Union International announced it has served trusteeship papers on its rebel health-care workers local, known as the United Healthcare Workers-West. The Oakland-based UHW, headed by its
Above: SEIU president Andy Stern
At a teleconference yesterday, Rosselli sounded both conciliatory and defiant as he declared his willingness to follow the recent recommendations of an outside arbitrator regarding the increasingly toxic relationship between UHW and its parent organization. Yet it was clear that Rosselli was offering an olive branch only on his own terms, which seemed to promise renewed conflict with Stern.
And, sure enough, Stern and SEIU's international officers announced today they were ordering Rosselli to cede control of UHW and its assets. That order calls for the removal of Rosselli and all of UHW's elected officers, who will be temporarily replaced with Stern appointees. The press release did not, however, explain how SEIU intended to enforce its decree if UHW ignores the trusteeship order. A teleconference has been called by SEIU for noon, Wednesday, Pacific Time, to explain its side of the unfolding drama.
Update: UHW has responded to the SEIU announcement with its own press release. The statement, among other things, declares, "Today's action by Andy Stern imposing a trusteeship against the members of United Healthcare West has the effect of declaring martial law against those advocating for the right to vote and other democratic principles in their own union. UHW has rejected this imposition."