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Indybay Feature
Mon Jun 1 2009
SEIU's "Shock and Awe" Campaign in Fresno
Workers Fear SEIU's Violent "Shock and Awe" Tactics on Day One of Union Election
June 1st is the first day of a highly contested union election for 10,000 homecare workers in Fresno County who are trying to leave the Washington, D.C.-based SEIU, a union that has been condemned by the AFL-CIO for using violence in inter-union conflicts. The stakes have never been higher for SEIU officials, who are desperately trying to stop a movement of nearly 100,000 healthcare workers in California who are organizing to quit SEIU and join the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW).

Current and former SEIU organizers have reported SEIU's use of so-called "shock and awe" teams to incite violence, including stalking, threatening and intimidating supporters of opposing unions. With 900 paid SEIU staff from across the country in Fresno County today, workers are worried about a repeat of recent violent attacks.

At an SEIU meeting held on Sunday May 31, SEIU-UHW Trustee Dave Regan encouraged hundreds of SEIU staff to "administer an old-school ass-whipping" to NUHW supporters. "In other words, what we gotta do here, my old-school friends, is we have to administer an old-school ass-whipping over the next two weeks," he said. "I know everybody knows what means. We gotta give a butt-whipping they will never forget," he added. "We gotta put them in the ground and bury them."

video Video of the Regan Speech
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