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Wrong Allies and Wrong Leadership
by Brad Wiedmaier
Wednesday Sep 4th, 2013 8:39 AM
SEIU UHW president Dave Regan without a democratic vote or discussion with the union's executive board has given free office space in San Francisco to the corporate driven "Alliance for Jobs And Sustainable Growth" which is backed by the major union busters in San Francisco. SEIU UHW executive board member challenges this action and questions why Dave Regan is in bed with these union busting corporations
Wrong Allies and Wrong Leadership
by SEIU UHW Executive Board Member
Brad Wiedmaier

SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan has moved the "Alliance for Jobs and Sustainable Growth" (AJSG) into the San Francisco UHW Hall and Office. This was done without consulting one single member of the union leadership or rank and file. This follows repeated request for a review of the participation by the Union in the Alliance which has no organizational sanction. The Alliance is being granted space without rent. This act raises two serious questions. First, this shows that Dave Regan and the political department have chosen to sneak the Alliance into the building without any membership consultation or endorsement. This act reflects on the undemocratic functioning of UHW. Second, this cripples our union by joining in a coalition with a group like the Alliance, that holds positions which are mostly at odds with the interests of the membership.

Two key players in the Alliance are the father and son, Vince Courtney Sr and Vince Courtney Jr. Senior is the executive director of the Alliance (AJSG). Junior is involved as the Political Director of the Laborer's Local 261 and the Vice-Chair of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission appointed by former Mayor Newsom. Junior is also on the board of directors of the statewide "Alliance for Jobs". And Junior is also an officer on the San Francisco Labor Council. He voted against the recent Council resolution that urged U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to take up the question of the civil rights of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of Zimmerman as a issue under federal jurisdiction.

But this is not the only questionable act of Courtney or the Alliance. Courtney Jr. used his seat on the Public Utilities Commission on behalf of PG&E to unconstitutionally veto the San Francisco Board of Supervisors backing of Clean Power. Even the "SF Examiner" has strongly condemned this attack on the legal functioning of the City/County Government (see 8-15-13 editorial). The Board of Supervisors had passed the Clean Power plan by a veto proof margin, PG&E chose to illegally utilize the Public Utilities Commission to block the vote of the SF Board of Supervisors, which is the only legislature of the city.

Examining the forces in this Alliance (AJSG) and who they are endorsing shows a politics at odds with our union's ranks. The Alliance prominently features the Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA) which fought the Healthy San Francisco county health plan (which our Home-Care members rely on). The GGRA fought all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and fortunately for our members the GGRA lost. Another lead group in the Alliance is the Building Owners & Managers Association which works tirelessly against rent control. Our members rely on rent control to reside in San Francisco. And the BOMA is dedicated to the eradication of rent control. Also, the Alliance has endorsed Carmen Chu for SF Assessor in the November 2013 election. Chu refused to vote against, increasing home-care health premiums, when she held a seat on the SF Board of Supervisor. Now the Alliance will be supporting her out of our own union hall.

The participation of the union in the Alliance (AJSG) illustrates Dave Regan's non-dedication to the interests of the members of SEIU-UHW. This political coalition shows that to Regan, union members come second to back room political deal-making. There has never been a COPE (Committee on Political Education) under Regan at SEIU-UHW. Instead of taking care of what members need, Regan is all about selling the power of our union to interests which are at odds with our membership. It's all about being a big player beyond the need to stand up for the membership. Sneaking the Alliance into the San Francisco SEIU-UHW Hall was a necessity for Regan to continue to cut the membership out of any political say in their own organization. This coalition of UHW with the Alliance shows that the Regan team is an imposed alien clique that must hide its political moves from the rank and file. Now is the time to begin to look for an alternative allies and leadership for SEIU-UHW. Now is the time to begin to build a united members' opposition for the UHW 2014 general election.

Bradley Wiedmaier, UHW, Executive Board, Home-Care Division
Member Directions 2014 Caucus
(415) 694-3605

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SEIU Former VP Eliseo Medina, Stern And Dave Regan Covered Up Criminal Conspiracy To Steal SEIU Members Funds Charges Insider Wilzoch
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Former SEIU Leader to Feds: It's Time to Pursue Top SEIU Officials in the Tyrone Freeman Corruption Scandal

Tasty has obtained a five-page memo that was recently sent to the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Labor by a former president of one of SEIU’s local unions.

In a memo dated September 27, 2013, Mike Wilzoch implores the feds to hold SEIU’s head honchos accountable for their roles in the massive corruption scandal centered on Tyrone Freeman.

SEIU Former VP Eliseo Medina, Stern And Dave Regan Covered Up Criminal Conspiracy To Steal SEIU Members Funds Charges Former Official
Wilzoch's memo does a compelling job at connecting the dots.

Here are some excerpts. The full memo is below.

This is to follow up on our phone conversation. Thank you for agreeing to pass on this communication to those responsible for pursuing this case in the DOL. I’m also copying in 2 DOJ attorneys I have communicated with before on this case who are also in a position to act on these issues:

I have two primary concerns:

1) As I have expressed to US Attorneys involved in the investigation and successful prosecution of Freeman, he clearly relied on many union officials to enable and hide from the membership and public his criminal activities. There is credible testimony on the record that several of the highest SEIU officials are among those who were directly informed of Freeman’s behavior as early as 2001. There is also the fact that it is a practical impossibility that other members of the SEIU Executive and many more in the chain of command from 2001 on did not know of the years of this abuse. Will they be held accountable?

… Based on the evidence I reference below, and my long experience with many of the parties involved, I repeat that it is a practical impossibility that all of the members of the SEIU Executive and many more in the chain of command from 2001 on did not know of the years of this abuse. Some actively supported and enabled it to continue. Others failed in their duty to the workers not to knowingly allow a member to be harmed. If anyone had the courage of their convictions—and took their oaths and obligations under the law to be more important than their careers and rising paychecks—this could have been stopped in its tracks in long ago.

Who’s Wilzoch and why did he write the memo? Another excerpt:

I am a 23 year veteran of SEIU. I have served as an organizer, representative, director, and Union President. I knew personally many of the officials involved in this disaster besides Tyrone Freeman, including Andy Stern, Eliseo Medina, Sheila Velasco, Tom Woodruff, Dave Regan, and a number of as-of-yet unnamed (to my knowledge) staffers and leaders of the SEIU International.

We have enough problems dealing with widespread illegal and unethical conduct from employers and the corporate elite. They don’t need any help right now from labor “leaders” who may have done great things once, but lost the plot and forgot just who it is who pays the bills, including their escalating compensation packages. When the abuse of poor homecare workers is handled as a PR problem, then those who knew about and/or enabled it feed a culture of arrogance, entitlement and corruption.

If they are not held accountable, they and everyone else learns that being well connected is more important than taking seriously the responsibility to advocate honestly and relentlessly for working people and our families. They not only continue to profit, sometimes extravagantly, from the honest work of the rank and file, but are also recycled through the labor movement.

For instance, Louis Jamerson, part of Freeman’s Beverly Hills crew listed above, is now a Deputy Trustee at the Local I helped build for 15 years—SEIU Local 105 in Denver. My salary as President was $40K/yr—a few bucks a week more than the staff I supervised. While all things change, I would like to hope that the poisonous culture of staff entitlement and disrespect for the workers at Freeman’s little shop of horrors—and elsewhere—is not spread more than it already has. He is just one notable symptom of a larger tragedy. This is a cancer which I have seen first-hand cause painful damage to the cause of justice for workers in this country—and the prospects for a principled and thriving labor movement—which is needed now more than ever. Please do everything in your power to pursue justice for these workers, no matter how high up the ladder the evidence leads.

Steve Trossman

What else is in Wilzoch’s memo?

Info about SEIU officials' involvement in Freeman’s crime spree.

For example, Wilzoch discusses Steve Trossman’s role in reportedly engineering a 2001 cover-up of Freeman’s corruption. In fact, Wilzoch points to “possible perjury” by Trossman.

Wilzoch also discusses testimony by Jim Philliou in which he describes -- under oath -- how he alerted top SEIU officials about Freeman’s corruption in 2001.

Dave Kieffer
Which officials did Philliou alert?

Dave Kieffer and Eliseo Medina’s Chief of Staff, Sheila Velasco, among others.

According to Philliou, Kieffer later reported that SEIU had conducted “some type of audit” of Freeman’s spending, but didn’t find anything illegal.

Was Kieffer lying?

It sure looks like it. Wilzoch asks: If SEIU actually conducted an “audit,” why didn’t SEIU interview Philliou -- who was the one who first reported Freeman’s corruption?

Interestingly, many of the SEIU officials who are involved in the Freeman corruption scandal are now tightly connected to Dave Regan.

SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan
Trossman became Regan’s “Director of Communications” after receiving a quarter-million-dollar payout from SEIU, which is rumored to be ‘hush money.’ Kieffer is SEIU-UHW’s “Director of Governmental Relations.”

And Philliou has been working as a consultant for Regan and reportedly is now working inside Kaiser Permanente’s “Labor-Management Partnership.”

There’s lots more inside Wilzoch’s memo, which is pasted below.

Memo from former SEIU leader to U.S. Dep't of Justice and Dep't of Labor regarding top SEIU officials' role...