You’d be excused if you felt like you fell down Alice’s rabbit hole with this story, only you’d soon discover that this Alice is named Andy, and it is quite real, indeed. Not long ago, Andy Stern, the radical chief of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), tried to sue members of an internal faction of his own union, the United Healthcare Workers (UHC). Stern alleged that the UHC was misappropriating funds. The suit was brought, conveniently enough, just before the SEIU convention held at the beginning of June, so that the worst possible light would be directed upon the insurgent faction of the SEIU just before they all came together to address the issues in dispute.
Well, as of June 222nd, US. District Court Judge John F. Walter threw out the SEIU’s lawsuit saying it was completely without merit.
The court ruled that SEIU had brought no valid legal claim against members of United Healthcare Workers-West (UHW) and the case was dismissed without the need for a hearing. The ruling entitles UHW members to compensation fr?om SEIU for costs incurred as a result of the illegitimate lawsuit. UHW will seek full compensation on behalf of the ten members named in the suit.
According to UHW’s Executive Board Member Rosie Byers, the lawsuit was only “PR stunt” initiated to “to silence reformers within the union.”
The charges made against local union members had no legal basis. The only purpose of this suit was to harass and discredit members of UHW who had spoken out against Andy Stern’s and Anna Burger’s backroom deals with corporations that hurt healthcare workers and our patients.î
Seems pretty obvious that Mrs. Byers is right on target with her claim. After all, if the suit was so baseless, Andy Stern’s own legal council would have been sure to make him aware of that fact. It is hard not to assume that he launched the lawsuit only in an effort to make the rest of his union membership feel that the UHW faction was illicit just before they arrived at the annual convention. This cloud over the UHW would have been sure to influence other union members that the UHW was untrustworthy and, therefore, would have discredited the UHW’s concerns and actions at that very convention.
It worked, too. Stern’s top heavy plan of cutting out local union representation in the operations of the union passed handily at the convention in June. And, now that SEIU prez Stern won and the convention is over, the nuisance lawsuit can be safely tossed aside.
Remember folks, this is the major union that backs Barack Obama. If they are this ruthless and anti-democratic in their own union to their own membership, what do you think they have in store for the rest of us?
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