UNITE HERE dissidents to join SEIU

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UNITE HERE dissidents to join SEIU

Continuing the discussion from [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/labour-and-consumption/will-unite-here-split... thread[/url].

 It's now official that "Workers United," the UNITE HERE breakaway group formed last weekend in Philadelphia, will affiliate with the SEIU.

[url=http://news.prnewswire.com/DisplayReleaseContent.aspx?ACCT=104&STORY=/ww... Release: Workers United and SEIU Announce Affiliation[/url]

NEW YORK, March 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Statement from Edgar Romney, President, Workers United:

"Yesterday, Workers United made history again with an affiliation with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) one of the most powerful, dynamic and vibrant labor organizations in the world.

"The agreement creates the Workers United Conference of SEIU. Through this affiliation, we make a big, strong union even bigger and stronger. And now a whole new group of workers in the garment, textile, laundry, distribution, food service and hospitality industries will be able to harness the incredible power of SEIU as they seek to improve their jobs and their lives. With this affiliation we will have the support of SEIU, and there is no question that we will be stronger together.

"Both unions share a history of not only transforming working conditions but also bringing change to entire industries. Nearly 100 years ago, the predecessor unions that became Workers United exposed sweatshops in the garment industry and rallied whole cities to demand improved conditions and safety for the workers. More recently, Workers United affiliates have transformed the commercial laundry industry organizing workers in many North American cities including in anti-union strongholds in the South and Southwest.

"Similarly, SEIU has transformed the property services industry through incredible international campaigns for janitorial and security workers.

"Unfortunately, hospitality workers have not witnessed a similar transformation of their industries outside of a few metropolitan areas. Though there are cities in the U.S. and Canada where a majority of workers in the high end, full service hotels are organized, millions of hotel, hospitality and gaming workers in other geographic areas and types of properties have been left to fend for themselves.

"Now, as these industries change and consolidate, property services workers and hospitality workers share many managers and owners. These changes demand the unification of Workers United and SEIU to embark on new initiatives to achieve together what they have done on their own in the past: to transform an entire industry. This agreement positions the unions to work together more closely, while also maintaining the autonomy and constitution of Workers United.

"SEIU and affiliates of Workers United have already begun working together through a vigorous campaign to organize food service workers. This revolutionary campaign recognized that workers in each union's core jurisdictions (building services, laundry and food services) were all being employed by the same multi-service companies. Coming together, we have organized nearly 20,000 workers in this industry in the last few years.

"This is the kind of success we will replicate. It is workers uniting, and becoming stronger together. This affiliation agreement lays out a framework for two unions to realize all that those four words can mean."

Nowithstanding the above, the political struggle (and litigation) appears to be ongoing..

[urll=http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0309/Wilhelm_blasts_SEIU_Czar_Ste... Wilhelm blasts SEIU, "Czar Stern"[/url]

Andy Stern's attempt to adopt the Raynor splinter group is a transparent ploy to justify his hostile takeover of UNITE HERE jurisdiction.

Czar Stern might consider giving his own workers a better "opportunity" before launching yet another hostile takeover.

Andy Stern's SEIU has failed to grow beyond just 9.4% union density in its core private hospital jurisdiction and just 10.9% density in private nursing homes. UNITE HERE by comparison has achieved 48% density in gaming and 19% in the hotel industry.

Yet today, in spite of, or perhaps because of, his lackluster performance in SEIU's own traditional industries, Stern is planning to raid our union jurisdiction. Faced with his inability to organize inside SEIU's traditional industries, Stern's messianic mindset has led him to seek membership growth by conquest.

His undemocratic practices threaten the entire labor movement's agenda. While criticizing employers for their undemocratic intimidation of workers, he has carried out numerous intimidation campaigns against other unions - all in support of his growth-by-conquest scheme.

Personally I think this whole thing is an unneccessary and unhelpful distraction from the real issues that workers in the hospitality and service industries are currently facing. It's disappointing to see, to say the least.


Sorry, here's the source:

[url=http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0309/Dissident_union_group_joins_... Smith's Blog: Dissident union group joins SEIU[/url]

Ben Smith also reports the response from the other camp here: [url=http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0309/Wilhelm_blasts_SEIU_Czar_Ste... blasts SEIU, "Czar Stern"[/url]


I see this only as a good thing.  If the two sides cannot get along, it is like a marriage where it only hurts everyone involved.  It's time for both sides to go their separate ways.

I dont' want to get caught in the crossfire.

aka Mycroft

I don't know what things are like in UNITE HERE but SEIU is one of the worst unions in the US or Canada. If you're going to leave your union and join another one shouldn't you at least join one that's decent?


This dispute didn't just start recently, Unite Here has had problems for quite some time and it just didn't work. Nice to see Danny Glover still stands with Workers United. One has to wait and see how this will work out.


Unfortunately I think a lot of workers are going to get "caught in the crossfire." The timing of this dispute couldn't possibly be worse, with the economic crisis devastating the hospitality industry and the fight over EFCA in the U.S. Congress (as well as the rest of labour's economic agenda in both Canada and the U.S.) desperately needing all union activists' full attention.

Eric Orwell

What makes SEIU "one of the worst" aka Mycroft?

Do you have some personal experience or know someone who has?

I think SEIU's been a little too eager to put "growth" above all goals, and their shitshow with Puerto Rican teachers is a prime example of that.

But I also think some of their efforts to organize - for example, the justice for janitors effort - have been inspiring and effective.


Couldn't help but get involved in this discussion. As I read the posts and refer to the online debates it seems to me we are all guilty of a little labour "reality show" voyeurism.  As this merger comes to an end there is bound to be some dirty laundry and unpleasant wrangling. In the interests of the membership and the health of the movement this really should have happened behind closed doors. The consensus forming by all but a few diehard activists is that UNITE and HERE should get on with it and save us all the gory details. Clearly Workers United has done just that, its now time for HERE to step up and tell us where they're going and how they plan to get there. Some maturity is the least we should expect from leadership.

Joe Strummer

Labour matters in the USA.  Amazing.  Its headline news!  SEIU knows how to organize.  Its very impressive.



Eric Orwell

I'm not sure this is proof that SEIU knows how to organize. But it might be proof that SEIU is a powerful, effective union - at least in some people's eyes.

 That said, SEIU - it's impossible to deny - is growing and doing a lot to reverse the trend in declining union density. Sometimes their tactics are dubious (virtual sweeheart deals a la CAW's "Magna" contracts). Sometimes they're inspired and effective (Justce for Janitors). A lot of terrain in between.

The "worst union" knock makes absolutely no sense. Hoping aka Mycroft will come back and explain further.

In the meantime, I'll bemoan the fact that - at a point when US labor is about to turn things around - infighting seems to be breaking out everywhere.

That said: there was a lot of infighting and turf wars when John L Lewis was creating the CIO sixty years ago.

aka Mycroft

Eric Orwell wrote:

What makes SEIU "one of the worst" aka Mycroft?

Bad contracts. Sweetheart deals with management in exchange for certification (see Lousiana's nursing home sector for instance)

Eric Orwell

Interesting article.


Cornell University's Kate Bronfenbrenner, who has done extensive research into these kinds of agreements, says, "Neutrality agreements are necessary in a climate where employers wage war when workers try to organize. But on the other hand, unions that do top-down organizing, who don't involve the members, are not going to build lasting unions. Research shows it again and again. They won't be able to survive; they're not going to be able to withstand employer attacks. These are big questions many unions need to wrestle with."

SEIU leaders may debate the merits of their opposition, but the sheer explosion of dissent--from one of the country's most progressive unions, CNA; from the leadership of one of its largest, and most rapidly growing, Locals, UHW; from its own staff; from the students and community allies SEIU depends on to run its successful corporate campaigns--indicates, at least, a crisis of confidence in the union's leadership. Stern has been astonishingly successful at communicating his vision to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and winning the trust of hostile corporate leaders. But the evidence is accumulating that he's not been nearly as adept at bringing along his own labor movement--and his own membership.

If he places UHW in trusteeship and removes Sal Rosselli and his executive board, he'll confirm the worst images of SEIU painted by Rose Ann DeMoro, of a gang of purple-clad street thugs, whose first principle is omertà. But if he can guide delegates through a process of meaningful compromise at the convention, with a friendly eye toward some of the dissident proposals on local autonomy; if he can sit down and negotiate a truce with CNA (and indeed, in late May, Stern told The Nation that the two parties had just agreed to hire a mediator and try to come to terms), then his claim to be reinvigorating the labor movement as a whole will gain new credibility.

The truth is that the pressure on SEIU is coming from labor progressives--not complacent labor chiefs signing off on givebacks until they reach retirement. The voices raised against Stern are deeply invested in reversing labor's decline, in positioning unions to shape national policy, in building--as Stern puts it in his most recent white paper--"a more just and humane society for all working people."

This is a US article. We don't have the same labour framework in Canada, and neutrality agreements aren't nearly as necessary here -- a distinction that Stern and his employees and acolytes have brushed aside. So we end up with the same US-based, cynical, wheeling-dealing, behind-closed-doors unionism, unnecessarily, even knowing ahead of time all the legitimacy and sustainability problems that are going to defeat those unions and drag the rest of us down with them.

stop raiding

Interesting article from the NY Daily News.

Service Employees International Union president goes to the extreme


"Andy Stern, president of the powerful Service Employees International Union, seems hellbent on using classic corporate raider tactics to bring a huge portion of the U.S. labor movement under his absolute control."


stop raiding

I would love to see a copy of the affiliation agreement between Workers United and SEIU as referenced below in the Daily news article. I find it hard to believe that the ongoing interference by SEIU could be perceived as anyting other than raiding. I'm curious as to how this will play out in Canada.

"Stern's union will provide legal, staff and financial assistance to defend Workers United "against any and all challenge from other labor organizations, including any challenge arising from its affiliation with SEIU," the agreement states.

That alone could cost millions, because both factions of UNITE HERE are fighting in federal court over control of the Amalgamated Bank, the only union-owned bank in the country.

In addition, the affiliation agreement allows Workers United to pay as little as $7.65 in monthly per capita dues to SEIU over the next four years. Since the splinter locals were paying a whopping $16.05 in monthly per capita to UNITE HERE, the discount alone will save the new group more than $60 million."

Jumping Janice

"In speaking with colleagues in the United States it is evident that this merger, despite best of intentions, has clearly failed."

-- President of National Union of Public and General Employees (Canada) James Clancy, letter dated 3/16/09

Jumping Janice

United Food and Commercial Workers President Joe Hansen and well known labor mediator Larry Fox have both led mediation sessions between the two sides of the dispute, and now agree that a split is the only workable solution.

President Hansen proposed a split in the most recent mediation session he held, and Fox indicated that a divorce was the only possible resolution when he ended his mediation back in November.  

Teamster's President James Hoffa also called for an end to the merger in a recent letter to UNITE HERE leadership.

Jumping Janice

so if the merger is not working, and HERE continues to hold UNITE members and there assets hostage; then sometimes larger players need to get involved and help defend the rights of UNITE members and assets, and in this context that meant SEIU.

after this is all said and done HERE will shrink and eventually become extinct because they have no ability to handle money.  they will go bankrupt fairly quickly, and SEIU Workers United will organize all around, and finally non-union hospitality workers will finally get a voice on the job.


How do the remaining textile workers from the former UNITE feel about this split, and the union's ongoing push into the service/hospitality industry? I understand the union leadership's desire to build a "base" that can't be easily outsourced. But for the workers themselves, I always wondered if they would be better off joining an industrial union with a stronger focus on trade policy and government procurement issues. Like the Steelworkers, for example. Textile workers would fit well with the union's work in related jurisdictions like paper and forestry, rubber, manufacturing, chemicals, metals and minerals. Seems to me that would bette help them hang onto the jobs they actually have. But as far as I can tell, that option wasn't even considered?

stop raiding

robbie dee,

I'm not sure how much the members were actually consulted during this initial process. It appears, through various media sources, that this was a plan that was developed by Raynor and Stern and then rolled out to the members of the Unite faction. Perhaps Raynor did approach other Union's that would have been more aligned from a jurisdictional perspective (ie USW) but they were opposed (unlike SEIU) to entering into a raiding scenario. Also I think that Raynor knew that legally/constitutionally that he was on shaky ground with the splinter group and needed someone with a very big bat that had a history of 'growth at any cost' - at least in the US.


Can I just point out also that Joe Hansen and Jimmy Hoffa are probably not the most credible opinions to go to on union democracy.

stop raiding

It would appear that this battle will continue for sometime. It is rather a bizarre situation where Raynor has led the secession drive yet remains as the President of UNITE HERE.


"Criminal allegations in union fight"


stop raiding

A copy of the 'Affiliation' agreement between SEIU and the UNITE HERE splinter group is available at:


It will be interesting to see how this flies with the CLC Constitution and whether SEIU will be in violation due to their interference and subsequent affiliation agreement with the UNITE HERE faction.


Seeing as how Unite owned the bank long before the 2004 merger and obviously trusted the merger was for the good of the labour movement, they saw no reason to protect their assets. Sad fact is HERE obviously had an agenda as I've said before and it wasn't for the good of the labour movement. It would seem since HERE is in federal court fighting for control of UNITE'S Amalgamated bank that it, HERE, wasn't in this merger for the member's or the labour movement.. One must also ask since HERE has the majority why then was it on the verge of bankruptcy previous to the 2004 merger???? What were the members dues used for???? As for the SEIU affiliation at least Worker's United learned it's lesson and has protected it's assets.......

In Canada on April 1 2008 Paul Clifford sent a letter that started with "In view of our inability to agree on an equitable continuation of the Merger Agreement we hereby request Ontario Council to return to Local 75 a list of properties". So you see stop raiding this didn't start with Stern or SEIU, this started with HERE wanting to control finances and assets it hadn't earned otherwise why would they be in court fighting for something that wasn't their's in the first place? And sorry to say only became their's because UNITE trusted HERE......So no protection of assets. Stupid of UNITE???? Maybe


stop raiding you really seem to have a cult of the personality thing for the individual leaders in this thing as it is always Raynor this, Stern and Wilhelm that.  I have to say, it really increases the annoyance factor lots of us in the rest of the labour movement have for the soap opera some folks want to make this whole thing into.

robbie_dee's question about whether textile workers will find a home in a service sector union is one of the more interesting ones in the two threads on this subject.  

It seems in Canada that the mixing of manufacturing and service sector workers has been going on for a while now, much more so than in the US. I'm thinking, for instance, of the many Air Canada flight attendants who are in the CAW or the hotel workers who are represented by the Steelworkers, Autoworkers or Machinists.  Obviously Vivienne who I see is now commenting here, is a service worker and seems more comfortable with the former UNITE folks than her previous service sector union HERE.  I think that tells us a lot. This stuff is more about servicing and empowering the members than anything else.

There is real strength in members from different industries coming together in one union but it needs to be a union that works for all members.  Obviously, in the case of UNITE HERE, that didn't happen.  



Did the workers in your shop vote on joining SEIU?

What were the results of the vote?

How many people voted (out of how many total workers)?

What was the percentage in favour of joining SEIU and what was the percentage against?

stop raiding

Willow wrote:

stop raiding you really seem to have a cult of the personality thing for the individual leaders in this thing as it is always Raynor this, Stern and Wilhelm that.  I have to say, it really increases the annoyance factor lots of us in the rest of the labour movement have for the soap opera some folks want to make this whole thing into.

Willow I'm not sure what bubble you live in but my years working in and around the labour movement has opened my eyes to a lot of old guys making deals behind closed doors on behalf of their members. I find it hard to believe that many, who have been following this dispute, don't perceive this as a top-down arrangement absent of real member involvement.  Leadership develop a strategy then roll it out to the members. Granted not all unions operate in this manner but I believe it is quite prevalent within the labour movement. Do you really think that this was a comprehensive educational and consultative process with the members of SEIU or UNITE HERE?

As far as cult of personality leaders - by virtually all-accounts Andy Stern stand heads above the rest as far ramming programs and policies down members throats without adequate consultation. To deny the ego of Stern and the lack of member input into many of his recent interfering activities speaks volumes and I'm surprised that he escapes your criticism - perhaps he will be your future employer and if so I understand why you would be reticent to question his commitment to democratic trade unionism.

3to1 makes an interesting point and willow I would hope at the very least that you would be interested in determining the outcome of the vote.

stop raiding


willow, this is an interesting comment:

"There is real strength in members from different industries coming together in one union..."

I would be interested in people views in regard to the notion of organizing any workers in any sector versus efforts by specific unions to focus on increasing density within respective sectors. CTW attempted to try and define juisdictional areas as these unions saw the value of sectoral organzing as a means of optimizing the power and influence of members within their respective sectors. 


I thought the original UNITE-HERE merger was at odds with the expressed position of the CTW unions regarding jurisdiction and building industrial "density." Rather, the UNITE-HERE mergers appeared to be based more on financial considerations and perceived political and cultural compatibility between the two unions respective leadership and staffs. I'm not necessarily saying its a bad thing, I'm just noting the discrepancy between the words and the actions. Now, almost five years later, the hoped-for "compatibility" between the UNITE and HERE groups has clearly not happened. If we are going to have a "redo" one would think that the jurisdictional issues would be raised again, but it appears they still take a backseat to other considerations.

Frankly, though, I think the whole situation is just sad and counterproductive for working people everywhere.  This isn't really a dispute about workers' interests or the best way to pursue them. This is a dispute about power, personalities and money. I wish everyone involved could step back, take a deep breath, and remind themselves why they became union activists in the first place. Then get back together with the other side and negotiate a fair resolution. 

Jumping Janice

the question of CULT has come up in this discussion.  HERE is very much like a CULT.  this was posted on another thread: thoughts?

i've known of HERE staff going through this practice of pink sheeting and the person Amelia was working in Arizona.

HERE Pink Sheeting and Cult

HERE is nothing but a small cult in the labour movement.

HERE practices something called "pink sheeting", and there is currently a legal case against HERE from former staff and members regarding the practice of pink sheeting.  

Essentially pink sheeting is when HERE Management forces staff and members to tell them about deeply personal matters including family dysfunctions, health and financial troubles, spousal abuse, addictions, and childhood traumas.  These conversations are then written on an HERE pink sheet and it is used to manipulate the staff or member.  If you do not share these personal stories you are FIRED.

This is a quote from a former HERE organizer who was pink sheeted:

"I was forced to share things that had been painful for me in one-on-ones with my supervisor Brendon Walsh and also group staff meetings where I was pushed until I broke down in tears.  I was forced to tell people about my struggles with depression.  Yet I was still told that wasn't deep enough.  My supervisor kept insisting that I must resent my parents, that there must be some dirty family secret I wasn't sharing, that I must have something more personal and diffiucult to share" - Amelia Frank-Vitale, Testimony to Vice President of UNITE HERE

This invasive practice is coercive, despicable, and intolerable.  The BOSSES within HERE Local 75 have been identified to craft and practice this method.  They infact practice pink sheeting on a daily basis in there offices and this is now going to be taking place at the OFL building.  Those of us working at the OFL building should go and investigate this illegal practice of pink sheeting.  


Jumping Janice wrote:

the question of CULT has come up in this discussion.  HERE is very much like a CULT.  this was posted on another thread: thoughts?

My thoughts? You need to back up your allegations with some sort of evidence. If there has been a court case or "testimony" you should preferrably provide links to it if its available online, if not then at least provide some more information as to the location of the court proceeding, parties, court and case name or number. If there's been an internal union proceeding you should indicate when and where that occurred, before what union body, and whether a transcript or report of that proceeding has been published anywhere.

I've never heard of "pink sheeting" and my own google search of the term has turned up nothing besides what you've posted here. It's obviously a disturbing allegation but without any more substantiation it's hard to know what to make of it. I imagine the owners/moderators of this website may have some concerns about the posting of this information, too, at least unless and until you are able to back it up.

Jumping Janice

there is a grievance being heard on the practice of pink sheeting, it is now in the Arbitration stage.  Staff and members are testifying against HERE Bosses for being pink sheeted.  Amelia's quote is from her statement on pink sheeting.

 the arbitration is being carried out in New York City, New York at the UNITE HERE International Headquarters - 275 7th Avenue, New York, New York, USA, 10001

there is nothing online about the practice of pink sheeting, but i am pretty sure more will be spilling out shortly. 

go to this website: http://www.fixourunion.org/soc.html , and it refers to members' privacy being invaded =

"President John Wilhelm is focused on himself, not UNITE HERE members. He funds locals and campaigns that increase his power and financial control. He even uses his power to help “organizers” invade your personal privacy."

the above refers to pink sheeting.

just because there is not something posted online, it does not mean that the practice of pink sheeting exists. pink sheeting is internally embedded within HERE, a lot of is only now being made public.

there is a committee within UNITE that is trying to stop HERE pink sheeting, you can email them here:

The Committee to Stop the Pink Sheet

[email protected]

101 West 23rd Street #141, New York, New York, 10011




@ Jumping Janice

Nice attempt at hijacking a discussion thread. Jumping Janice and Vivienne, I would like you both to answer 3 to 1 Majority's recent questions above, instead of steering into this diversionary topic. 

Interestingly, though, you're unwittingly hitting on the subject of SEIU's interference in UNITE HERE's internal democratic processes. I'm pretty sure the NYC address listed for the 'stop pink sheeting' campaign is the same address affiliated with SEIU's attack leaflets that were distributed in UNITE HERE properties. So why would SEIU be so interested in UNITE HERE's internal staff issues? (rhetorical question, obviously)

It is cynical and dishonest to use the issue of 'pink sheeting' for political purposes.

This thread is about SEIU and UNITE HERE. If you want to start a separate thread about pink sheeting, I invite you to do so.




3 to 1 Majority and TW I don't quite understand why I have to explain how, I do believe, Unions work but we as members elected delegates to represent us. These delegates went to Philidelphia to speak for us. There a committee was formed. They proposed authorizing the Executive Board to vote on a decision to affiliate. The delegates speaking for the MEMBERS approved it.

stop raiding

Vivienne don"t you think something of this magnitude should be decided by the members through a referendum? Didn't members elect delegates to represent them at the UNITE HERE General Council?

stop raiding

robbie_dee wrote:

I thought the original UNITE-HERE merger was at odds with the expressed position of the CTW unions regarding jurisdiction and building industrial "density." Rather, the UNITE-HERE mergers appeared to be based more on financial considerations and perceived political and cultural compatibility between the two unions respective leadership and staffs. I'm not necessarily saying its a bad thing, I'm just noting the discrepancy between the words and the actions. Now, almost five years later, the hoped-for "compatibility" between the UNITE and HERE groups has clearly not happened. If we are going to have a "redo" one would think that the jurisdictional issues would be raised again, but it appears they still take a backseat to other considerations.

You may be right. Certainly UNITE was a dying union from a industry perspective (garment, light manufacturing) while hospitality and gaming had ample opportunities for growth. The UNITE HERE merger would have given UNITE a clear jurisdictional path - hotels, gaming, food/multiservice.

However my understanding was that CTW as a breakaway would place greater emphasis and resources into organizing but doing so in a manner that respected existing jurisdictions. My understanding was that CTW had developed a sector coordinating committee and I was of the assumption that the various members of CTW would focus on their key jurisdictions.

On the surface it does apear to be a merger that would serve both founding entities and allow the new merged entity to increase it's sectoral density. I think some of the key differences were the cultural differences in regards to the models of organizing (bottom-up versus top-down, hot-shopping vs deep committee building) as well as their respective commitments toward industry (or even geographic) density (sectoral union density vs nominal density in various sectors).



You speak of union democracy, so please help us all understand how democracy works in your local union and its new international union.

How many delegates from your particular workplace went to Philadelphia?

How many of your fellow union members work in your workplace?

How did the workers in your workplace select the delegate(s) to the Workers United convention in Philadelphia? 

When did they vote on delegates to a convention in Philadelphia? 

How many workers in your workplace voted?

What were the results of the vote?  Did any workers run unsuccessfully against the winners?

Jumping Janice

the HERE faction - cult is controlled by a bunch of :

racist, white, starbucks drinking, Yale University graduates 

Staff of HERE are just staff, they are mostly graduates of Yale University.  As soon as they start working for HERE, they are hired because John Wilhelm (HERE cult leader) was a Yale grad, they start paying dues and call themselves rank and file members.  From there they hijack the union by running for positions like local president, even though they have never cleaned a hotel room in there lives.  The Yale staff are all white, racist, and drink starbucks. 

In HERE's world - professional staff are forced to become members and then eventually hijack the union from its own members.  In every local election - its staff that vote, just like in Local 75 - professional union staff voted in the professional union staff president, he is not hotel worker or a member, but claims to be president.

Does anyone think this is CORRUPT?

Now lets start speaking of union democracy. 

UNITE HERE or UNITE or HERE or SEIU - none are democratic, so stop pretending that they are.  Some of those entities have various forms of "controlled democracies". 

However, the one thing is that UNITE or SEIU are not cult like.  HERE on the other hand is cult like through there "pink sheeting" and how everyone in there leadership and union come from Yale University. 

by the way, "stop raiding", "tw", "3to1" - seems like all of you are speaking from the same mouth, or should i say keyboard - the practice of "pink sheeting" is very relevant, its emotional blackmail and torture, and its just one of the many differences between UNITE and HERE.   



3 to 1 Majority obviously from my last post I must have explained myself enough that you got the Union democracy out of it so let me add a little to that.......

 As a member, I feel I was informed about the situation.  I had a say in sending delegates to speak on my behalf.  I had the chance to debate and discuss the issue with members across the province and then the chance to go back and inform my membership.  This NEVER happened when I was a part of HERE and didn't even know that people working 20 minutes down the road were my fellow members.  I was never told about meetings let alone given a chance to elect delegates, debate issues, get educated and make up my mind for myself.  That is the difference between HERE and Workers United.  One cares about involving MEMBERS and the other only cared about getting our dues MONEY.



Jumping Janice says that neither UNITE, HERE or SEIU are democratic.  Do you agree?

Jumping Janice says the real difference between these three un-democratic organizations is that, of the three, only HERE is a cult.  Do you agree?

I asked you simple questions with, I assume, factual answers about democracy in your union.  If there is real democracy, why won't you answer?

Public pronouncements about union democracy are nice, but the devil is in the details.


Jumping Janice:

The elected leader of the former-UNITE, now SEIU/Workers United, Ontario Council is Alex Dagg.  She is also the #2 elected officer of the Workers United international union in the U.S. and Canada.

Was she a rank-and-file member before holding elected office?

Or is she just another university-educated "professional staff" of the sort you say "hijack the union from its own members"?

What brand of coffee does she drink?


Jumping Janice and Vivienne, I would like to thank you both for sharing your first-hand experience and opinions as members in these unions. I have learned a lot from your posts, information that I had not come across anywhere else, and which has influenced my own point of view not only regarding your unions' issues, but also my own.

The view from the top is a broader perspective, it is important and helpful, but inevitably there is always some degree of failing to recognize or give credit to the day to day realities that we deal with in the rank and file.


Vivenne and Jumping Janice:

We haven't heard from you two in over two days.  Surely there must be answers to my questions. 

stop raiding

3to1majority wrote:

What brand of coffee does she drink?


I'm not sure of the brand but I bet it ain't fair trade!


I answered your question 3 to 1 Majority. You chose the words Union Democracy from what I ANSWERED. I don't feel the need to explain any more then I have.....HERE is not democratic......Unite, since HERE Local 75 left us hanging without representation has been up front and HONEST with us. We have informed  our members of everything......Haven't had any dealings with SEIU so I wouldn't really know if they're democratic.....

Jumping Janice is correct in her statement that HERE is a cult....I experienced the cult atmosphere last April at their membership meeting...Remember we took a Local 75 member to this meeting. By the way he wasn't informed of his own membership meeting. I also experienced the cult structure in February of this year at a meeting. Paul Clifford pointed to each person he wanted to speak and yes he had more people there then the few he LET speak. They went to the mike with memo's in their hands and in fact one actually said "I'm going off script here..." We from the Dissidents got up on our own and spoke at the mike no-one pointed to anyone and NOONE had to go off SCRIPT.

The fact still remains HERE started this whole mess with their greed which they put before any member.....Proven by the fact they're in court fighting for assets they didn't bring into the OLD MERGER.....Instead of moving on and representing their members.

By the way I am a rank and file member, I do work and not Monday to Friday. I am a steward and do have issues to deal with at work....Maybe that'll explain why I haven't posted in two days. Something else I shouldn't have had to explain.

Jumping Janice

viv - well said sister!


Congratulations to Vivienne and her local on their first organizing victory for their new union - Workers United.


I know in an earlier thread on this subject, there were people criticizing Viv and her local for the I Stand with Diane campaign and others who came out and talked about how important this type of campaign was for workers in Ontario. 

I say congrats to the Workers United for sticking with this campaign.  It was clear from the previous post that the HERE side would never have tried to organize this place in the first place, let alone run this kind of creative campaign to draw attention to the real problems with this province's labour legislation after the worker was fired.  Good work Vivienne to you and your local and I am thrilled for Diane, whose bravery should be an inspiration to all of us in the labour movement.


Thank you Jumping Janice and Willow....Yes we at Workers United Local 2347 are extremely impressed with the strength, courage and stamina Diane showed through this campaign... It maybe a small shop but it is now ORGANIZED. Even although there's alot of internal political b s going on we still are managing to ORGANIZE and take care of our members. Before I'm asked how many new members and how much it cost to do this let me answer....Does it really matter???? No, what matters is not in the numbers organized but that the unorganized are getting organized.....



Duck and dodge all you like, but you still have not answered basic questions to support your claim that your union is democratic.

Which of your members voted to join SEIU?

When did they elect delegates to go to the convention in Philadelphia?

Simple questions, simple answers.


Jumping Janice:

If you left UNITE HERE because leaders of the former-HERE are university grads who were not first rank-and-file members, why do you follow Alex Dagg and Bruce Raynor?

Alex Dagg: Queen's University Bachelor of Commerce in 1984, MIR degree from the U. of Toronto Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources in 1988.  Started with the union in 1985.

Bruce Raynor: Ivy League Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations in 1972.  Started with the union in 1973.


Vivienne wrote:
3 to 1 Majority and TW I don't quite understand why I have to explain how, I do believe, Unions work but we as members elected delegates to represent us. These delegates went to Philadelphia to speak for us. There a committee was formed. They proposed authorizing the Executive Board to vote on a decision to affiliate. The delegates speaking for the MEMBERS approved it.

 3to1 Majority here is my direct quote above. You ask


Duck and dodge all you like, but you still have not answered basic questions to support your claim that your union is democratic.

Once again your words "your union is democratic". As I said obviously I explained it well enough for you to call our union democratic. Why then do I have to get into the numbers if YOU already STATED OUR UNION IS DEMOCRATIC???????

 If you were a part of the faction that left UNITE HERE you'd know all the technicalities.....Obviously you're not. Why are you having a problem understanding the MERGER is over. Is it because HERE had a 3 to Unite 1 Majority and you believe majority rules???? HERE was in it for the money and are proving it by going after assets that they didn't build but acquired in a merger.

If as I've said it wasn't about the money HERE should be moving on. Getting on with representing their members, organizing the unorganized. After all Worker's United is and has.