Today, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation President Mark Mix formally asked the Department of Labor, the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney of Michigan, and the Office of Labor-Management Standards to investigate serious allegations of financial wrongdoing by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) affiliate Healthcare Michigan (HCMI). Foundation staff attorneys are providing free legal aid to workers at Sinai-Grace Hospital who are seeking a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decertification vote whether to remove HCMI officials from their workplace.
About the time the workers filed their second decertification petition to end the union’s so-called “representation” of the bargaining unit, the SEIU International announced it was putting the local into trusteeship due to serious and longstanding wrongdoing by local union officials. In her letter announcing the decision to take over the local, SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry concluded that there are “substantiated allegations of serious financial malpractice” and other issues of impropriety at HCMI.
Citing the SEIU’s trusteeship announcement, the National Right to Work Foundation President demanded that officials at the Department of Justice and Department of Labor also investigate HCMI union officials for illegally abusing their power, committing financial misdeeds, and possibly filing false reports with the Labor Department: “Any internal SEIU International investigation will be insufficient. There is a long history of union officials attempting to ignore or downplay corruption in their own ranks.”
The Sinai-Grace Hospital workers’ first petition seeking a vote to oust HCMI union officials was blocked after the NLRB sided with union lawyers in interpreting ambiguous union contract language to find that petition untimely. The sloppy contract language was negotiated by the union officials whom the SEIU International has now removed from power for, among other things, apparent malfeasance in properly accounting for how they spent workers’ dues money.
Undeterred by that NLRB ruling, the workers filed a second decertification petition after the contract with the vague language expired, again with sufficient number of signatures of Sinai-Grace Hospital employees to trigger the vote. NLRB Region 07 is expected to set dates to begin a decertification vote in the very near future.
“These latest developments show why these workers should not have been blocked in their earlier attempt to have a vote to oust HCMI from their workplace,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “Union officials frequently look the other way when confronted with wrongdoing by others within the union hierarchy, so it is telling that even an SEIU International top boss says HCMI officials are unfit to run the local.”
“This situation demonstrates that it is time to end Big Labor’s government-granted power to impose its so-called ‘representation’ on workers who don’t want anything to do with a union,” continued Mix. “Rank-and-file workers should not have to navigate the NLRB’s labyrinth of rules for decertification elections just to escape an unwanted union, and individual workers should be allowed to decide for themselves whether to have a union represent them.”