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SEIU-UHW Trusteeship Now Presumed Invalid Under Federal Law

Friday, July 30, 2010 General News J E 4
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Union members file suit as officials refuse to hold elections after 18 months

OAKLAND, Calif., July 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nine members of SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West have filed a lawsuit against SEIU International and Trustees Dave Regan and Eliseo Medina for refusing to hold elections to return control of the local union to its members.

Federal law gives national unions the power to take control of local unions and put themselves in charge for 18 months without holding elections. SEIU's trusteeship began on January 27, 2009, yet 18 months later the union has not scheduled elections or even approved a constitution and bylaws to protect members' rights.

Title 29 of the United States Code Section 464(c) provides that

"After the expiration of eighteen months the trusteeship shall be presumed invalid...and its discontinuance shall be decreed unless the labor organization shall show by clear and convincing proof that the continuation of the trusteeship is necessary for a purpose allowable under section 462..."

Healthcare workers' lawsuit seeks to end the invalid trusteeship and restore members' democratic rights. The nine plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Roseanne Deminico, Tyrone Dickens, Richard Marlowe, Juan Antonio Molina, Nicholas Palafox, Toni Rangel, Starla Rollins, Mykele Saunders, and Martha Vazquez. They are represented by the Oakland law firm Siegel and Yee.

"SEIU's trustees took over our union, removed our stewards, botched contract negotiations, and now they want to stay in power by ignoring our legal rights," said Starla Rollins, an MCH Biller Coordinator at Catholic Healthcare West in San Bernardino.

"They can't avoid accountability any longer."

SOURCE Siegel and Yee

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