Victory for Reformers -- Judge Tosses Out SEIU's Nuisance Lawsuit Against California Members

Thursday, July 24, 2008 General News J E 4
U.S. District Court dismisses all claims against members of United Healthcare Workers-West

LOS ANGELES, July 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- All charges in a lawsuit by the Washington D.C.-based Service Employees International Union (SEIU), SEIU President Andrew Stern and Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger against local union members in California were dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge John F. Walter on Tuesday.

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 from 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.

"This was a PR stunt by the DC headquarters of SEIU to try to silence reformers within the union," said Rosie Byers, a homecare worker for 30 years and member of the UHW Executive Board targeted by the lawsuit.

"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."

The lawsuit was filed one month before SEIU's quadrennial convention, where delegates from SEIU's local unions met in June to vote on policies and elected leaders. In the months leading up to the convention, UHW members had publicly advocated for democratic reforms that would have prevented secret "sweetheart deals" by ensuring members would have a say in all agreements with employers. SEIU President Andrew Stern, Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger and other union officials in Washington, D.C. opposed these changes.

The 150,000-member SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West is the largest, fastest-growing hospital and healthcare union in the western United States and represents every type of healthcare worker, including nurses, professional, technical and service classifications. Our mission is to achieve high-quality healthcare for all.


Sadie Crabtree, 323-365-2083

SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West


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