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Court Slaps Former Officials of SEIU-UHW with Preliminary Injunction After Finding They 'Filched' and 'Sabotaged' Union Property in Effort to Create a New Union
Date:7/27/2009

Despite Negative Impact on Members, Sal Rosselli and Others Tried to Make their Former Union "Ungovernable," U.S. District Court Judge Finds

OAKLAND, Calif., July 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A U.S. District Court judge for the Northern District of California today granted SEIU-UHW members a preliminary injunction against the local union's former officers and agents, finding that they "filched" and "sabotaged" files, records, and union property as part of their plan to form a new union.

After being ousted from the union for, among other things, transferring $3 million in members' dues money to a bogus non-profit organization for their own use, former SEIU-UHW President Sal Rosselli and other top union officials formed a new organization, the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW).

"Upon leaving UHW, the individual defendants took and reproduced UHW property for use at NUHW and destroyed other UHW property in an effort to hamstring their soon-to-be competitor," wrote U.S. District Judge William Alsup.

"The ousted officers purposely tried to undermine the very members they now say they want to represent," said Dave Regan, who was named trustee of SEIU-UHW when the former officers were removed. "They stole documents. They destabilized contracts. They left a lot of hardworking healthcare providers vulnerable at a time when California was in an economic crisis."

Judge Alsup found that Rosselli and the other officials had a scheme to "disrupt union operations so as to make the situation ungovernable" and, as they launched a new and competing union, "filch[ed] or sabotag[ed] UHW property and information or aid[ed] and abett[ed] others in doing so."

The court also found that, in addition to this scheme, Rosselli and his agents "deleted files on their UHW computers on a massive scale," and that Rosselli -- in direct contradiction to his sworn testimony at a previous court hearing -- himself deleted more than 12,000 files from his computer. The defendants have still not returned essential bargaining, grievance and arbitration files to the members of SEIU-UHW, the court found, particularly files relating to bargaining and grievances among hospitals in the Sutter and Kaiser hospital systems, and for nursing homes represented by SEIU-UHW.

The defendants charged by the order include Sal Rosselli, Jorge Rodriguez, Joan Emslie, John Borsos, John Vellardita, Gabe Kristal, Paul Kumar, Martha Figueroa, Barbara Lewis, Phyllis Willett, Daniel Martin, Laura Kurre, Ralph Cornejo, Will Clayton, Glenn Goldstein, Fred Seavey, Mark Kipfer, Aaron Brickman, Ian Selden, Gail Buhler, Freja Nelson, Andrew Reid, National Union of Healthcare Workers.

SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is the largest hospital and healthcare union in the western United States with more than 150,000 members. We unite every type of healthcare worker with a mission to achieve high-quality healthcare for all. More at: www.seiu-uhw.org.


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SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West
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