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SEIU IEB Unanimously Adopts Secretary Marshall's Report; UHW Given 5 Days to Comply with Union's Democratic Process and Decisions
Date:1/22/2009

Report Confirms UHW Engagement in Financial Malpractice, Lays Out Recommendations to Protect Members and Offers Opportunity for UHW and SEIU to Work Together for Change

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In his Report and Recommendations issued last night to the International President on the trusteeship matter involving United Healthcare Workers - West ("UHW" or "UHW-W"), former Secretary of Labor Ray Marshall, the outside hearing officer, found that "Leaders of the UHW did engage in financial malpractice and undermined democratic procedures..." and there are grounds for trusteeship.

Accordingly, Secretary Marshall recommends "that a trustee be appointed at UHW-W if that organization fails to comply with the following conditions [provided below]." After reviewing the recommendations, the International Executive Board (IEB) unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the report's recommendations and authorizing the International President to impose a trusteeship upon UHW-W if the following conditions, laid out by Marshall, are not met:

1. "Within 5 days of receiving my report and the decision of the International Executive Board, UHW-W must confirm in writing to the International President and me that UHW-W will abide by the International Executive Board's decision on long-term care in California, will fully cooperate with the implementation of that decision and will not use any UHW-W resources to undermine or interfere with the implementation of the decision."

2. "Thereafter, UHW-W must continue to abide by the International Executive Board's decision on long-term care in California, fully cooperate with the implementation of that decision and not use any UHW-W resources to undermine and interfere with the implementation of the decision."

3. "Within one week of receiving my report and the decision of the International Executive Board, UHW-W must mail to all of its members, post on its website and bulletin boards a copy of my report and the decision of the International Executive Board."

4. "To the extent possible, UHW-W must purge its database to the satisfaction of the International President of all of the names which came from the International Union's Convention database."

5. "UHW-W must cooperate fully with the monitor appointed by the International President to review in advance all expenditures of UHW-W."

6. "UHW-W must abide by the International Union Constitution and Bylaws and all of the orders of the International President and the International Executive Board rendered pursuant to the Constitution and Bylaws."

"If these conditions are not fully complied with," Secretary Marshall "recommend[s] that a trusteeship be imposed on UHW-W."

Secretary Marshall's conditions were set after his report laid out the following findings on prohibited actions taken by UHW-W Leadership:

  • Secretary Marshall found that "Leaders of the UHW did engage in financial malpractice and undermined democratic procedures when they transferred UHW funds to a nonprofit organization to be used in contests with the International Union."
  • Secretary Marshall found that "UHW's leaders wrongfully converted the International Union Convention delegate database, and hid from the International the movement of $500,000 to an attorney's trust account to fund contests with the International Union."
  • Secretary Marshall found that "this [trusteeship] hearing and the [International Executive Board's] jurisdiction decisions were not initiated to retaliate against the UHW for its aggressive criticisms of International leaders' policies and strategies."
  • Secretary Marshall found that "the International President had reason to believe that a trusteeship hearing was necessary to protect the SEIU and UHW membership."
  • Secretary Marshall found that "no democratic labor organization can permit local unions to nullify International decisions reached through the democratic processes specified in their Constitution and Bylaws."

The International Executive Board reviewed and debated the Secretary Marshall's Report and Recommendations at its meeting today. They unanimously adopted a formal resolution endorsing the report and recommendations, and they authorized the International President to impose a trusteeship upon UHW-W if the conditions are not met. SEIU leaders believe this is a moment of history to change this country, and we believe this decision offers an opportunity to join together everyone in SEIU to change America. The Board's resolution and Secretary Marshall's full report are available at http://www.seiu.org/strongertogether

With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers -- not just corporations and CEOs -- benefit from today's global economy.


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SOURCE Service Employees International Union
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