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The SEIU’s Counter-Espionage Campaign ... Against Its Own Members

Posted By Ryan O'Donnell On May 14, 2009 @ 3:23 pm In Economics | Comments Disabled

For some time now, it’s been clear that Organized Labor—and the SEIU in particular—is adamantly opposed to allowing its members to have any say over union representation. Thanks to a lawsuit filed against the SEIU, new details are surfacing that demonstrate the lengths to which big labor is willing to go to quash dissent amongst its membership.

The lawsuit [1] filed by the OSO Group, an international security company that bills itself as the “first commercial counter-espionage group established in the private sector,” alleges that the SEIU owes the company $2.2 million in “bills for surveillance and security services.” What sort of threat was the SEIU facing that it needed to spend millions of dollars on a counter-espionage group? Apparently, its own members.

According to the lawsuit, the SEIU retained OSO in order to help place SEIU–United Health Care Workers (UHW) (an affiliate union of SEIU) in trusteeship. Such assistance included stationing OSO agents – some visibly toting guns [2] – outside UHW’s offices and intimidating UHW staff by “photographing and videotaping them” as they entered and exited their building.

Such intimidation tactics apparently weren’t sufficient: the lawsuit also alleged that the SEIU “directed the OSO Group to conduct ‘a security and surveillance operation’ targeting thousands of members who attended five SEIU-UHW membership meetings on January 24, 2009.” [3] It should come as little surprise that the SEIU was so concerned about these particular meetings: union members were meeting to discuss SEIU demands that the SEIU-UHW transfer “its 65,000 long-term care members to a new union without first providing these members with a democratic vote on the matter.” (Ibid.) The SEIU was opposed to giving rank-and-file members a democratic vote? Anyone else experiencing déjà vu here. [4]

SEIU officials are spending millions of dollars to intimidate and spy on its own membership. And where does that money come from? Union membership dues.

That’s right: SEIU members are actually paying to be intimidated by gun-toting counter-espionage agents. And the Unions wonder why public support for card check dried up so quickly.


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/05/14/the-seiu%e2%80%99s-counter-espionage-campaign-against-its-own-members/

URLs in this post:

[1] lawsuit: http://nuhw.squarespace.com/eblast/blastimages/OsoVsSEIULawsuit5-1-09.pdf

[2] some visibly toting guns: http://nuhw.squarespace.com/eblast/blastimages/SEIUDetectives.html

[3] “directed the OSO Group to conduct ‘a security and surveillance operation’ targeting thousands of members who attended five SEIU-UHW membership meetings on January 24, 2009.”: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/05/06/18593215.php

[4] Anyone else experiencing déjà vu here.: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Labor/bg2175.cfm

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