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LIUNA Local 183
LIUNA to Fight Fire with Fire After SEIU Raid and ...
LIUNA to Fight Fire with Fire After SEIU Raid and Attack on Local 183 Election
7/19/2011 2:33:42 PM

LIUNA to Fight Fire with Fire

After SEIU Raid and Attack on Local 183 Election

LIUNA is embroiled in a war with SEIU, whose Local 2 has attempted to undermine election results at LIUNA Local 183 in Toronto.

In a democratically run election for Local 183 Executive Board members on June 18, more than 7,000 members cast ballots, voting to remove all incumbent officers. The defeated officers appealed the results but they were affirmed by the Ontario Labour Relations Board after a recount.

Rather than respect the vote of the proud Local 183 members, SEIU Local 2, a Toronto Building Services local, teamed with the outgoing Executive Board to subvert the election. Even though Local 183 field representatives were already card-carrying members of LIUNA, the defeated Executive Board negotiated a contract with SEIU Local 2 before leaving office. There was no organizing drive among staff. In fact, SEIU Local 2 met with the losing officers in secret to write a collective bargaining agreement. The intent was not to protect the voice and rights of Local 183 employees, but rather to retain staff loyal to the outgoing administration, not the members.

“This is a travesty of trade union democracy and an outrageous interference in LIUNA affairs. SEIU Local 2 is acting like a cheese-eating rat,” LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan said. “They think they can steal the election through a phony collective bargaining agreement negotiated without notice to members or newly elected officers. We will fight fire with fire. If it’s a fight they want, it’s a war they’ll get.”

O’Sullivan noted that SEIU has shown itself more than willing to meddle in the politics of other unions in the past, as when SEIU interfered in the internal politics of UniteHERE. “That created outrage throughout the labor movement and LIUNA reacted quickly to condemn that interference. So here we go again.”

“SEIU Local 2 must get the message loud and clear that they are not welcome in our union,” he said. “This is our union and we don’t want SEIU Local 2 in it in any way, shape or form.”

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