Last week, the State Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit in the Thurston County Superior Court against the Service Employees International Union 775NW (SEIU 775) and its political action committee (SEIU 775 PAC). The AG alleges that SEIU 775 and SEIU 775 PAC have violated campaign law by failing “to timely and properly file reports of in-kind and monetary contributions as required under the state’s campaign finance laws.
The lawsuit brings to mind SEIU 775’s sordid past involving hidden truths, lies and all-around sketchy behavior. Here are three times SEIU 775 was recently caught behaving badly:
- SEIU 775 lying to workers of the constitutional rights, namely the right to opt-out of union membership.
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Harris vs. Quinn that IPs who are paid by Medicaid funds are not state employees. Therefore, IPs cannot be compelled to pay union dues and fees if they do not wish to join a union.
However, that ruling did not stopped SEIU from telling IPs otherwise. This summer, a video surfaced that exposed how a union representative used state-mandated, taxpayer-funded training sessions to mislead a class of IPs into believing membership in SEIU 775 was mandatory. This was one of many reported incidents of SEIU 775 representatives deliberately lying to those it claims as members.
- SEIU 775 actively discouraging workers from exercising their constitutional rights.
SEIU 775 reached an entirely new level of hiding the truth of Harris v. Quinn from its approximately 33,000 workers when it began actively working to persuade individual providers to sign away their constitutional rights via a letter campaign. After making an appeal to stand with “our bargaining team for better care for our clients,” the letter asks providers to fill out an enclosed membership form, which—conveniently—is already filled out for the recipients.
The fine print of the form authorizes the union to deduct from the wages of signers “all Union dues and other fees or assessments as shall be certified by 775NW…” By signing the form, providers also limit themselves to any future ability to rescind said authorization. Worse, the fine print of the letter prevents signers from taking “legal action against the union for its unconstitutional actions” should they find the need to do so at any point.
- SEIU 775’s use of union dues to campaign for a $15 minimum wage and promote its hidden agenda.
SEIU 755 is spending a staggering amount of money to fund the “Fight for $15” in cities across our state. Last year, SEIU spent a whopping $23 million to fund the national campaign—that’s money spent to fight for a $15 minimum wage rather than to “represent their current members and negotiate higher pay and improved benefits.”
SEIU is promoting the $15 minimum wage for one reason: increase its take of union dues. Since negotiated collective bargaining agreements are indexed to minimum wage hikes, a higher minimum wage means new contracts mean even higher wages. That, in turn, translates into higher union dues.
Additionally, a $15 minimum wage would increase SEIU’s membership rosters due to the law’s exemption of big labor. The high minimum wage creates “a model where employers are faced with the prospect of paying a higher wage, or allowing a union to organize their employees.” The $15 minimum wage incentivizes unionization as a low cost option for employers to avoid paying the otherwise mandated benefits.