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SF Labor Council Raucous Meeting Protests SEIU Raid On Unite-Here
Date 09/04/21/23:28

SF Labor Council Raucous Meeting Protests SEIU Pres Stern's Raid On Unite-Here-Unanimous Vote To Condemn SEIU International Raid On Unite-Here
Steve Zeltzer

In a well attended raucous meeting on April 13, 2009  of the San Francisco Labor Council representing nearly all the unions in San Francisco unanimously endorsed a resolution condemning the raid by Andy Stern and the SEIU International on Unite-Here throughout the country and also declared support for any SEIU local that "stands in opposition to this violation of union principles and practice. They also voted to rescind a resolution calling on the Secretary Treasurer Tim Paulson to write a letter to the SF Board Of Supervisors that the council believed that the 113 Steuart St. ILA headquarters where the San Francisco 1934 general strike took place was a historic site. Also despite pressure from the San Francisco Police Officers Association, the council by a vote of 45 to 40 refused to rescind a resolution calling on California Attorney General Jerry Brown to drop decades old criminal charges against radical Black activists called the SF 8.
The meeting was one of the most intense in some time as San Francisco Unite Here Local 2 president Mike Casey in a dramatic statement charged that the SEIU raid on his union had threatened all the work the members had done in order to get a national contract with the major hotel chains. The union had waited for years to sign a contract so their expiration dates would coincide with the expiration dates of other local's chain hotels around the country. Casey was joined by many other SEIU rank and file delegates who said they were angered and appalled by the use of their union dues to finance a raid on another union that was fighting for their members. Olga Miranda who is also the leader of SEIU Local 87 of the San Francisco janitors did not speak at the meeting but resolution had been previously introduced by her to support any SEIU local that opposed these raids. SEIU Local 87 janitors decertified twice in the past ten years before they were able to win back control of their local from SEIU president Andy Stern who wanted to merge their local into the statewide SEIU Local 1877.
Domita Davis Howard who is the Stern appointed Executive Secretary of the 50,000 member SEIU 1021 had boycotted the meeting although she was on the SFLC Executive Board and was aware that this motion would be coming up. Not one delegate of the over 100 delegates who attended got up to oppose the resolution and it was adopted unanimously. Included were the other members of Stern's Change to Win unions including the UBC Carpenters, UFCW and Teamsters who were also in the meeting.This action as well was not unique to San Francisco since similar resolutions have passed in the South Bay Labor Council and other Northern California labor councils as well as the Seattle Labor Council.
The frontal rebuff to the International SEIU and Andy Stern's efforts to raid Unite-Here is a significant sign that the SEIU International is danger of becoming totally isolated in California and event threatening the continued power it has in the California labor movement as local after local bolts from the Stern operation.
The meeting also had a sharp debate about rescinding a resolution that directed the SF Labor Council Secretary Treasurer Tim Paulson to send a letter to the Board Of Supervisors that the 113 Steuart Building in San Francisco which was the ILA headquarters during the 1934 general strike. The developer Gerald Hines had proposed to demolish the building and build a ten story building. The developer had hired a historian who initially had reported that this site had no historical significance. In the discussion that was held Michael Theriault who is head of the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades reported to the delegates that he thought the delegates had introduced the resolution when he was not at the meeting in a "sneak" attack. He then  said that it was indeed a historical site but that the ILWU International was in favor of the demolishment and that the developer had been duplicitous but that was the way it was and there would be no construction jobs unless you had duplicitous developers. He then launched an attack on the longshore workers saying that they had helped the greatest union buster and outsourcer in the country Wal-Mart by continuing to move products being shipped by Wal-Mart and this showed that even them were duplicitous.
This argument unfortunately was not answered by the delegates and instead ILWU Local 6 delegate Leroy King and head of the Northern California Council of the Northern California ILWU that he was in favor of rescinding the resolution and had invited the construction trades and other to attend the next meeting of their council.
The motion to rescind this motion passed in part because there were no delegates of ILWU Local 10 and ILWU Local 34 who were supporting the building from demolition did not speak. Video from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors hearing is at
Another important and bitterly fought struggle was the effort to rescind the resolution backing the SF 8. These eight former Black activists were targeted by the Bush administration and California Attorney Jerry Brown after more than 30 years for a murder of a policeman in San Francisco. Delegate Gloria La Riva reported to the council that a confession was exerted by two days of torture of two of the members by the New Orleans police with the participation of San Francisco policeman. Others pointed out that this was a political witch hunt and that these activists were union members including of the IBEW and other unions and had contributed to society for many years.
After an extended debate the resolution was defeated in a close vote. The growing internal war in the labor movement and the failure of the trade unions to mobilize their members against the growing attack on working people is creating anger among union members who want their unions to use their power to fight for jobs and justice on the job and in the street.
SFLC Resolution Opposed to SEIU’s Attempted Hostile Takeover 
of UNITE HERE and its Jurisdiction 
Whereas an internal dispute within UNITE HERE over constitutional reform and union democracy has led 
to a minority faction within the union to secede, in violation of the International Constitution; and 
Whereas SEIU has seized on this division within UNITE HERE as an opportunity to raid UNITE HERE’s 
members and jurisdiction; and 
Whereas an affiliation agreement between SEIU and this secessionist faction provides for organizing in 
UNITE HERE’s traditional jurisdiction, namely hotels, gaming, and food service; and  
Whereas slick mailings, followed up with live and automated phone calls have encouraged UNITE HERE 
members in cities across North America (including San Francisco) to leave UNITE HERE and join a “new 
union” which is an affiliate of SEIU; and 
Whereas SEIU’s reprehensible behavior not only undermines UNITE HERE’s local unions now preparing 
for industry-wide negotiations in Atlantic City, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, but also will be 
exploited by anti-union corporations and interest groups opposed to the Employee Free Choice Act; and  
Whereas the actions of SEIU International leadership threatens longstanding cooperative relationships 
and undermines solidarity between UNITE HERE locals and SEIU locals; 
Therefore be it Resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council: 
1. Condemns the intervention in the internal concerns of UNITE HERE by President Andy Stern and top 
SEIU leadership, and their actions designed to attack and weaken UNITE HERE; 
2. Condemns the campaign being waged against UNITE HERE and its locals with the reliance on 
corporate-type anti-union tactics; 
3. Demands that SEIU cease all actions and/or support in raids of gaming, hotel and food service 
bargaining units and publicly acknowledge UNITE HERE’s organizing jurisdiction in these areas 
across North America; 
4. Encourages SEIU local leaders, members and staff to repudiate the SEIU affiliation agreement that 
seeks to steal UNITE HERE’s jurisdiction and denies UNITE HERE a future; 
5. Directs the Council’s Executive Director to send a copy of this resolution to Andy Stern, Anna Burger 
and the Change to Win leadership, the SEIU International Executive Board, and John Sweeney and 
the AFL-CIO Executive Committee. 
6. Urges the California Labor Federation and other Labor Councils and bodies throughout the nation to 
adopt the same position as this Council. 


Submitted by Mike Casey, UNITE HERE 2, and adopted by the Executive Committee of the San 
Francisco Labor Council by acclamation on April 6, 2009 and unanimously by the Delegate Body of the 
San Francisco Labor Council on April 13, 2009. 


Tim Paulson 
Executive Director
Resolution on SEIU Locals and SFLC Support 
Whereas, the San Francisco Labor Council has taken a position opposing the 
Andy Stern-led attack on UNITE H ERE,  
Therefore be it Resolved, that the San Francisco Labor Council offers its 
support to any SEIU local that stands in opposition to this violation of union 
principles and practice. 
Resolution submitted by Olga Miranda, SEIU 87 and adopted by the 
Executive Committee of the San Francisco Labor Council on April 6, 2009. 
Tim Paulson 
Executive Director 
Resolution Calling for Attorney General Jerry Brown to Dismiss All 
Charges against the San Francisco 8 Defendants 
Whereas, Herman Bell, Ray Boudreaux, Richard Brown, Henry (Hank) Jones, Jalil 
Muntaquim (Anthony Bottom), Harold Taylor and Francisco Torres, seven men 
collectively known as the San Francisco 8 defendants [charges having been dropped 
against Richard O’Neal], are a group of community activists who have devoted their 
lives to serving their communities and making a difference, and are fathers, 
grandfathers; and 
Whereas, all of these men were members or associates of the Black Panther Party for 
Self-Defense (BPP), a primary target of the FBI’s unconstitutional COINTELPRO 
program in the late 1960s and early ‘70s, a program designed to disrupt and destroy a 
number of progressive organizations in many United States cities; and 
Whereas, in 1973, three Black activists – including one of the defendants – were 
arrested in New Orleans and tortured by local police, and interrogated by two San 
Francisco police detectives at intervals between the torture, which lasted several days, 
during which the three men were separated from each other, stripped naked, covered 
with wool blankets soaked in boiling water, beaten with slapjacks, suffocated with 
plastic bags tied over their heads, sleep deprived, kicked, beaten, shocked with 
electric cattle prods on their genitals, anus and under the neck; and 
Whereas, statements resulting from the New Orleans torture were used to bring 
charges in the mid-1970s in several jurisdictions (including charges for the 1971 
killing of a San Francisco police officer); all of these charges were dismissed when 
the judges learned that these ‘confessions’ had been coerced under torture; and 
Whereas, in 2007, after 36 years, the prosecution re-filed the charges against the San 
Francisco 8 based on the same tortured ‘confessions’ illegally obtained in 1973. By 
September 2007, six of the eight who were eligible for bail were released thanks to 
the support of their families and supporters, who saw the case as a continuation of the 
COINTELPRO attack on the Black liberation movement; and 
Whereas, this case was reopened based on questionable claims of "new" evidence; 
Whereas, the San Francisco District Attorney’s office declined to renew the 
prosecution of these  community activists, but the California Attorney General 
imposed the current prosecution of this case, and the jail and court costs of potentially 
millions of tax dollars to be incurred by the City of San Francisco, 
Therefore be it Resolved, that in the name of fairness, justice and human rights – and 
to express our outrage that this prosecution based on coercion and tortured 
‘confessions’ in this 36-year-old case would be allowed to proceed – the San 
Francisco Labor Council calls on California Attorney General Jerry Brown to drop all 
charges against the San Francisco 8 defendants and 
Be it Finally Resolved that this resolution be forwarded to affiliates for concurrence and action. 
Submitted by Davis Welsh, NALC 214, and adopted by the San Francisco Labor Council on 
February 9, 2009.  
Tim Paulson 
Executive Director 

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