Labor leaders and elected officials vow to appeal limited award in SEIU’s lawsuit against union reformers

April 9th, 2010

“Tens of thousands of healthcare workers are organizing with NUHW for a real voice at work and a democratic voice in their union, and that will continue in spite of this verdict. These reformers stood up for workers’ right to vote when SEIU tried to take it away, and that’s the only thing they’re guilty of.”
Dolores Huerta, United Farm workers co-founder

“Watching this trial has made me so proud to be part of NUHW. Our elected leaders took an oath to represent the members who elected them, not SEIU officials in Washington, D.C. They did exactly what the members asked them to do. They knew SEIU would target them personally and they still had the courage to do what was right.”
Brenda Washington, LVN, San Francisco Community Convalescent

Attorneys for the defendants will ask the judge to set aside the jury’s verdict, and if the judge does not, they will appeal the decision to the Court of Appeals.

NUHW was founded by former SEIU members in January 2009, after SEIU’s hostile takeover of it’s most successful California affiliate, United Healthcare Workers-West (UHW). Within months, more than 100,000 UHW members had petitioned for elections to quit SEIU and join NUHW. SEIU responded with a lawsuit against the new union and 28 former UHW staff and officers.

For more than a year, SEIU’s Washington, D.C. officials have publicly accused these union reformers of an ever-changing list of allegations that they claimed would be proven at trial. Instead, the trial showed most of SEIU’s claims were false. SEIU originally sued for $25 million but won just a tiny fraction of SEIU’s own legal costs from the jury, after spending more than $10 million in members’ dues on four separate law firms to make their case.

Read more about the claims that were abandoned by SEIU or rejected by the court, and the specific damages awarded by the jury.