Statement By NUHW President Sal Rosselli on Conviction of California SEIU Leader Tyrone Freeman on All Counts of Corruption

Press ReleasesJanuary 29, 2013

EMERYVILLE — Tyrone Freeman, who personifies the Service Employees International Union’s top-down arrogant style of leadership and a pervasive culture of corruption, was convicted today of embezzling more than a million dollars of members’ dues money.

This conviction is a vindication of the leaders and members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers who were forced out of SEIU for raising questions about corruption and their refusal of an order from then-SEIU president Andy Stern with the support of current SEIU president Mary Kay Henry and SEIU United Healthcare Workers president Dave Regan to have 65,000 California homecare workers handed over to Freeman‘s SEIU Local 6434.

It is outrageous that Freeman funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars of union members’ dues to his relatives, paid for his wedding and entertained celebrities with expensive wine and cigars, while his hard-working members were cheated out of decent healthcare benefits and went without raises. For most, their phone calls to the union went unanswered. It’s even more outrageous that top officials in SEIU were made aware of financial problems in 6434 and its predecessor union years before this scandal broke publicly and did nothing to prevent this catastrophe because Freeman was blindly loyal to the leadership of SEIU.

Local 6434 of SEIU, known as the United Long Term Care Workers, had more than 160,000 members under Freeman’s control. He was appointed to run this local by SEIU’s national leaders. SEIU’s structure and undemocratic practices are responsible for creating Freeman and allowing him to operate unchecked. Thousands of California healthcare workers have left or are leaving SEIU because of the corrupt practices Freeman personifies and the SEIU structure that both created and supported him.