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Santa Cruz Indymedia

News :: Labor & Economics


July 15, 2003

Thomas Balanoff, President
Local 1, SEIU
111 East Wacker Drive, Suite 2500
Chicago, IL 60601

Dear Mr. Balanoff:

I am in receipt of your letter dated 6/16/03 announcing your idea for a federation of security unions, and the proposed September meeting in Chicago. It begins in part with the line "I write to you as a fellow security officers' union leader". Though not the first lie you and your despicable organization have spewed, it's time to set the record straight. You are not the leader of a security officer union. You are the Local President of a mixed union, spending more time attacking legitimate 9(b)(3) security unions than servicing the unfortunate service employees it currently claims to represent. The non-impressive Security/Division title granted you by the SEIU is only that, a title; and your idea for a "federation" as you well know is three years behind what the SPFPA has already accomplished. In January 2000, the SPFPA announced the formation of the National Alliance of Police, Security and Corrections Organizations (NAPSCO), an alliance of security unions for the purpose of improving the security industry through legislation, training and mutual support. I'm sure this is not news to you, as I personally shared it with your newly seized puppet-union, UGSOA, and its supposed President J. Vissar in March of 2000 in Colorado. I also shared it with the former International Union of Security Officers (IUSO) Executive Board at a meeting they requested in California prior to your questionable takeover of that union, and with your own California SEIU representative at a meeting held in Detroit.

Since its inception, NAPSCO and its coalition of unions has grown, and the positive response to the SPFPA vision of "One Union - One Strong Voice" for security professionals continues to gain strength. Through this "vision", seven other legitimate 9(b)(3) security unions have merged with the SPFPA, including the Raytheon Guard Association, Arizona Armored Car Officers of America, National Alliance of Special Police and Security Officers, American Federation of Security Officers (a California Security Union that rejected the SEIU's interference), and the United States Court Security Officers (USCSO) (350 former Police Officers out of New York who left the poor representation of the crumbling, SEIU controlled UGSOA), just to name a few.

The fact is 9(b)(3) security unions don't need SEIU interference or your self-serving jurisdictional agreements. As true Security Union Leaders, we know what our legal jurisdiction is, and so do you. These SEIU jurisdiction agreements only help the SEIU; a mixed union that cannot have NLRB certified representation elections for guards. Your agreements are designed to eliminate competition from the SEIU's five-year plan to take over the security industry and destroy independent security officer unions.

In our phone conversation over a year ago, you accused the SPFPA of raiding the SEIU, an accusation I vehemently disagreed with. It is the SEIU and the "skirt names" it hides behind like (Prewitt Organizing/Front Line Project/NUSP/Former SPFPA Members) that has the history of raiding. The tactics being used by your organization and its prostitutes are against the basic concept of unionism, and have been nothing more than a small distraction to our union and its goals; not the SPFPA ruination you state in your letter attempting to deceive those that don't know the truth. The SPFPA has won on every issue that your organization has created. You were defeated in Seattle (twice) for over 500 officers, who are now in SPFPA; in Michigan (NUSP, your paper-union, received only 181 votes out of 1900 possible, with SPFPA winning by the overwhelming majority); The SEIU-run NUSP also lost to us in Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Diego for over 1,100 officers; over 100 dock officers in California and Washington chose SPFPA, and you lost numerous, fruitless attacks on our 9(b)(3) status throughout the country. It is the SEIU that is wasting its members dues money on these unnecessary and unsuccessful attacks, not the SPFPA who is only protecting its jurisdiction of over 54 years. You use "terminated for cause" employees, SPFPA ex-local officers voted out of office by their membership, full-time SEIU employees claiming to be former SPFPA members, and names of people who were never part of the SPFPA to discredit this organization in your anti-union literature and videos. This certainly is not in keeping with the fake principles of your non-existent federation.

In Seattle, when over 450 security officers rejected the SEIU, your Union engaged in a campaign of threats and intimidation to force the employer out of business. Unions should fight to preserve and improve jobs and not actively campaign to throw members out of work. On the basis of charges filed by the SPFPA, an NLRB Administrative Law Judge has found that the SEIU engaged in unlawful activity and interfered with the rights of security officers. And you claim that the SEIU seeks to raise standards for security officers.

For the record, the SPFPA is growing in membership and strength daily. Our NLRB elections have increased by major proportions and our success rate cannot be denied. With future campaigns in several major cities (including Chicago) and the finalization of several active mergers, the SPFPA will represent well over the 20,000 officers we currently are proud to service.

The SPFPA has for over half a century worked with and supported all Unions. We do not raid unless raided. (Remember, as you admitted in our conversation, SEIU Local 73 Chicago raided SPFPA at Nuclear facilities in Illinois). We do, however, dedicate ourselves to assisting security professionals who call us for help. That is our promise and our mission, and we will not be detoured from it. If the SEIU fails to "recognize the integrity" of the SPFPA, we will continue to fight and we will continue to WIN! I am calling on all independent, legitimate security unions to do the same.

As I stated to Mark Gaffney, AFL-CIO Michigan President, if you, as an SEIU representative wish to discuss this further, the line is always open. If not, make no mistake the SPFPA will continue to do whatever is necessary to protect our members, their families, other security unions, and security professionals nationwide.


David L. Hickey
International President


Cc: G. Gregory
International Executive Board
SPFPA Locals
Independent Security Unions
State Federations, AFL-CIO
Trade and Industrial Departments, AFL-CIO
J. Sweeney, President AFL-CIO
J. Hoffa, President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
L. Gerard, President, United Steelworkers of America
R. Gettelfinger, President, International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace
and Agricultural Implement Workers of America
J. Wilhelm, President, Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees
W. Bernard, President Asbestos Workers
F. Hurt, President, Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers
C. Jones, President International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders,
Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers
J. Flynn, President International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers
D. McCarron, President, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America
M. Bahr, President, Communication Workers of America
D. Bringham, International Union of Elevator Constructors
D. Dority, President, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
B. Harnage, President, American Federation of Government Employees
K. Lyons, President, National Association of Government Employees
D. Rivera, President, National Health and Human Service Employees Union
G. Jones, President, National Organization of Industrial Trade Unions
J. Hunt, President, International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and
Reinforcing Iron Workers
T. O'Sullivan, President, Laborers' International Union of North America
J. Spinosa, President, International Longshore and Warehouse Union
T. Buffenbarger, President, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace
S. Feldmen, President, American Federation of Teachers
L. Rossen, President, National Labor Relations Professional Association
M. Foley, President, American Nurses' Association
S. Feldman, President, Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals
K. Sackman, President, United Nurses Associations of California/Union of
Health Care Professionals
M. James, President, National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses
D. Flack, Contact, United Professional Nurses Association
M. Goodwin, President, Office and Professional Employees International Union
F. Hanley, President, International Union of Operating Engineers
M. Maddaloni, United Association of Journeymen/Apprentices of he Plumbing and Pipe
Fitting Industry of the US and Canada
G. Gallegos, President, National Fraternal Order of Police
S. Cabral, President, International Union of Police Associations
S. Appelbaum, President, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store,
E. Druse, President, Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers
M. Sacco, President, Seafarers International Union of North America
M. Sullivan, President, Sheet Metal Workers International Association
G. McEntee, President, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
S. Feldman, President, American Federation of Teachers
J. LaSala, President, Amalgamated Transit Union
S. Hall, President, Transport Workers Union of America
R. Scardelletti, President, Transportation Communications International Union
C. Kelley, President, National Treasury Employees Union
SEIU Locals
A. Stern, President, Service Employees International Union

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