SEIU Local 1000 seeks restraining order against president

SEIU Local 1000 president Richard Louis Brown talks with a Sacramento police officer while a supporter records video of the conversation outside the union’s headquarters building Saturday, March 5, 2022. The police were called after Brown and his supporters gained access to the building as a maintenance employee was leaving earlier in the day.

SEIU Local 1000 president Richard Louis Brown talks with a Sacramento police officer whereas a supporter information video of the dialog exterior the union’s headquarters constructing Saturday, March 5, 2022. The police have been referred to as after Brown and his supporters gained entry to the constructing as a upkeep worker was leaving earlier within the day.

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A union official requested a decide for a brief restraining order Tuesday to attempt to take away SEIU Local 1000 president Richard Louis Brown and a small group of his supporters from the group’s Sacramento headquarters, the place they’ve been holed up since Saturday.

Brown and his supporters entered the building without a key after three vice presidents locked him out final week. Their lockout adopted the VPs’ choice to droop Brown’s presidency based mostly on their allegations that he had misspent union cash, mishandled lawsuits and shut out different union officers from management.

Tuesday’s request, filed in Sacramento County Superior Court by Local 1000 board member Bill Hall, says the continued occupation poses “a direct and critical menace to the Union and its capacity to correctly serve the roughly 100,000 employees that it represents.” Hall was appointed board chairman in a Saturday vote that Brown disputes.

The submitting, which additionally identifies Local 1000 as a plaintiff, asks the decide to order Brown and his supporters to depart and to return packing containers of paperwork that Brown faraway from the constructing as quickly as he entered Saturday.

Brown has stated the vice presidents’ suspension of him was illegitimate. He stated he suspended their union membership earlier than they moved to droop his presidency — on grounds they have been plotting to droop him — and that his prior motion rendered theirs null. He instructed police who arrived Saturday that he had the precise as president to be contained in the constructing.

One of Brown’s supporters opened a door simply earlier than its magnetic lock engaged, seconds after a constructing upkeep worker had exited the constructing. After getting inside, Brown’s group drilled out locks to varied workplaces and changed them with locks to which solely that group has keys, in line with the submitting.

The submitting raises issues that the group may entry personal, delicate paperwork saved in a human sources workplace or the workplace of Local 1000 chief counsel Anne Giese. Brown has threatened to enter these rooms, in line with the submitting.

Brown and Giese engaged in negotiations Saturday wherein Brown’s group stated they’d enter her workplace until she “agreed to write down out a doc by hand resembling a hostage be aware that contained an apology to Brown and his supporters for describing their actions as a ‘break in,’” the submitting says.

Giese wrote the be aware, however then Brown “escalated his calls for on her and steered their deal was off, with the clear implication being that his confederates may drill out the lock to that suite of workplaces in any case,” in line with the submitting.

Giese on Monday “obtained a report” that the lock on the human sources workplace had been drilled out, in line with the submitting.

Also on Monday, a U.S. Postal Service truck tried to ship mail to the constructing. Brown and a Local 1000 worker argued over who would obtain the mail. The mailman drove away, conserving the mail, in line with the submitting.

The request for the short-term restraining order was filed by Washington, D.C.-based agency Bredhoff and Kaiser, together with Katzenbach Law Offices in San Rafael and Rothner, Segall and Greenstone in Pasadena.

SEIU International, the dad or mum group for Local 1000 and different chapters of the Service Employees International Union, is a celebration to the lawsuit.

The occasions of the weekend escalated a dispute that started across the time of Brown’s May 2021 election. The union’s board of administrators resisted a few of his plans to drastically change how the union is operated, together with plans to remove the influential organization from politics completely, they usually have challenged his makes an attempt to push by way of adjustments with out board help.

The attorneys wrote within the submitting that the vice presidents had correctly suspended Brown in line with the union’s bylaws based mostly on their allegations of misconduct.

The attorneys addressed Brown’s argument of their submitting. Suspending union membership has protections within the California Corporations Code requiring advance discover and the chance to be heard previous to suspension. Brown didn’t present that, in line with the submitting.

It’s a lot simpler below the legislation for a number of officers to take motion concerning one other’s officer place, in line with the attorneys.

About 40 members of the union’s board of administrators met Saturday in a digital session. Local 1000 secretary-treasurer David Jimenez, who’s a vice president, stated on the assembly that the members current had voted unanimously to help the suspension by the three vice presidents.

The board additionally voted in closed session to alter the union’s bylaws to supply for the hiring of a impartial listening to officer to weigh formal disciplinary proceedings against Brown. The union’s insurance policies say a listening to should be scheduled inside 30 days of delivering a written grievance to the president.

The group additionally voted 25 to 11 to ratify adjustments made at an October board assembly. At that assembly, board members supported major changes to the union’s bylaws that switch many of the group’s management powers from the president to a board-selected chairperson.

The board on Saturday affirmed Hall because the chairman, and the vice presidents introduced Monday they acknowledged Hall as chief.

This story was initially printed March 8, 2022 12:28 PM.

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Wes Venteicher anchors The Bee’s in style State Worker protection within the newspaper’s Capitol Bureau. He covers taxes, pensions, unions, state spending and California authorities. A Montana native, he reported on well being care and politics in Chicago and Pittsburgh earlier than becoming a member of The Bee in 2018.

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