Ultra-progressive union 1199 SEIU blasted for ‘hypocrisy and selling out members’

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One of New York state’s astir almighty unions is being accused of hypocrisy by refusing to put successful divers businesses and of selling retired underpaid workers — portion sending a gusher of currency to progressive causes.

Service Employees Local Union 1199 SEIU United Health Care Workers — champion known arsenic 1199 SEIU — helped propel erstwhile Bill De Blasio into 2 presumption arsenic New York City mayor, endorsed ultra-liberal Maya Wiley successful her bid to win him and backs Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Its president, George Gresham, bluntly told Gov. Kathy Hochul: “We don’t enactment for you – you enactment for us.”

The local, the largest successful New York City, controls much than $450 cardinal successful assets held by the national itself and successful 8 abstracted funds tally connected behalf of hundreds of thousands of members, nationalist records show.

George Gresham, Bill de Blasio, Chirlane McCray1199 SEIU president George Gresham was a cardinal portion of making Bill de Blasio politician successful 2013 — and appeared beside him astatine a City Hall rally that year.
1199 SEIU president   George GreshamGresham is the seasoned president of the almighty 1199 SEIU successful New York. The union, which has much than 300,000 members, has been criticized for not investing successful diverseness funds that bespeak their membership.Getty Images

The funds concern healthcare, occupation training, pensions and childcare.

But The Post has learned that the national has ignored attempts to lobby it to put immoderate of that luck successful number and female-owned concern funds.

At the aforesaid time, the national preaches for “equality, justness and democracy,” saying it campaigns for causes including mobilizing “against injustice — racial, economical and environmental,” according to 1199’s website.

Its immense governmental spending, totaling $17 cardinal past twelvemonth alone, has included nonstop contributions to ultra-progressives similar Wiley and a flood of currency to some the New York State Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez1199 SEIU supported New York progressive Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s palmy re-election bid successful 2020.Getty Images
Failed mayoral campaigner  Maya Wiley1199 SEIU supported progressive Democrat Maya Wiley successful her failed bid for New York City Mayor successful 2021. Last year, the wellness and infirmary workers national spent much than $17 cardinal connected “political activities and lobbying.” William C. Lopez/NYPOST

The union, led since 2008 by Gresham, boasts that a bulk of its 304,982 members are women, portion it has focused efforts connected recruiting among number communities.

But nationalist records inspected by The Post shows that 1 of those 8 funds alone, the National Benefit Fund, has much than $17 cardinal invested with large Wall Street firms including Blackstone and Apollo Global Management, Beverly Hills-based Platinum Equity, and a bid of different hedge funds and backstage equity funds.

“They are truly not supporting their divers basal successful presumption of their concern strategy,” said an concern enforcement who did not privation to beryllium identified. “They person precise small invested with minority-run concern funds.”

Attempts by minority-run groups to conscionable the national person not been successful, the enforcement told The Post.

Blackstone CEO Stephen SchwarzmanDespite progressive rhetoric, 1199 SEIU national has focused astir of its investments successful hedge funds and and plus managers specified arsenic Stephen Schwarzman’s Blackstone Group, which are not minority- oregon female-owned oregon led.AFP via Getty Images

A spokesperson for 1199 SEIU told The Post that each of the 8 funds are abstracted ineligible entities that “continue to conscionable the stringent minimum backing requirements.” He besides said that “1199 SEIU values socially-responsible investing.”

But its nationalist disclosures amusement that each fund, portion legally separate, is controlled by a committee of trustees which has a bulk of national members appointed by 1199 SEIU — giving national bosses effectual control.

Pressure connected the national to basal by its commitments to equality with its immense concern powerfulness comes arsenic it faces accusations of selling retired its members from different direction.

The Ain’t I a Woman Campaign, a grassroots radical which fights for the rights of location attraction workers, astir of them women of colour and caller immigrants, is taking purpose astatine 1199 SEIU implicit its nonaccomplishment to combat against a arguable signifier wherever location attraction workers are made to enactment 24-hour shifts but lone paid for 13 of those hours.

New York State politicians1199 SEIU spends millions connected New York State Democratic politicians. Gresham (seated) told Gov. Hochul (second right) successful April: “We don’t enactment for you – you enactment for us.”Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

1199 SEIU represents 125,000 careworkers successful New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Washington DC and Florida.

The location wellness attraction workers accidental that the 24-hour shifts should see 5 hours of uninterrupted slumber and 3 hours of different breaks for meals — but that does not instrumentality spot due to the fact that of a deficiency of enforcement and patients’ request for round-the-clock care.

Last year, the national fought against a New York City Council bill that would destruct the 24-hour workday, saying the projected law, Intro 175, was flawed and would forestall workers from putting successful for overtime pay.

Vicky Niu, an activistic with Ain’t I A Woman, said: “They are doing the other of what a national should do. Basically 1199 has gotten into furniture with the bosses.

Home attraction   workers protestation  1199 SEIUHome attraction workers from run radical Ain’t I A Woman accidental that 1199 SEIU is colluding with location attraction agencies and not lasting up for them successful their conflict to extremity the 24-hour enactment day.awicampaign/ Instargram

“The national has deeper governmental ties with security companies and wellness attraction agencies and is wholly uninterested successful representing workers whose wages person been stolen from them.”

The national said that it won a $30 cardinal class-action arbitration for the workers past year, and acceptable up a peculiar fund.

“This is by acold the largest recoupment of mislaid wages to date, acold surpassing the minimal amounts that non-union workers person been capable to execute through class action lawsuits against employers,” a unions spokesperson said.

But Niu said the money provided a pittance to the tens of thousands of location wellness adjutant workers represented by the union.

Andrew Cuomo speaks successful  beforehand   of a assemblage  waving national   signs.1199 SEIU was beforehand and halfway of a telephone for a national $15 minimum wage successful 2016, erstwhile it besides backed Hillary Clinton’s White House bid, with its president George Gresham (seated, right) speaking astatine a rally for her and past politician Andrew Cuomo.AP

“It amounted to a infinitesimal of backmost wage for each 11 hours of stolen wages,” she said. “Some workers who were owed up to $200,000 were fixed $500 colony checks.”

Tensions with members whitethorn partially explicate 1199 SEIU’s declining rank numbers. Its existent enrollment of 304,982 is down from a precocious successful 1999 of 373,911.

The national said it had mislaid members due to the fact that of Covid starring to 20% of healthcare workers nationally quitting.

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