Open Letter From GOP Lawmaker Challenges Validity Of SEIU 503 Election

Open Letter From GOP Lawmaker Challenges Validity Of SEIU 503 Election

Open Letter From GOP Lawmaker Challenges Validity Of SEIU 503 Election

In an open letter sent to SEIU 503, Rep. Mike Nearman (R-Independence) is challenging the union’s executive director to prove its April 17 membership vote was “conducted in a fair and ethical manner.”

Citing both the union’s misleading intent in holding the vote and the suspiciously low voter turnout, Nearman’s letter asks SEIU 503 to produce records of the ballots mailed to union members and a verification of the alleged vote count.

As previously reported, the April 17 vote was a last-ditch effort by SEIU 503 to keep the union’s membership list and financial records away from its own members, who had a statutory right to inspect the information. Facing unrelenting legal pressure from those members – and driven by its self-inflicted fear of the Freedom Foundation – SEIU 503 chose to revoke its nonprofit status under state law.

Nearman’s letter notes that the corporate status change “has resulted in thousands of employees losing their rights under Oregon law” and expresses skepticism that SEIU’s members would have approved the organizational changes if they had known the true consequences of the action.

The letter also criticizes SEIU 503 leaders for boasting about the success of the vote, pointing out that less than 15 percent of their members even participated.

Read the full letter here.

SEIU 503 hasn’t yet responded to Nearman’s inquiry, which he provided to the Freedom Foundation after sending it to the union earlier this month.

While nobody should hold their breath waiting for a response, we’ll certainly pass along the news should SEIU 503 decide to prove – or attempt to prove – the legitimacy of its actions by providing Nearman with the requested information.

Until then, and unfortunately for the thousands of union members who lost their rights as a result, the validity of SEIU 503’s vote remains up for debate.

Policy Analyst
Ben Straka serves as a policy analyst for the Freedom Foundation. His responsibilities include an array of policy research and reform efforts, primarily centered around labor relations, education and government transparency within the states. In addition, he provides support for the Freedom Foundation’s Outreach program and works closely with the rest of the team to hold local governments and public-sector unions accountable to state residents. Ben joined the Freedom Foundation in May 2016. He is a native of Eugene, Ore., and a graduate of Corban University, where he studied political science and business.