California union members this week were the architects of a massive defeat for organized labor as one of its most recognizable faces was voted out of office.
When the Freedom Foundation expanded to California in 2018, we made SEIU one of our main targets due to its extremely corrupt leadership and radical agenda. The largest and arguably most corrupt of these is SEIU Local 1000, representing nearly 100,000 state workers.
This week, our outreach efforts paid off in a big way when it was announced that long-time president Yvonne Walker was unseated by a self-proclaimed “outsider.”
You heard right. Walker’s 13-year reign of terror over the largest state employee union in California is officially over, and it is a direct reflection of Freedom Foundation’s success in the Golden State.
Walker is now the third SEIU local president, after David Rolf (SEIU 775) and Kim Cook (SEIU 925), to either leave or lose their job after we conducted sustained outreach efforts to their members.
So, who is this “outsider” who defeated Yvonne Walker?
Richard Louis Brown is an analyst with the State Treasurer’s office. He promises to put an end to all political spending, cut member dues by 50 percent and create a two-term limit on all union elected positions.
In addition, he wants to establish Local 1000’s independence from its national SEIU parent union, meaning all decisions and dues would stay at the local level.
Brown says he wants the organization to focus solely on protecting union jobs and negotiating labor contracts. Wow, what a concept.
In interviews, Brown has also weighed in on the current governor of California, stating, “We will bring the state to a standstill, and we’ll run Gavin Newsom out of office one way or another.”
With this guy winning, there’s no doubt the union members are looking for a serious change in direction from what they have been used to.
This victory comes on the cusp of the three-year anniversary of the Freedom Foundation in California, and so far, we’ve helped 5,676 members leave SEIU local 1000. Frankly, this number is just the tip of the iceberg and simply represents the number of public employee opt outs we’ve been able to track.
The results this week show just how much we’ve continuously weakened this Goliath of a union by waking members up to the corruption within.
With more than 96,000 state workers represented, only 7,880 votes were cast in the union election this year. According to the Sacramento Bee, “The union, with its wide-ranging membership, has been losing dues-paying members in recent years. Membership stood at 54 percent last August, down 3 percentage points from just six months earlier, according to a Sacramento Bee analysis.”
Yvonne will be missed, if only for her endless string of gaffes. Walker’s regular supply of scandals and continuous bullying tactics were wonderful gifts to the Freedom Foundation, leading union members to opt out in droves.
We are very interested to see what Brown does over his three-year term as union president and are hopeful he can make changes to get this union back to what it was designed to be.
We’ve been educating public employees represented by SEIU since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, and this week’s success further validates our work in California.
With this growing momentum, the Freedom Foundation will continue to help SEIU members recognize their constitutional right and opt out of their union.