We’ve written about Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 721’s numerous blunders here and here. Led by Bob Schoonover, the same man who presides over the whole statewide SEIU apparatus, this union local seems to have no end of — to put it gently — “administrative issues” that somehow always illegally penalize workers trying to opt out.
But a third blunder recently uncovered is perhaps the most suspicious of all.
When Robin tried to leave SEIU 721, she was told she could only opt out during a narrow annual window that was supposed to be aligned with the date she signed a membership card.
Robin had been a member of SEIU’s predecessor union in her workplace, the San Bernardino Public Employees Association, but she couldn’t remember if she subsequently signed a card with SEIU after it became her exclusive representative.
In any case, she didn’t want to continue paying dues any longer than necessary, and she wanted proof she had agreed to this “obligation.”
That’s when Robin got in touch with the Freedom Foundation. Given SEIU Local 721’s bad track record at calculating opt-out windows, the organization’s attorneys sent the union a letter demanding it show proof Robin had agreed to be bound by an arbitrary opt-out window.
Rather than producing any such evidence, Robin almost immediately received a check in the mail for $700.
The part of this that is simultaneously the funniest and the most suspect is the letter attached to the check, which informed her:
Although the agreement on your membership card is binding and enforceable, and you are not yet within your window period, due to the particular circumstances in your case, we have nonetheless processed your request to stop payments and have instructed (your employer) to stop deductions from your paycheck effective immediately. Enclosed is a refund of any deductions withheld after the date of your request (with interest).
So how sketchy is this? The union didn’t’ supply any proof Robin had signed anything that would require her to continue paying dues when requested but continued to assert that such proof existed — all while cutting a check for $700.
Nobody knows quite what goes on behind closed doors in SEIU 721’s office when they receive demand letters from the Freedom Foundation, but one thing’s for sure — unless the union can get its act together, it will continue getting them and will continue coughing up thousands of dollars to workers it almost got away with abusing.