SEIU Split in California?

Ousted officials from a Bay Area local of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) announced yesterday that they were forming a new union, and asked members to join. They were ousted from the local, United Healthcare Workers-West (UHWW), after a long-threatened takeover by the union’s national office became official on Tuesday, as the local was placed in trusteeship, for alleged “financial malpractice.”

From the SEIU national office to claim such concern about corrupt practices now seems strange, particularly in California. A Los Angeles-based local, with which the national SEIU wants to merge UHWW, has recently been involved in a serious corruption scandal. The Los Angeles Times, which broke the story on the scandal last August, also reported:

A source close to the union said Trossman was informed six years ago of allegations involving Freeman’s finances and personal relationships. It is unclear whether a review was undertaken at that time;  Trossman said that the SEIU might have performed an audit of the local because of the allegations, but that he couldn’t be sure.

In addition, questions have been raised concerning the union’s connection to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

For more on SEIU, see here.