Editor: We did a post a while ago about the slate of union reformers led by member Monty Kroopkin running against SEIU Local 221 leadership. The slate lost but resulted in a federal complaint being filed.
A federal complaint was filed Monday November 16th against the results of recent union elections conducted by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 221, in San Diego. The complaint charges massive voter disenfranchisement and illegal conduct by election officials and by incumbent candidates.
Filed by Reform221, a group advocating a broad range of union democracy reforms, the complaint seeks nullification of the elections and a new election under the supervision of the U.S. Secretary of Labor. Reform221 charges that hundreds of union members were denied the right to vote and were not sent mail ballots.
These were the first elections held to replace appointed officers selected by SEIU International President Andy Stern. Local 221 is a new union, formed in 2007 by merging parts of the former SEIU Locals 535 and 2028. The new union has over 7,000 members in San Diego and Imperial Counties, and has an annual budget of about $7 million. The elections were to fill all the officer and executive board positions for the union and were held from July 1 through July 21, 2009.
Formal charges were initially filed in July, within one week of the elections, through SEIU’s own election protest procedures. Reform221 filed its complaint with the Department of Labor this week, after more than three months passed without any resolution of the charges by SEIU. Despite the legal challenge of the election results, the union installed the disputed new officers on September 15, 2009.
The complete texts of the federal complaint and supporting documents are posted online at
Reform221 also maintains a website at http://reformseiulocal221.blogspot.com/ where more background on the elections and the complaint and information on the reform candidates is available.