Union Chief Under Fire for Wrong Reasons

Today the Oregonian ran a story by reporter Jeff Mapes about SEIU President Joe DiNicola, Mapes noted that:

“The largest union for state employees in Oregon is embroiled in a messy political and legal struggle over a claim from its elected president for nearly $110,000 in back overtime pay. Outraged members of Local 503 of the Services Employees International Union, including several board members, launched a recall campaign against the president, Joe DiNicola. In turn, DiNicola is seeking a court order charging that union and government resources are being used to aid the recall, which SEIU denies. He also has filed a civil rights complaint charging he has been discriminated against for making his wage claim.”

Rather than engage in a conflict my advice would be for SEIU to cut the check for $110,000 with the stipulation that DiNicola advance two initiatives.

The first would be a natural for him, a tax auditor, and that would be to raise a discussion regarding the most abusive corporate tax loophole in 25 years, one that has both decimated union ranks through non sensical mergers and also short changed investors alike. Steve Duin referred to this tax loophole in an opinion piece and I also wrote about it in an article titled the “Amazing Carry and Tax Loophole Inside PERS” or Brainstorm NW magazine. If DiNicola is successful in closing this loophole the union could theoretically justify writing him a check for every dime it has and kissing his feet in gratitude because the net impact would be the preservation of millions of good jobs, a disproportionate share being union jobs.

The second recommendation to SEIU would be to encourage DiNicola to be more aggressive in representing issues key to domestic job growth at meetings of the Oregon Investment Council. This was not mentioned in the article by Mapes yet perhaps DiNicola’s most important activity of all is attending the monthly OIC meetings on behalf of SEIU, where the $70 billion of PERS investments gets awarded to various managers.

Leave a Reply