Renegade rank and file members in United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, calling themselves "an unhappy majority," today urged SEIU 721 not to endorse Pat McOsker tomorrow at the SEIU endorsement meeting. Their letter to Bob Schoonover, 721 president, follows.
Insiders are predicting some advocacy for no endorsement and say that if McOsker fails to win the SEIU endorsement it would be a "tremendous upset."
August 2, 2011
Bob Schoonover, President
SEIU Local 721
Dear President Schoonover:
United Firefighters of Los Angeles City (UFLAC) Local 112 President Pat McOsker is scheduled to appear at SEIU 721’s L.A. City Council District 15 Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, August 3, 2011. We urge you in the strongest of terms to avoid any endorsement of Candidate McOsker, as he is campaigning with considerable indifference to the members of UFLAC and does not have our endorsement or support.
In November 2010 President McOsker won a 3-way race for his UFLAC post with less than 36% of the membership’s vote – by no means a majority or close to a mandate. Seven months later a majority of the UFLAC Executive Board and an outspoken majority of our membership have clearly communicated their wishes to Brother McOsker: Feel free to run for public office but not while you’re the sitting president of our Union. We deserve better!
Brother McOsker has refused to step down, refused to take a leave of absence, and has shown total disdain – sometimes in graphic and vulgar terms – for his Executive Board and membership by sticking to his political agenda despite our vocal disapproval. It has come to the point that Brother McOsker, by virtue of his own actions, may find obtaining an endorsement from his own union impossible now even if he were to surprisingly step down, regardless of the way his campaign staff frames it in the media.
On July 27 the UFLAC Membership voted with 95% agreement for a non-endorsement in the CD-15. Mr. McOsker has tried to spin this in the media as, “a small faction within our Union (launching) an effort to sabotage” his campaign.
SEIU 721 has a long history and knows the pains of internal union struggles. Your union has stood strong and battled through those times to become even stronger. As an allied organization – one that represents members of the fire department labor family – we ask you to honor the wishes of our majority and not reward Candidate McOsker with your endorsement and campaign financing.
Unions sometimes disagree on political endorsements; it happens, is not done lightly, and typically has more to do with personal relationships than labor alliances. Unfortunately, any money given to McOsker may as well be tossed in the furnace. We urge you to go “open” for the CD-15 Primary and then endorse a highly qualified candidate in the General Election who is a friend of Labor and demonstrates true leadership and solidarity.
Dissatisfied Members of United Firefighters Local 112
Bucket brigade douses McOsker momentum
Orlov: Firefighters urge McOsker to step down
McOsker campaign off to predictable start
Where are the women in San Pedro?
Shallman, McOsker leap at chance for CD15
Nick Nuch for CD15 rumors swirl