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Trial Beginning Today (March 22, 2010): SEIU-UHW (Service Employees International Union) vs. NUHW (National Union of Healthcare Workers)

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Hello Brothers and Sisters of the Labor Movement and our Future Generation of America:

The much awaited trial of the SEIU-UHW allegations against NUHW officials (who were former leaders of SEIU-UHW) began today.

The trial is to determine and bring justice to charges accusing NUHW of destroying UHW property, e-mails and files which are needed to bargain contracts and represent everyday working members of UHW. Other charges include but are not limited to: Conspiring to use UHW resources to set up the rival union organization (NUHW), undermining the SEIU-UHW Constitution, as well as conspiring to weaken and create challenges and barriers to threaten the daily operations of UHW.

As representatives from both sides attended the trial in the courtroom of Federal Judge William Alsup in San Francisco, the parties were under clear directions and instructions of the "no- nonsense" Judge as to the do's and don'ts during the trial. It was made clear that the focus must remain pertinent to the alleged charges - not on past emotions of the trusteeship, philosophies, or ideologies.

With this respect, members of jury were selected accordingly. The final 10 (ten) jurors remain as the opening statements begin tomorrow morning.

Judge Alsup elaborated on what is considered as the basis of evidence. Witness statements under oath and related documents are considered legal evidence. On the other hand, statements made by lawyers (they are not under oath and not subject to cross-examining) are not accepted as evidence and should not be considered by the jurors in influencing or determining the outcome of the trial. Unlike a "Criminal Case" which has to be "beyond reasonable doubt", this is a "Civil Case" which requires the jurors to determine only is it if the charges are more likely to be true than not.

In determining the appropriateness of the jurors for selection---they were asked everything from "What is a current book that you're reading that would make a good movie...to....Have you or any family members had any good or bad experiences with unions?" They were made clear to follow the standard and instruction of the law - without any personal biases.

Okay, enough of the "Courtroom 101" stuff. Again, as opening statements and witnesses from both sides begin to unveil tomorrow, I will keep you updated on the interesting details of the trial in the days and weeks to come.

I look forward to your feedback, conversations and input as we continue to enhance the "Labor Movement of America" as responsible and accountable citizens. Talk to you soon.