Did A UFCW Boss Commit Perjury?

Last year, UFCW boss Mickey Kasparian was sued by a former union employee. The former employee, who is a Latino woman, has accused Kasparian of coercing her into having sex with him. Due to these allegations, he was deposed for two hours this past summer. Details of that deposition have now leaked.

During his deposition, which he attended with three lawyers, Kasparian was repeatedly asked if he had propositioned a particular female employee. Each time, Kasparian denied it. He also claimed not to know why the woman’s husband attacked him. Kasparian also denied making disparaging remarks about a local politician and a grocery industry employee, both of whom are female. Of course, his denials conflict with the claims of his accusers.

Kasparian is hoping to have this case thrown out on a technicality next year due to the fact that the allegations were more than two years old when they were filed. Additionally, he hopes to have a second case against him dismissed. In that case, another Latino woman accuses Kasparian of gender discrimination and wrongful termination.

Depositions for a third case against Kasparian’s union are currently taking place. The plaintiff in that case is also a Latino woman; she alleges that the union engaged in gender discrimination and retaliation and wrongful terminated her.

At what point is the UFCW finally going to decide that there are just too many scandals swirling around Kasparian and show him the door?

Last year, UFCW boss Mickey Kasparian was sued by a former union employee. The former employee, who is a Latino woman, has accused Kasparian of coercing her into having sex with him. Due to these allegations, he was deposed for two hours this past summer. Details of that deposition have now leaked. During his deposition, […]






Corrupt UFCW Boss Sentenced

Daniel Rush, a former UFCW boss, was fined and sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for fraud and other crimes. Rush was the UFCW’s organizing coordinator for the marijuana industry. Several years ago, he was appointed to a local marijuana regulatory board; while in that role, he demanded a job from an applicant for a marijuana store permit. He also requested a $600,000 loan from a marijuana store owner, which he received. In lieu of full repayment of the loan, Rush offered to sabotage the unionization efforts at the marijuana stores belonging to the store owner and his business partner.

Of course, this will not be Rush’s first stint in prison. He was previously jailed for shooting a police officer in the eye during a strike. More recently, he hung out with bikers from the Hells Angels — even paying their cell phone bills — and declared bankruptcy. And yet, somehow, the UFCW thought he was trustworthy enough to be a union official.

Daniel Rush, a former UFCW boss, was fined and sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for fraud and other crimes. Rush was the UFCW’s organizing coordinator for the marijuana industry. Several years ago, he was appointed to a local marijuana regulatory board; while in that role, he demanded a job from an applicant for […]






UFCW Stands by its Man

All across the country, powerbrokers in Hollywood, in the media, and in politics, are resigning or being shoved aside as sexual harassment allegations against them surface. Yet, the UFCW continues to stand by its man, Mickey Kasparian, nearly a year after sexual harassment allegations against him first broke. Kasparian is the powerful boss of a UFCW local in Southern California.

Last December, a former UFCW staffer filed a lawsuit alleging that she had suffered gender discrimination and wrongful termination by Kasparian. Shortly thereafter, another former UFCW staffer sued Kasparian alleging that he had sexually harassed her for years. In the following weeks, a third UFCW staffer was demoted and then sent out of state; she viewed this treatment as punishment for her support of one of the other accusers. After her firing in March of this year, this third UFCW staffer filed a complaint with the State of California alleging gender discrimination against Kasparian’s union. Also in March, a fourth woman filed a complaint with the state alleging that her organization, which was funded by the UFCW, had engaged in gender discrimination against her due to her support for the other alleged victims and her refusal to support Kasparian.

In spite of all of these allegations, the UFCW International is unmoved; a UFCW International spokeswoman recently stated,

“With respect to the other issues [presumably including the allegations of sexual harassment], they have been addressed directly by President Kasparian and by an internal committee led by female leaders of the local. The internal review, which was conducted independent of President Kasparian, reflects some of the significant steps that the local has taken to address these questions.

“Additionally, by every measure, President Kasparian has the strong support of his members. In his years as president, he has promoted female leaders and encouraged a positive and diverse work environment, while holding all staff accountable to the high standards our members expect and deserve.”

It seems odd that the national UFCW organization would be content with a local “review” of multiple, serious allegations against a powerful local union boss — if it were truly interested in truth and justice for its staffers and members.

Perhaps the women will be able to get justice next year.

All across the country, powerbrokers in Hollywood, in the media, and in politics, are resigning or being shoved aside as sexual harassment allegations against them surface. Yet, the UFCW continues to stand by its man, Mickey Kasparian, nearly a year after sexual harassment allegations against him first broke. Kasparian is the powerful boss of a UFCW […]






What Good Is the UFCW?

Two UFCW members were fired for buying items while on the clock at a Michigan grocery store. Unfortunately for the two workers, the UFCW abandoned them and refused to take their cases to arbitration. The two women, who were longtime employees of the company, then filed suit against the union. Rather than use its members’ dues money to fight for its members, the UFCW chose to use their money to fight the women in court. If the UFCW can’t be bothered to try to help its members when they are fired over a relatively minor issue, what is the point of paying union dues?

Two UFCW members were fired for buying items while on the clock at a Michigan grocery store. Unfortunately for the two workers, the UFCW abandoned them and refused to take their cases to arbitration. The two women, who were longtime employees of the company, then filed suit against the union. Rather than use its members’ […]






Losing Faith in the UFCW

A Colorado man, who tried to unionize his employer, has lost faith in the UFCW. Last year, Matt Hobson was employed at a marijuana shop and was dissatisfied with the working conditions so he contacted the UFCW. His employer subsequently fired him, and the UFCW lost the certification election. Among others, he blames union organizers for the election loss.

“I went into the entire matter thinking that the union was the last bastion of worker protection and that we would have the security and muscle of the union behind us,” he recalls. But thinking that, he says now, was a big mistake…

Hobson says the UFCW Local 7 organizers who had helped him begin organizing largely lost interest after he was fired, doing very little to assist him in finding a new job. Instead, they appeared keen on having him try to return to his old position, despite the fact that he no longer felt comfortable there. “They wanted me to go back to that horrible environment to try to hand them a victory,” he says…

“‘Maybes’ and ‘no promises’ … are the only things that the union seems to offer in abundance.”

… “At this point,” he says, “I trust the UFCW about as much as the cannabis industry.”

Since he was fired, he’s hardly worked.

A Colorado man, who tried to unionize his employer, has lost faith in the UFCW. Last year, Matt Hobson was employed at a marijuana shop and was dissatisfied with the working conditions so he contacted the UFCW. His employer subsequently fired him, and the UFCW lost the certification election. Among others, he blames union organizers […]






UFCW-Backed Group Uses Hurricane to Fundraise

The UFCW has given over thousands of dollars to the Texas Organizing Project Education Fund, a liberal group looking “to organize low-income communities of color.” After Hurricane Harvey struck, the organization saw an opportunity to vacuum up relief funds from donors. One of the services it planned to provide to hurricane victims was “advocacy.” But while it was raising money, it claimed not to know exactly how it was going to spend the money and said it wouldn’t know “until after the floods recede.”

It all seems just a bit shady. If this group really wants to raise money to launch angry protests against businesses or governments struggling to deal with a massive disaster, then why not just be upfront about it? Maybe because they’re worried it would hurt fundraising.

In the future, if some random group you’ve never heard of is suddenly interested in doing relief work after a natural disaster, you might just want to steer clear of them and give your money elsewhere.

 

The UFCW has given over thousands of dollars to the Texas Organizing Project Education Fund, a liberal group looking “to organize low-income communities of color.” After Hurricane Harvey struck, the organization saw an opportunity to vacuum up relief funds from donors. One of the services it planned to provide to hurricane victims was “advocacy.” But while […]






Large Newspaper Slams UFCW’s Bill

The Sacramento Bee, one of the largest newspapers in California, recently slammed a bill being pushed by the UFCW. The bill is aimed at meal kit preparers, like Blue Apron, although apparently the law would not apply to that particular company.  The paper’s editorial board called the legislation a “special interest bill” and included it in a list of bills that “ought to die.” The board went on to write, “If additional regulation is warranted, public health experts, not labor, should seek it. AB 1461 would add regulation, without providing clear benefits to consumers.”

The R Street Institute wrote the following about the bill.

The stated goal of the legislation is to require the people who work for these meal-delivery services to get a “food handler” card requiring them to attend some training sessions. It sounds innocuous, but the broader result is to provide unions with the names and contact information of these workers, so they can be contacted about joining a union. Once a union has a foothold, it can insist on old-school work rules that undermine this newfangled business model…

If you still think this about food safety, consider that grocery workers who cut meats and fresh seafood remain exempt from these food-handling-card requirements, as do food handlers who work under a collective-bargaining agreement.

The Sacramento Bee, one of the largest newspapers in California, recently slammed a bill being pushed by the UFCW. The bill is aimed at meal kit preparers, like Blue Apron, although apparently the law would not apply to that particular company.  The paper’s editorial board called the legislation a “special interest bill” and included it in […]