In Dearborn Saturday night, at least seven busloads, carrying up to 800 SEIU staff in purple jackets and T-shirts drove up to the Hyatt Regency Hotel where the banquet hosted by Labor Notes was culminating a weekend conference on topics including union democracy, health care reform, and encouraging the resurgent growth of labor.Nice fellas, those purple shirts.
Upon unloading from the buses, the hundreds of picket-sign wielding staff stormed the hotel and pushed their way through doors to break into the ballroom where the event was being held.
While breaking in the building, the SEIU staff, now joined by SEIU staff inside the building, physically assaulted a group of union members and activists at the door.
As Labor Notes themselves noted in a press release: A recently retired member of United Auto Workers Local 235, Dianne Feeley, suffered a head wound after being knocked to the ground by SEIU International staff and local members. Other conference-goers -- members of the Teamsters, UAW, UNITE HERE, International Longshoremen's Association, and SEIU itself -- were punched, kicked, shoved, and pushed to the floor.
As the SEIU staff broke into the hall, some three dozen CNA/NNOC nurses and leaders, there to attend the conference, including Malinda Markowitz, RN, a member of CNA/NNOC's Council of Presidents, who was scheduled to speak in DeMoro's place, were whisked out the back of the hall for their safety, leaving in vans. The atmosphere was so tense that hotel cooks tried to climb into the vans to join them for fear of their own safety.