Rank and File Scientists Demanding our Rights

CAPS: Kangaroo Court to Expel Rachlis Again-Rachlis responds to false charges

Response to the Budroe grievance against Rachlis to be heard by the MDRC on October 9th, 2012

 1)    The ossified self perpetuating CAPS board works obediently to maintain the subservience of CAPS to its agents (the labor profiteers at Blanning and Baker LLC,) Democratic and (on occasions) Republican Party politicians and ultimately the ruling class which profit by the demobilization of organized labor.

 2)    By denying members their right to annual/regular membership meetings, under California Corporate Code and under the 2007 CAPS Bylaws, for over ten years many members of the current board have participated in an ongoing theft of services.  The bylaws (literally second law) are a contract between the members and the organization; the members pay dues dollars and the organization is obliged to follow the bylaws.  Yet CAPS denied members their right to annual membership meetings for over 10 years and when I brought it to the attention of the board in a November 2010 letter, the board under the guidance of B&B wrote our right to an annual membership meeting out of the 2011Bylaws.  This may come as a surprise to CAPS but as far as I have been able to ascertain only corporate, fascist, and business unions deny their members the right to hold regular meetings where the members can discuss the business of the organization.

 3)    Adherence to the Bylaws and Policy Manual (PM) is not the practice of this leadership.  Had it been, CAPS would have held regular/annual membership meetings for the last twelve years (where members’ agenda points can be put before the entire membership,) Rachlis and Cosentino would not have been illegally thrown out and the CAPS leadership team would not have lost to Rachlis in the PERB decision # HO-U-1064-S which required CAPS to reinstate Rachlis retroactively to the date of his expulsion.  Playing fast and loose with the rules, are lawyer’s games and they may work to control and organization but they come  at the expense of worker’s democracy which is systematically denied.

 4)    The failure of the CAPS/B&B leadership team to deliver on the economic front and the ongoing denial of members rights has created a breech between the leadership team and the rank and file of CAPS.  By refusing to hold regular meetings CAPS leadership assured that the B&B method of filling the politicians campaign coffers with our dues dollars, and the filling of the partners of B&B’s retirement funds with millions from State Workers dues dollars would not be challenged by any attempt to mobilize the membership around a winning strategy and tactics similar to that which worked for the Chicago Teachers last month, and the Marikana miners last week.  Indeed the lack of workers’ democracy, the failure to take workers’ side in grievances with management, the multiple denials of legal counsel by B&B for workers attacked by management has left the rank and file with the feeling that CAPS/B&B work hand in hand with management instead of working for the members.  This is why an opposition slate running, of relatively unknowns, despite censored campaign statements and limited access to the ear of the membership won 25% in the last election by running on a class struggle-action program.  This type of rank and file response to such a campaign is unheard of in recent labor history.  Indeed the fact that the CAPS-Fighting Union Caucus (CAPS-FUC) won 25% in the last election has the ruling clique running scared and for that reason B&B’s stooges have launched a smear campaign to drive me out of the organization.  Miller/Chatsworth-Brown in their grievance of September 19, 2011accused us of running a campaign for the decertification of CAPS (which was not true then and is not true now) but consider the implication that if it were a campaign for decertification and 25% of the members voted for it B&B’s profit taking days and failed methods would clearly be numbered.

 5)    The current leadership team employs the so-called team concept of labor management relations assuring the supine obsequiousness of labor before management.  This method has left the membership with declining spending power for our shrinking dollar (uncompensated for by COLA’S), cuts in hours and wages due to two years of furloughs and two years of PLD’s, increased employee contribution to medical, to pensions, we lost holidays and have suffered increase of supervisory harassment, as well as racial, ethnic, age and gender discrimination expressed through arbitrary application of unreasonable work and reporting rules.  The membership, 2/3’s of which did not vote in the last election and of the remaining 1/3 who voted 25% voted for the opposition, is clearly not inspired by the leadership which reigns by the combination of inertia and denial of workers’ democracy.

 6)    Budroe bases his grievances on a ‘damning’ blog post at published on August 25th (while Rachlis was still expelled) and claims it violated the PM’s rule against advocating for decertification.  The MDRC must reject this.

 7)    Budroe twists and misrepresents the meaning of the statements made in the ‘damning’ blog post. The following quote is lifted directly from the blog. We have highlighted key controversial phrases and will comment on their meaning further below.

 8)    “We also opposed launching a campaign to decertify CAPS without first testing the nature of the organization through assertion of membership rights as guaranteed by the bylaws, the Policy Manual, and the California Corporate Code.  Today we are convinced that CAPS can not be reformed without getting rid of B&B.  We have proved that CAPS makes contact between members a near impossibility thereby ensuring the perpetuation of the insider’s incumbency (Ms. Velez has been on the board for 17 years during 23 years as a member,) puts another weight on the scale of reform vs. decertification.  The combination of a self perpetuating board, the denial of regular membership meetings, and the vested interest of B&B’s partnership (they take between 800k-and 1.5million from unit 10 CAPS members annually and closer to 6 million annually from Unit 9 PECG members,) may require the formation of a new union and the decertification of CAPS and PECG.”

 9)    Budroe and the CAPS /B&B leadership team flummoxed from their defeat at PERB again overstretch the limits of logic as they try to fit a square peg in a round hole; the statement reproduced above is merely a statement of facts.  The facts are: there is no internal democracy in CAPS, the organization has illegally expelled me and illegally suspended Mr. Cosentino (thus establishing a track record as scofflaws) in turn it is reasonable for members of units 9 & 10 to consider that in order to establish democracy in our organizations B&B’s contract must be severed and to accomplish this objective necessity, internal remedy mechanisms may not be adequate.  May is used while expressing possibility as in “It may rain this afternoon.”  That it may not rain this afternoon is unstated yet implied by the very nature of possibility.  The statement from the blog reprinted above merely states a possibility, something scientists are often known to do; we call it stating a hypothesis.

 10) The recent denial of democratic procedure and other failures of the leadership indeed put new weights on the scale; commenting on this fact is not an indictable violation of the PM.  Indeed I am not alone at weighing the options before CAPS.  And there is no statute in the Bylaws or PM that denies members the right to talk about or write about weighing options.  Weighing options is not the same as choosing options.  Contrary to its own intention by expelling Rachlis twice in one year the CAPS board would be putting more weight on the scale that the membership is currently looking at.

 11) Budroe claims that our blog posting makes it clear that we do not advocate ‘reform from within’ and that rather we call for decertification.  Again the enmeshment between the entrenched and ossified leadership of CAPS can not disassociate itself from B&B.  The ‘damning’ blog stated “Today we are convinced that CAPS can not be reformed without getting rid of B&B”.  Without overstating the obvious we do not see the contract between CAPS and B&B as carved in stone-it must be renewed on a regular basis.  The CAPS relationship with B&B is based on a contract that the CAPS membership can, if it so chooses, not renew!  This would open the road to reform of CAPS and would shift the weight on the scale toward the possibility transforming CAPS into a fighting rank and file class-struggle organization.

 12) We’re not lawyer pussyfooters.  If we wanted to call for decertification there would be no question about the language.  It would be unambiguous and our whole record of the CAPS Fighting Union Caucus (CAPS-FUC) demonstrates this.

13) In his frantic quest to expel Rachlis twice in one year Budroe, makes additional attempts to falsify the content of the ‘damning’ blog.  For the CAPS-FUC the principle of not taking workers’ organizations to the bosses’ courts is inviolate and as such we have rejected the idea of taking CAPS to superior court to force compliance with California Corporate Code. However, as we explained in the blog, “…we can clearly see that CAPS is not a workers organization but a captive corporate run union fleecing the membership for the profits of B&B the working class principle of ‘labor cleaning its own house’ no longer applies.”  In his grievance, Budroe lifts the quote, “no longer applies,” out of context.  Budroe ascribes it to our arguments against decertification rather than to the clearly stated issue of using the courts to force some modicum of democracy (adherence to CCC-regular membership meeting, fair elections, the right to examine and copy the membership list, etc.)

14) It is time for CAPS to begin to function in a democratic manner and stop its illegal denial of membership rights and this witch hunt against members who demand our rights be respected.  If the MDRC reduces itself to the level of a kangaroo court dutifully and uncritically participating  in the Budroe witch hunt, a witch hunt which began with red baiting by Matt Austin in Superior Court, was followed up with addition red baiting by Budroe and Miller during the campaign last year and was reintroduced in the Miller/Brown grievance of September 19, 2011, then this august body will itself be soiled by its actions reducing its respectably in the world of adjudication one akin the McCarthyite House Un-American Activities Committee, the Spanish Inquisition, and the Moscow show trials which sentenced the best working class militants of the 20c to death.

15) In conclusion the MDRC has a choice. You can expel Rachlis on false charges and further expose the undemocratic nature of CAPS.  This action would confirm for many that CAPS is not Workers’ Organization but is truly a captive corporate controlled union reduced to being nothing more than a profit center for B&B and the dutiful enforcer of the capitalist austerity on the backs of the workers of unit. 10.  Or you can reject this witch hunt and open the road to workers democracy in our organization.

Charles Rachlis October 4, 2012

October 9, 2012 Posted by | CAPS WITCH HUNT | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment