Due to unfortunate events that transpired on June 19, 2018, SEA/SEIU Local 1984 has filed a grievance today with the NH Public Employee Labor Relations Board against the New Hampshire Liquor Commission (NHLC) on behalf of the association and its members. SEA Internal Organizer Andrew Capen was on a routine site visit with President Richard Gulla when he was pulled aside to take a call from Jim Richards, Store Operations Administrator from the NHLC. Richards informed Capen that he had just sent him an email which he proceeded to read aloud:
“It has come to our attention that the SEA president is visiting stores…his presence is disruptive to the workplace…Therefore, the Commission is rescinding its grant of permission to visit stores effective immediately.”
When Capen pressed further about the origin of these false allegations, Richards told him he had simply “received this instruction from Newland and the lawyers.” Matt Newland is Governor Sununu’s Manager of Employee Relations, and Capen and President Gulla were asked to leave immediately. Within the hour of the phone exchange between Capen and Richards, the SEA was also notified that the July 26 Labor Management Committee would also be cancelled. At a time when member concerns are at an all-time high, we cannot find a plausible reason to explain why state officials would choose to cancel this very important opportunity for dialogue.
The SEA has made good faith efforts to raise employee safety issues to the Commission for years – concerns that were substantiated in Councilor Volinsky’s report issued in February to the governor’s office. Today, the Chairman of the NHLC Joseph Mollica, filed a grievance against your union, asking that President Gulla be barred from any liquor store for a minimum period of six months.
The SEA has long known that the Commission bullies and intimidates its employees into silence, else they be fired. Now the Commission is trying to do the same to your union, but with your support we will fight this. It’ll be a long fight, but now that the Commission is re-enacting its bullying practices in the public arena, we are confident that they will be exposed. Our end goal is simple: the NHSLC needs to implement clear policies that are consistent with IRS reporting practices and protect employee safety.
Our institutions have long flourished because of the checks and balances in place and it is our goal to restore a checks and balance with the NHLC.