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Ex-Union Official’s Effort to Win Reinstatement Fails

The former general manager of Los Angeles County’s largest union has failed in his grass-roots effort to win reinstatement after being fired by the union’s board of directors, it was announced Friday.

Gilbert Cedillo, 42, was ousted in April by the board of directors of Local 660 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents about half of the county’s more than 80,000 employees. He and his supporters won the right to allow the union rank-and-file to vote on his reinstatement with enhanced powers, but that vote failed by a 2-1 margin.

Although the vote taken Monday night will not be officially certified until at least Tuesday, Cedillo’s petition was voted down by a 5,096-2,565 margin, according to union special assistant Bart Diener. He said 100 or so votes are being contested.

Cedillo said that he and his supporters have raised official objections about the process to the union’s national leaders and to an impartial elections committee, and that they want to hear from them before pursuing legal recourse.

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Board President Alejandro Stephens, who led the effort to oust Cedillo for alleged credit card abuse and other transgressions, said he was “tickled pink” by the overwhelming margin of victory. He accused Cedillo of trying to deceive the union members into thinking he had been unfairly dismissed when Cedillo had actually been refusing to go along with the board’s directives in recent years.


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