On June 24, Pamela Williams, former travel/procurement coordinator for Service Employees Local 880 in Chicago, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to five years probation, five months of home confinement, and 300 hours of community service for embezzling $6,080.06 in union funds. She also was ordered to pay full restitution and a $100 special assessment. Williams pleaded guilty in March following a probe by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.
SEIU Local 880 began nearly 30 years ago as a project of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN. As far as ACORN corruption goes, this was a small affair. Bad publicity stemming from far larger scandals induced the national nonprofit network this past spring to formally disband operations; various state and local ACORN chapters now go under alternative names. Local 880 merged in 2008 with two other local unions to form SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana, an independent labor organization affiliated with the Service Employees International Union. It currently represents more than 85,000 health and home care workers in the Midwest.