A worker at SEIU, Local 721, was disciplined Tuesday for urging union members to sign the pension overhaul petition being circulated by former Mayor Richard Riordan with fake names and addresses to try to invalidate the proposal.
Officials with the Service Employee International Union, which represents city workers, said the memo from Paul Kim was not authorized and is contrary to the union's policies.
"SEIU Local 721 in no way recommends that its members or anyone else falsify signatures," spokesman Ian Thompson said. "We are against that kind of behavior."
Riordan is seeking to a get a measure on the May ballot that would overhaul the city's pension system, including moving new workers into a 401(k)-style plan.
An email was sent out to union volunteers last Saturday urging the workers to use false information on Riordan petitions.
"Riordan needs 300,000 signatures from Los Angeles city residents and he has paid petitioners," the email from Kim said. "We need union members hitting the streets signing Riordan's petitions with fake names/addresses and gathering retraction signatures from L.A. residents on our own petition."
It is illegal to intentionally sign a petition with a fake name.
Riordan's camp released a copy of the email on Tuesday, citing it as an example of the opposition it is fighting.
"The email in question was sent without the knowledge of the union's leadership," Thompson said.
Thompson said the union is preparing to campaign against the measure, saying it would "strip middle-class city workers for retirement security."