The thing that made me most proud of the union we built was that it was based on a fundamental value we learned from our friends in the disability rights movement: “Make no decision about us without us.” In our union, we elected our own representatives from neighborhoods all over Fresno County, and we made the decisions about our own futures. The era of dignity and respect for home-care workers had begun. We won our current wage of $10.25 an hour and lifted thousands out of poverty.
But by 2009, some of our union’s Washington, D.C., leaders had lost their way. The leaders of the SEIU, our parent union, came to believe that they were smarter than their own members, and that only they should have the right to make decisions for us.
The National Union Of Healthcare Workers says it has strong support as an election begins for 10,000 home health care workers in California. Doug Cunningham reports.
The Fresno County home health care workers are represented by SEIU. When SEIU took over the United Healthcare West local in a dispute over local union democratic control, many of the local’s leaders formed the National Union of Healthcare Workers. United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta says workers need and deserve to control their union.
Click below for the full story, including TV and radio coverage of Wednesday’s rally.
Click play above for photos of healthcare workers from across California volunteering last weekend to help Fresno homecare workers take back their union.
STOCKTON – More than 100 Kaiser Permanente employees took to the hot sidewalks surrounding the health care provider’s massive West Lane complex Wednesday afternoon to protest what they say are Kaiser’s unfair attempts to stop them from organizing and joining a new union.
The red T-shirt-clad demonstrators – medical assistants, licensed vocational nurses, radiology technicians, member services employees and others – want to leave their existing union – SEIU-UHW, the Oakland-based local of the Service Employees International Union – and vote to join a new group, the National Union of Healthcare Workers, or NUHW.