San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center: Fresno Homecare Workers, Consumers, and Community Members March against SEIU Harassment
About 60 homecare workers and their allies rallied in front of the Service Employees International Union-UHW office in Fresno today. The workers want to disaffiliate from SEIU and join the National Union of Health Care Workers (NUHW). The union locked their doors, hid behind the curtains, took pictures of the members at the rally, and called the police. SEIU-UHW staff would not allow their own union members into the building.
San Jose, Calif.—Healthcare workers picketed outside O’Connor Hospital today to protest the actions of hospital management, who suspended an Emergency Room tech and had union representatives arrested while they were helping workers conduct a union election.
“They’ve made it like a police state in our hospital,” said Lisa Godoy, a lead pharmacy tech at O’Connor Hospital. “All we want is the right to vote and make our own decisions about our union.”
United Healthcare Workers-West was the kind of union we need in California – more, it was in historian Nelson Lichtenstein’s words a “model.” The SEIU assault on UHW has indeed – as so many warned – been a tragedy. Nevertheless, someone had to stand up to Andy Stern’s SEIU. Now is the time for us to stand up with NUHW – we need a new beginning.
Just last week, tens of thousands of California health care workers signed a petition to decertify the Service Employees International Union as their collective bargaining representative, alleging threats and intimidation.
They’re forming the National Union of Healthcare Workers.
From Washington, SEIU officials dispatched staffers to California to maintain control. They accused the leader of the breakaway union, Sal Rosselli, of being power-hungry, misappropriating dues money and bargaining in bad faith with employers to lay the groundwork for poaching SEIU members.
Healthcare workers held press conferences in Los Angeles and Oakland to announce that a majority of Kaiser’s 50,000 union members had petitioned to leave SEIU and join NUHW. To get the full story, with video from Oakland and interviews with Kaiser workers, click “Click for more…”