“We’re joining NUHW because it’s the only way to protect the gains that Kaiser workers have made together over the last 65 years. If we’d stayed in SEIU we would have no voice at all.”
—Mell Garcia, medical assistant at Kaiser in Hayward
Caregivers at nation’s largest healthcare provider call for recognition of their union—and a majority of SEIU UHW-W members have now petitioned to quit SEIU
Oakland, Calif.—An absolute majority of the 50,000 healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente’s California facilities have filed petitions to oust SEIU and join the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW). Kaiser is California’s largest healthcare corporation and the largest healthcare provider in the United States.
“We need stability, democracy, and a union we can trust,” said Bebs Nonato, a registered nurse at Kaiser’s Los Angeles Medical Center. “SEIU tried to move nurses at my hospital back and forth between three different local unions in five years. They pushed us around like furniture, and ignored our voices and votes. We’re building a stronger union in NUHW, with healthcare workers in control.”
NUHW sent a letter to Kaiser Permanente Chairman George Halvorsen asking that Kaiser recognize NUHW as the exclusive representative of the workers.
Kaiser workers have signed petitions to dump its union, SEIU, and join a new union after the national leadership of SEIU took over the local representing Kaiser 50,000 workers in California. The … keep reading >
The battle began roughly two years ago when UHW leaders criticized SEIU for negotiating an agreement with nursing home chains that restricted workers’ rights in exchange for limited employer neutrality in organizing campaigns. Relations worsened after SEIU attempted to remove 65,000 long-term care workers from UHW and put them in a new statewide local of nursing home and homecare workers. And UHW further criticized SEIU for accommodating employers to win new members, rather than empowering workers in aggressive, democratic locals.
“An absolute majority of workers at our hospital have signed petitions to choose NUHW as our union. We don’t want any other union to represent us.”
—Joe Ruocco, senior lab assistant at Western Medical Center for 35 years