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February 27th, 2009

Los Angeles Times: Kaiser’s California workers move to switch unions

Tens of thousands of Kaiser Permanente’s California workers have signed a petition to leave United Healthcare Workers West and join the newly formed National Union of Healthcare Workers, officials announced Thursday.

The 50,000-employee bargaining unit is one of the largest among the nation’s private-sector employers, and taking it over would be a significant coup for the newly formed NUHW. The group was created last month by former leaders of the UHW after the Oakland-based local was placed under trusteeship by its parent organization, the Service Employees International Union, marking the culmination of a long-running feud.


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February 27th, 2009

New Haven Independent: West Coast visitors discuss health care union war

Even as stars have aligned in Washington to pass health care reform, a civil war has broken out in the nation’s biggest health care union, with unpredictable results.

Two leaders of what was until a month ago California’s United Healthcare Workers West — a 150,000-member local of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) — spoke Thursday night at Yale’s Ezra Stiles College as part of Yale’s Initiative on Labor and Culture.


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February 27th, 2009

San Francisco Sentinel: 50,000 Kaiser Permanente caregivers file to leave SEIU, join National Union of Healthcare Workers

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).

“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.”


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February 27th, 2009

50,000 Kaiser workers to join NUHW

“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


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February 26th, 2009

50,000 Kaiser Permanente workers petition to join NUHW

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.