NUHW In The News
With a Democratic majority in Congress, an economy in meltdown and what many see as the most labor-friendly White House in generations, unions would seem to be poised for a comeback. Experts say they are at a defining moment to rebuild their forces by putting their strength behind an effort to revamp labor laws.
At the center of the dispute is the issue of how democratically unions are run, how well they represent the interests of the members, and the pace at which the union grows. The International wanted to take all of the homecare workers (including about 8,000 in Fresno) out of UHW and put them into a mega-local that represented homecare workers throughout the state. UHW leadership fought the International, because they believed the contracts they won for homecare workers were better than the wages and benefits they would receive through the new mega-local. When UHW put the issue to a vote late last year, 98% of those who cast a ballot wanted to stay with the UHW.
In late January, the International sent UHW an ultimatum demanding that homecare workers be transferred into the new mega-union. When UHW leadership responded that they would be willing to cooperate with the transfer if their members were allowed to hold a democratic vote on the matter, the International put them into a trusteeship and removed the elected leadership of UHW.
Segment on NUHW protest begins at 42:30. Source: KPFA
Several dozen homecare workers, some with their patients, gathered February 10 on the west steps of the state Capitol in Sacramento to protest Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposal to cut state spending on the In-Home Supportive Services program for disabled and elderly people.
On January 27, Andy Stern, national president of Service Employees International Union, came one step closer to realizing his dream of uniting service employees under a single SEIU banner. But Stern’s dream is nothing less than a nightmare for local members of United Healthcare Workers West, the Oakland-based affiliate that’s the latest union to be swallowed whole by the SEIU, the second-largest labor union in the country.