More than 25,000 workers petition to join NUHW and oust SEIU from 101 California hospitals and nursing homes
“We want to stay united in NUHW with the leaders we elected. They helped us build our union and win the best healthcare contract standards in the country.”
—Janet Shepherd, respiratory therapist at CHW Northridge
More than 15,000 more workers petition to join NUHW and oust SEIU from Catholic Healthcare West and other hospitals
Elections will be held for 25,000 caregivers to join democratic healthcare union
LOS ANGELES—The National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) filed petitions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week for elections to represent more than 15,000 healthcare workers in hospitals across California—including Catholic Healthcare West, the state’s largest hospital corporation. Along with petitions filed Monday, 25,000 caregivers at 101 facilities will now be able to vote to quit SEIU and join with their co-workers in NUHW.
Fallout from the power struggle between Service Employees International Union and its Oakland-based local, United Healthcare Workers, has been felt particularly strongly in the Bay Area since SEIU took over UHW and ousted its leaders Jan. 27 (see “Union showdown,” 1/28/09).
Friday afternoon at the United Healthcare Workers headquarters, eight Oakland Police officers mediated a dispute between UHW members resisting the takeover by Service Employees International Union and SEIU representatives who showed up to take custody of the building. Both sides sought to convince the police to let their respective groups stay in the building.
Barack H. Obama won the White House on the promise of “change.” One of the big donors for Obama’s campaign for change was the Service Employees International Union, which spent nearly $30 million for his presidential campaign according to the Center for Responsive Politics. One of the first changes brought about by the SEIU under the new Obama administration is its takeover of the United Healthcare Workers-West, an affiliate based in Oakland, on January 27.