Federal Government to Investigate Ongoing Illegal Conduct by SEIU and Kaiser

NewsOctober 7, 2011

Brothers and Sisters,

I’ve got some good news to share with you.

After reviewing documentation of hundreds of instances of ongoing illegal election activity on the part of Kaiser Permanente and SEIU, the National Labor Relations Board has informed us that it will begin an official investigation of this illegal conduct before setting a new election date for 43,000 workers in the Kaiser service and technical units.

What does this mean for tens of thousands of Kaiser workers waiting to get out of SEIU?

If the government’s investigation confirms our claims, it means that once we have a new election date set, Kaiser workers who support NUHW will be able to campaign on a more even playing field with SEIU.

It means that SEIU and Kaiser will be prevented from engaging in outright collusion as they did last year in order to intimidate workers from voting for the union of their choosing.

If the government is persuaded by the evidence, it means that SEIU Contract Specialists will not be allowed to campaign for SEIU on Kaiser’s dime, that NUHW will be granted the same access to Kaiser facilities as SEIU, and that SEIU and Kaiser will be prohibited from illegally threatening workers with loss of raises and benefits for switching unions.

This is a positive first step toward ensuring that Kaiser workers have their rights protected and their voices heard, instead of being silenced by illegal lies and threats from SEIU and Kaiser.

Kaiser administrators have already told us that they intend to force the reductions they’ve proposed at NUHW bargaining tables on all Kaiser employees. That’s why when thousands of NUHW members went out on the picket line to stop Kaiser’s cuts, they were joined by 17,000 Registered Nurses with the California Nurses Association striking in sympathy with our union. Unlike SEIU, NUHW is a union that stands up for its members.

Kaiser wants SEIU to win the next election because SEIU has already cut a secret deal to accept Kaiser’s cuts and allow Kaiser to reduce SEIU-represented workers’ healthcare and retirement benefits after the current contract expires. Kaiser knows that SEIU has already agreed to massive takeaways for tens of thousands of its members at Sutter Health, Daughters of Charity and Catholic Healthcare West, and Kaiser is next in line.

What Kaiser and SEIU don’t want you to know is that in spite of SEIU’s lies, NUHW members are receiving all of the raises and benefits they’re owed by Kaiser — raises as high as 15 percent over 18 months. You can let your co-workers know the truth by downloading this leaflet.

SEIU will do anything for its ‘partner,’ Kaiser Permanente, including selling out its own members. We can only stop them by voting to get out of SEIU and join NUHW, a union that’s willing to stand up for its members.

This decision by the NLRB is a big step forward in making that happen.

In Solidarity,

Sal Rosselli, President, NUHW

Sal Rosselli, President

National Union of Healthcare Workers