It’s official: SEIU can’t stop the coming Kaiser S&T election

NewsDecember 11, 2012

The full body of the National Labor Relations Board — the federal government agency that oversees union elections — has rejected SEIU’s last minute attempt to stop the Kaiser Service and Tech re-run election from happening. 

This is great news for healthcare workers at Kaiser. It means that there’s nothing stopping us from moving forward and casting our ballots to ensure that 43,000 Kaiser S&T workers are represented by OUR union, NUHW, instead of Kaiser’s union, SEIU.

After SEIU broke the law during the 2010 Service and Tech election by violating workers’ rights and colluding with their friends in Kaiser management, Administrative Law Judge Lana Parke threw out the results of that election and ordered a re-run. 

Since that time, SEIU’s lawyers have tried desperately to overturn Judge Parke’s decision.

With this week’s Labor Board ruling reaffirming Judge Parke’s order, SEIU’s shameful attempts to stop the re-run election have failed.

The federal government has also indicated that Kaiser and SEIU should follow the law, sending a clear message that the following conduct that SEIU engaged in two years ago is NOT permissible:

  • SEIU contract specialists and shop stewards may not campaign for SEIU while being paid by Kaiser on their work time.
  • Kaiser may not permit SEIU to abuse its contractual rights for the purpose of campaigning.
  • Representatives of the SEIU Education Fund may not campaign for SEIU.
  • SEIU may not use conference rooms from Kaiser for campaigning.
  • Kaiser may not give access to SEIU for campaigning while denying that same access to NUHW.

As we see every day in our facilities, SEIU’s misconduct continues to this day. With the help of the federal government, we’re putting a stop to that. In fact, the government recently issued a complaint against SEIU-UHW for “coercing” employees, “restraining” their rights and having “engaged in surveillance” of workers at Kaiser Vallejo, where a mob of SEIU stewards surrounded and physically attacked an NUHW representative last summer.

The government’s complaint against SEIU shows that SEIU is the kind of union that will violate the law and even engage in violence to protect its special relationship with Kaiser management. That’s not the kind of union we want. 

While there is not yet a date for our re-run election, every Kaiser healthcare worker should know that the Labor Board has rejected SEIU’s attempts to thwart Kaiser workers’ rights. NUHW is ready to move forward with a new election at the earliest possible opportunity.

The Kaiser re-run election is going forward. In the coming weeks and months, we will all be called upon to redouble our work to win NUHW as the union for Service and Tech workers at Kaiser.  

Now is the time for all of us to do our part.

Carlton Futch, Radiology Tech, Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center
National Union of Healthcare Workers   

P.S. Remember that when we vote to switch to NUHW, the terms and conditions of our contract remain in place. By law, we lose none of our raises, benefits and job protections. And as NUHW members, we’ll fight to win back everything SEIU has given away to their friends in Kaiser management.