Kaiser workers call for new election, stronger protection of workers’ rights
Employees’ choice thwarted by delays in NLRB enforcement, false fear campaign by SEIU and employer
Oakland, Calif.—One year and seven months ago, an absolute majority of 43,500 Kaiser Permanente employees in California presented petitions to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), asking for a vote to leave the incumbent union SEIU and form their own union, the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW). When ballots were counted today, 11,364 were for NUHW, and 18,290 were for SEIU—and workers are calling for a new election.
“Workers can’t have a fair vote when they don’t know they have the right to choose without being punished for it,” said Marie Foster, a program assistant at Kaiser San Jose for 23 years. “SEIU and Kaiser management threatened people’s livelihood and the NLRB didn’t take action to protect us until it was too late. This is a perfect example of why we need stronger laws and better enforcement to stop employers from making decisions that employees should make for ourselves.”