Labor unions and political leaders rally to support NUHW

November 17th, 2009

Last night in San Francisco, labor leaders and elected officials from all over the Bay Area gathered to honor our struggle for democracy and celebrate healthcare workers’ 75-year history of democracy and member power in California.

Today’s Beyond Chron tells the story:

“NUHW’s fundraising has grown amidst rising labor movement anger at SEIU, and it now has enough money to fund its current campaigns.”

And now other unions are joining our fight at the NLRB to get fair elections to choose our union:

“…[L]abor is increasingly going public with its criticisms of SEIU’s tactics. For example, on October 27 the 19,000 member IBEW Local 1245 joined UNITE HERE Local 2 in submitting court papers challenging SEIU’s blocking of over eighty NUHW petitions affecting over 27,000 California healthcare workers seeking to choose their union.”

“…The increasing willingness of other unions to openly back NUHW … means that SEIU’s efforts to frame NUHW as a ‘rogue’ labor organization guilty of ‘raiding’ other unions has failed, and that the labor movement now sees NUHW as health care workers’ leading voice for democracy.

Elected officials, too, are siding with NUHW. State Senator Mark Leno arrived at the fundraiser with a Senate Certificate of Recognition for NUHW’s accomplishments and our 75-year legacy.

SEIU tried to flex the only muscle it has, threatening to cut off its $1 million per year in funding to the California State Democratic Party. That’s $1 million of union members’ money that should have been used to build power in Sacramento—but was taken away to try and stop healthcare workers from joining NUHW.

Beyond Chron’s Randy Shaw puts it this way:

“SEIU’s decision to withdraw funding from the California Democratic Party in response to Burton’s support for NUHW typifies the union’s self-destructive strategy. SEIU’s state employees depend on Democrats to protect them in Sacramento, so defunding State Party campaigns to elect Democrats is self-defeating.”

…when I suggested to [California Democratic Party Chairman] Burton that he could probably make up the funds by calling the many international labor leaders who have criticized Stern, he replied that he had “already started calling them last week.”

Read the whole story at Beyond Chron.

In response, SEIU had a guy outside in a chicken suit wearing a UHW tee-shirt[Link: https://nuhw.org/SEIU-Chicken]. They ordered all their staff to come and picket the event, hoping to scare away supporters and convince the press they had the support of workers. The opposite happened.

Today’s Beyond Chron [LINK, should be to NUHW.org page?] tells the real story:

“NUHW’s fundraising has grown amidst rising labor movement anger at SEIU, and it now has enough money to fund its current campaigns.”

And now other unions are joining our fight at the NLRB to get fair elections to choose our union:

“…[L]abor is increasingly going public with its criticisms of SEIU’s tactics. For example, on October 27 the 19,000 member IBEW Local 1245 joined UNITE HERE Local 2 in submitting court papers challenging SEIU’s blocking of over eighty NUHW petitions…. affecting over 27,000 California healthcare workers seeking to choose their union.”

“…The increasing willingness of other unions to openly back NUHW … means that SEIU’s efforts to frame NUHW as a ‘rogue’ labor organization guilty of ‘raiding’ other unions has failed, and that the labor movement now sees NUHW as health care workers’ leading voice for democracy.

Elected officials, too, are siding with NUHW. State Senator Mark Leno arrived at the fundraiser with a Senate Certificate of Recognition for NUHW’s accomplishments and our 75-year legacy. (link)

SEIU tried to flex the only muscle it has, threatening to cut off its $1 million per year in funding to the California State Democratic Party. That’s $1 million of union members’ money that should have been used to build power in Sacramento—but was taken away to try and stop healthcare workers from joining NUHW.

Beyond Chron’s Randy Shaw puts it this way:

“SEIU’s decision to withdraw funding from the California Democratic Party in response to Burton’s support for NUHW typifies the union’s self-destructive strategy. SEIU’s state employees depend on Democrats to protect them in Sacramento, so defunding State Party campaigns to elect Democrats is self-defeating.”

But the commitment of our allies is too strong for SEIU’s to stop with threats and chicken-suit publicity stunts.

“…when I suggested to [California Democratic Party Chairman] Burton that he could probably make up the funds by calling the many international labor leaders who have criticized Stern, he replied that he had “already started calling them last week.”

We stood up to SEIU last night in San Francisco in the same way we always have, by standing together. Every day we build our power and our circle of friends and allies is one day closer to retaking our union and gaining our freedom in NUHW.