Los Angeles Daily News: Healthcare workers could join breakaway union

NewsDecember 2, 2009

More than 2,300 Kaiser Permanente employees represented by Service Employees International Union in Southern California could vote in the coming weeks on a proposal to leave the union to join the breakaway National Union of Healthcare Workers.

The National Labor Relations Board ruled Tuesday that an election should be scheduled in 42 days, according to NUHW spokeswoman Sadie Crabtree.

SEIU issued a statement saying workers could be throwing away guaranteed raises and benefits if they defect.

“This decision puts all of that at risk and holds out the real threat that we will lose what we’ve fought so hard to achieve,” Jeanette Cryer, a Kaiser employee in Corona.

SEIU is seeking a review of the NLRB ruling. According to SEIU, the founders of NUHW were “ousted in January for transferring $3 million in members’ dues to a bogus nonprofit organization for their own use.”

NUHW was started in January by SEIU members unhappy with how union officials in Washington, D.C., were representing health care workers.

“SEIU has made deals behind our backs to cut our pension and lay off 1,800 of our co-workers,” said Jim Clifford, who works at a Kaiser in San Diego. 

Source: Los Angeles Daily News