Monterey County Weekly: Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital workers oust SEIU

May 18th, 2010

By Rovin Urevich

The votes were tallied in Salinas Monday, May 17 in a statewide union vs. union battle over which labor organization will eventually represent the majority of the state’s health care workers.

Salinas Valley employees, including licensed vocational nurses, respiratory therapists, and clerical staff,  voted nearly two to one to join the National Union of Health Care Workers, an upstart group led by former SEIU officials who charge their former union with running roughshod over the rights of workers to have a voice in the organization.  NUHW was formed last year when local leaders resisted  plans to break up their 150,000 member statewide health care local, and transfer a third of the membership to an SEIU affiliate based in Los Angeles. At Salinas Valley, NUHW won 402 votes, to 242 for SEIU, while 13 workers voted no union.

The union contract at Salinas Valley Memorial, which covers some 850 workers, provides them some of the most competitive wages and benefits in the industry and is up for renegotiation later this summer. 

Source: Monterey County Weekly