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September 29th, 2009

Workers at Los Alamitos Hospital join National Union of Healthcare Workers

SEIU officials forced to abandon election after failing to win any support

Los Alamitos, Calif.—More than 40 workers at Los Alamitos Hospital have won their election to form a union with the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), despite an aggressive effort by another union to stop them. The workers are employees of Hospital Housekeeping Systems (HHS)—a subcontractor that fails to provide affordable quality health insurance for the workers who spend long hours keeping the hospital clean for others.

“I’m overjoyed that we finally have a voice to protect our jobs and our families,” said Matilde Garcia, an HHS worker and member of the organizing committee. “And I’m proud that we stayed united and chose a union that respects its members and is run by healthcare workers like us.”

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September 29th, 2009

Workers at Los Alamitos Hospital join National Union of Healthcare Workers

SEIU officials forced to abandon election after failing to win any support

Hospital Housekeeping Systems (HHS) workers at Los Alamitos Hospital voted 35-to-7 to form a union with NUHW, despite an aggressive effort by another union to stop them.

“I’m overjoyed that we finally have a voice to protect our jobs and our families,” said Matilde Garcia, an HHS worker and member of the organizing committee. “And I’m proud that we stayed united and chose a union that respects its members and is run by healthcare workers like us.”

The scandal-plagued SEIU, widely condemned for its attacks on other unions, had tried to intervene. After the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rejected SEIU’s attempt to block the election by filing frivolous legal charges, SEIU tried to compete in the election—but abandoned their effort last week when they failed to win any support from workers.

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September 28th, 2009

Union Democracy Blog: New constitutions for UNITE HERE and for NUHW: Calling for democracy, Resisting authoritarianism

By now there is something to be learned from the bitter internecine battles that embroil Andy Stern of the SEIU, Sal Rosselli of the new National Union of Healthcare Workers, John Wilhelm of UNITE HERE, and Bruce Raynor of Workers United. It is becoming clearer that this is no mere struggle for power among ambitious union leaders. It involves a sharp challenge to Stern’s favored conception of a labor movement highly centralized at the top and regimented below. It marks an important break in the trend toward superbureaucratization of the American labor movement. That challenge is manifested in two new union constitutions: one, adopted in haste as the founding constitution of Rosselli’s NUHW; the other, the extensively revised constitution of Wilhelm’s UNITE HERE, just adopted at its convention in July.

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September 24th, 2009

Photos: SoCal hospital workers announce petition to join NUHW

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September 24th, 2009

1,600 Southern California hospital workers: “We’re through with corrupt SEIU”

Labor leaders have united against SEIU power-grabs—and so have the union’s members 

LOS ANGELES—A majority of workers at four Southern California hospitals have petitioned to leave the scandal-plagued SEIU and join the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) instead.

“We need a union where healthcare workers have a voice to raise standards for ourselves and our patients,” said Richard Saillant, a stationary engineer at Olympia Medical Center. “We’re through with corrupt SEIU leaders who are only out for themselves.”

The exodus comes at a time when the SEIU is wracked with troubles, both internal and external.