Faced with third win in three weeks by independent union, SEIU officials try union-busting
Tarzana, Calif.—Environmental services workers at Providence Tarzana Medical Center are voting today in a government-supervised election to form their first union, despite a last-minute effort by SEIU to stop them. SEIU’s latest request to block the election was rejected by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) yesterday, but ballots will be held and not be counted until the board resolves a string of frivolous “blocking charges” that SEIU filed to delay the vote.
The 54 workers are employees of Crothall, a subcontractor at the hospital. A majority intend to join the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), an independent union founded by SEIU reformers that sparked a mass exodus from the troubled union.
Memorial Hospital center of spat between SEIU, new group; election in balance
SANTA ROSA—With a six-year unionization effort at stake, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital has become a battlefield in a rivalry between national labor giant Service Employees International Union and a fledgling group of its former Northern California leaders.
In April, local hospital workers were on track to schedule a union election under a petition with the new group, the National Union of Healthcare Workers. But at the final hour, SEIU intervened and stalled proceedings.
The National Labor Relations Board granted SEIU’s request to also be on the ballot, but then the union’s officials twice filed complaints that further delayed the vote for five more months. During that time, SEIU organizers flocked to the Santa Rosa hospital to campaign, according to interviews with several workers.
Now, in a break with normal policy, a top regional labor official said last week that, despite the outstanding SEIU allegations, the federal agency intends to schedule an election following an Oct. 19 hearing.
Click the play button to hear an hour-long segment on KSRO-AM’s drive-time show about the campaign by workers at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital to win a union with NUHW.
The North Bay Labor Council is now getting involved in the dispute over two labor unions. A letter was sent out to the trustees of SEIU-UHW asking them not to delay or obstruct efforts by workers at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital to form a union with the National Union of Healthcare Workers or NUHW. Nancy […]
by Randy Shaw
SEIU’s no-holds-barred struggle with NUHW ratcheted up further last week as the powerful union was criticized by the North Bay Labor Council for contesting efforts by Santa Rosa hospital workers to join NUHW. Unlike SEIU’s prior conflicts with NUHW over already organized workers, the Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, part of the three-state St. Josephs Health System, involves non-union workers who have been seeking union representation for over a decade. Workers supporting NUHW filed petitions seeking a union election on April 13, but SEIU quickly blocked the election for nearly five months by filing NLRB charges. After these charges were dismissed, SEIU filed new NLRB claims to prevent the hospital workers from voting to affiliate with NUHW. It then informed both NUHW and the employer that it would not negotiate ground rules for an election that would prevent negative campaigning, even though this would prevent employer interference and the ballot would include both unions. Santa Rosa Memorial workers desiring union representation are irate over SEIU’s tactics, saying they felt SEIU “deserted” them months ago and is now “disrupting” their efforts to unionize.