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.
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.
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.
Bob Hardebeck, Surgical Tech at Garden Grove Hospital “When SEIU agreed to subcontracting in 2007, we had to fight both SEIU and the employer for a year to protect our jobs and have a voice in our own contract. That’s why it’s so important for healthcare workers ourselves to control negotiations with our employers. In […]