News of the Month: February 2018
Our Feb. 1 Sodexo worker strike outside Fountain Valley Regional Hospital was covered by Southern California’s top publications, including the Los Angeles Times. The Orange County Register ran an op-ed supporting the cause of striking workers and OC Weekly covered the strike after publishing a separate story highlighting the plight of workers seeking their first union contracts.
The Trump Administration last month created a new “civil rights” division inside the Department of Health and Human Services that will defend healthcare workers who choose not to do their jobs based on “religious or moral” reasons. The division opens the door to caregivers refusing to participate in procedures such as abortion or care for transgender patients. NUHW President Sal Rosselli issued a statement warning that the division could lead to discrimination against patients.
The NLRB’s new Trump-appointed General Counsel wants to limit the authority of the labor board’s regional directors. These regional directors currently have the power to issue complaints and dismissals of unfair labor practice cases, and they can render decisions in union representation cases. The Regional Director in Northern California, Jill Coffman, has pursued action against Queen of the Valley Medical Center for refusing to acknowledge that its members voted to join NUHW in 2016. She could lose that power under the changes being proposed by the Trump Administration.
The Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General is launching a review of how Trump administration officials crafted a proposed rule that would allow employers to keep tips given to their employees. The move followed reports that the department had ignored an economic analysis that found such a measure would drain “billions” from workers’ pockets.
The move to let employers seize tip money is just one of many anti-worker policies initiated by the Trump Administration.
NUHW has 12 members who work at one of San Francisco’s only subsidized residential care centers for Alzheimer’s patients. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Sutter is shutting down the center by the end of 2018, prompting worry among family members, caregivers and officials about the dwindling availability of affordable care for dementia patients in an aging city.
Two of the seven congressional Republicans from California targeted for defeat this November have decided not to run for re-election, improving the odds that Democrats can pick up both seats. Rep. Ed Royce (R-Yorba Linda) surprised colleagues by announcing his retirement in July. One day later, Rep. Darryl Issa, the nation’s wealthiest congressman, announced that he too would be stepping down from his San Diego County seat. Issa had held onto his seat by less than 1,000 votes in 2016.