NUHW asks labor board to schedule elections for all workers awaiting elections to quit SEIU
January 22nd, 2010
SEIU charged with abusing labor board’s process to block or delay elections for tens of thousands of healthcare workers
SAN FRANCISCO—A new charge against the troubled SEIU could result in long-awaited elections for workers at more than 80 hospitals and nursing homes across California to dump SEIU and join the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW).
Over the past year, 100,000 SEIU members have been organizing to join NUHW, a member-led union founded by California healthcare workers. To stop these workers from voting to leave, the SEIU has filed frivolous “blocking charges” with the labor board, arguing that it would be unfair for SEIU to face a democratic vote by its own members.
“Healthcare workers have chosen NUHW in election after election,” said Donna Mongelli, an RN at Kaiser’s Los Angeles Medical Center. “That’s why SEIU is afraid of a fair vote.”
Many of SEIU’s charges have already been dismissed, and NUHW has won most of the elections so far. After a string of defeats, SEIU officials tried on Jan. 14 to selectively withdraw their blocking charges at facilities where they think they have a chance to win. They argued that the labor board should keep stalling elections for the majority of workers, and schedule only the elections chosen by SEIU officials
In charges filed this morning, NUHW supporters asked the labor board to schedule elections at all 80 hospitals and nursing homes without further delay, and put an end to SEIU’s strategic abuse of the board’s process
In a letter to the labor board, NUHW attorney Jonathan Siegal wrote that “The position of the NUHW in these matters is simple. We believe that all petitions should be unblocked, and the parties should sit down with the [labor board’s] Regional Directors and work out a reasonable schedule for the holding of all blocked elections.”
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The National Union of Healthcare Workers is an independent, member-led union, dedicated to improving the lives of healthcare workers and the people they care for. More than 100,000 workers in hospitals, Kaiser Permanente facilities, homecare, and nursing homes have petitioned to join NUHW since January 2009.