NUHW representative files lawsuit against SEIU stewards for assault and battery

NewsOctober 15, 2012

What kind of union do we want?

My name is Gloria Villasenor, and I’m an NUHW steward in the Kaiser Optical Unit. I’m proud of the fact that in my steward council, whether we’re representing workers, making sure our contract is enforced, or going on strike to fight the cuts that SEIU has accepted, we hold ourselves and each other to the highest ethical standards.

The contrast with SEIU couldn’t be clearer.

Today, NUHW representative Gloria Watkins filed a lawsuit charging three SEIU stewards at Kaiser Vallejo with “threatening” and “physically assaulting” her, and violating her civil rights.

In the middle of Kaiser Vallejo Medical Center, 25 SEIU stewards pursued, surrounded, and verbally and physically assaulted Ms. Watkins over a period of nearly 30 minutes. According to the lawsuit, Kaiser security officers and managers stood by and watched.

As a Kaiser healthcare worker, these allegations sicken me.

As an NUHW steward, I can say without question that the use of violence and threats has no place in a Kaiser healthcare facility, especially by union stewards. That’s not debate, it’s just pure violence, and that’s wrong.

NUHW is committed to winning victories for healthcare workers. Across California, we have won contracts with raises and no takeaways, not by violence and intimidation, but by showing management that healthcare workers are united and hold ourselves to a higher standard.

I am so proud to say that I’m a member of NUHW; as an NUHW steward I know that I am part of building a union that healthcare workers can be proud of.


Gloria Villasenor, Optician, Kaiser Union City
National Union of Healthcare Workers   

PS. Here is a leaflet in English and Spanish about the lawsuit to share with your co-workers.