SEIU Steward Council endorses NUHW

NewsAugust 3, 2010

95% of SEIU’s workplace leaders switch sides in anticipation of statewide election Sept. 13

Santa Rosa, Calif.Forty-eight SEIU union stewards at Kaiser Santa Rosa—virtually the entire SEIU Steward Council—announced yesterday that they endorse NUHW in the Sept.13 statewide election for nearly 44,000 Kaiser Permanente workers to switch from SEIU to NUHW.

“We are confident that the best future for our co-workers is with NUHW and not SEIU-UHW,” the 48 Kaiser employees wrote in a letter to their colleagues. “We look forward to voting for NUHW, so we can be part of a union where we make the decisions about our priorities for bargaining and who respresents us on the job and who leads our union.”

Read the letter by 48 SEIU union stewards endorsing NUHW:

Watch workers make their announcement outside the hospital:


The National Labor Relations Board has scheduled a government-protected mail ballot election beginning Sept. 13 for nearly 44,000 Kaiser Permanente workers to join the National Union of Healthcare Workers and kick out the incumbent union SEIU. The election—the largest of its kind since the 1940s—was ordered in response to a petition by thousands of Kaiser workers demanding the right to vote on their union representation.

NUHW is California’s fastest-growing union, made up of thousands of healthcare workers across the state who have rejected unaccountable SEIU leaders who exclude members from important decisions about their jobs and benefits. Instead, NUHW supporters are choosing a union where decisions are made by Kaiser workers themselves.

More than 2,300 Kaiser workers joined NUHW this January in three landslide elections. One of their first accomplishments was winning 171 new positions at Kaiser’s flagship Los Angeles hospital, a victory for patient care that also creates more quality jobs with good pay and benefits.

The federal government has stepped in to protect Kaiser workers’ promised raises and benefits when they join NUHW. Kaiser management is already required by federal law to maintain the terms and conditions of the union contract when workers change unions, yet management tried to flout the law in April by not giving a scheduled 2 percent raise to employees who joined NUHW. Workers filed a charge, and the National Labor Relations Board announced they would hold a hearing to make sure Kaiser management follows the law.

SEIU continues to plead its case to the National Labor Relations Board on separate petitions for nearly 2,000 other Kaiser workers, to whom SEIU hopes to deny the right to vote entirely.