State Labor Board Cites SEIU for “Abusive Behavior” and “Physical Threats” in 2009 Fresno Homecare Election

Press ReleasesAugust 23, 2012

FRESNO — The California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) released an official complaint yesterday against the Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) for intimidating voters in a 2009 union election in Fresno, California between SEIU-UHW and the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW).

SEIU-UHW agents engaged in “menacing and abusive behavior,” including “kicking in a bargaining unit member’s screen door,” “threatening to physically assault” NUHW supporters and “tearing down and defacing” NUHW signs “on the private property of bargaining unit members,” according to the complaint.

SEIU-UHW also “engaged in campaign misrepresentations by falsely telling bargaining unit members that, as a consequence of voting for (NUHW), they would: (1) lose their health insurance; (2) lose their place on the Kaiser Health Plan waiting list; (3) have their wages reduced to $8.00 an hour; and/or (4) lose their jobs entirely.”

SEIU-UHW’s campaign of intimidation and harassment was directed at impoverished homecare workers, some of whom were undocumented and spoke little English. In several cases, SEIU-UHW agents threatened to call immigration enforcement on workers who refused to pledge their ballots to SEIU-UHW.

See this video from 2009 of workers describing SEIU-UHW’s misconduct:

Last year, a federal judge found SEIU-UHW guilty of making similar threats and misrepresentations in its campaign against NUHW in a separate 2010 statewide election for 45,000 Kaiser Permanente workers. Because of SEIU-UHW’s gross misconduct, the judge threw out the results of the election. A new election is expected to be scheduled at Kaiser by the end of the year. SEIU-UHW, however, is already engaging in the same misconduct as it did in 2010.