Statement by NUHW on today’s decision by the National Labor Relations Board

NewsMarch 3, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO—The National Labor Relations Board issued a decision today that will allow SEIU to temporarily continue to block elections for nearly 10,000 healthcare workers who are organizing to join the National Union of Healthcare Workers.

After more than a year of legal tricks designed to delay and deny workers’ right to vote, SEIU has selectively withdrawn their “blocking charges” and asked the labor board to schedule elections for a minority of workers.

Today’s decision will allow SEIU officials to manipulate the labor board’s process in order to divide workers, by strategically unblocking elections first at facilities where they think they can avoid another loss.

“It’s shameful that SEIU would rather divide workers than let their own members vote,” said Jeanne Pilotte, a dietary aide at Seton Medical Center for more than 30 years.

“Daughters of Charity workers fought hard in bargaining so we could unite our strength across all five hospitals and have a stronger voice for ourselves and our patients,” she said. “Since 2004, we have all bargainined our contract at the same table. When SEIU took over, we petitioned the labor board together to join NUHW and take back our union. Now SEIU wants to make us vote separately so they can try to keep some of us trapped in their organization.”

“It won’t work. We’re voting for NUHW to bring back democracy and integrity in our union.”

In just the last month, six SEIU staff members have been charged by the federal government for illegally threatening and intimidating members who support NUHW. Last Thursday, an SEIU staff member physically assaulted an NUHW supporter in a hospital cafeteria, in an incident that was caught on video.

Healthcare workers have filed charges against SEIU for similar tactics at a number of facilities, and are calling on the National Labor Relations Board to take swift action to stop SEIU’s illegal conduct so that fair elections can take place.

Earlier today, more than 116 elected officials and San Francisco community leaders published an open letter to SEIU, calling for SEIU to enter into fair election agreements that prohibit intimidation and dirty tricks.

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The National Union of Healthcare Workers is California’s fastest-growing union, representing caregivers in every job classification. More than 100,000 workers in hospitals, nursing homes, and Kaiser Permanente facilities have petitioned for elections to join NUHW and win a strong, democratic voice at work. |