Voting Begins Next Week for 45,000 Kaiser Workers Switching from SEIU-UHW to National Union of Healthcare Workers-California Nurses Association (NUHW-CNA)
OAKLAND — Tomorrow, April 5, ballots will be mailed out by the National Labor Relations Board in Washington D.C. to 45,000 service, technical and clerical workers employed by Kaiser Permanente at more than thirty medical centers and hundreds of clinics throughout California. Workers will be voting to leave the Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) and join the National Union of Healthcare Workers – California Nurses Association (NUHW-CNA). Ballots must be returned by April 29th, and counting will begin on May 1.
As ballots are about to drop, NUHW-CNA has launched a series of television and radio ads to raise awareness of the importance of the vote to Kaiser workers and patients.
Watch NUHW-CNA’s TV ad: http://youtu.be/X1Wlmn2EteM
Listen to NUHW-CNA’s radio ad: http://campaign.nuhw.org/hear
A majority of workers at Kaiser support leaving SEIU-UHW and joining NUHW, which recently affiliated with the California Nurses Association (CNA) to become NUHW-CNA. After Kaiser workers cast their ballots for NUHW-CNA, they will join 4,000 Kaiser healthcare professionals who already belong to NUHW and 18,000 Kaiser registered nurses with the CNA to become a union of nearly 70,000 Kaiser workers — the largest union representing Kaiser employees in the country.
In 2010, an election was held at Kaiser between SEIU-UHW and NUHW, in which SEIU prevailed by colluding with the employer and illegally lying to its members. A federal judge found SEIU guilty of cheating in the election and threw out the results. This year’s election is a re-vote of that spoiled election.
For more than four years, Kaiser workers have been organizing to leave SEIU-UHW and join NUHW, following a hostile takeover of their local union by Washington DC-based SEIU officials in 2009. SEIU executed a trusteeship of UHW that year after the local’s democratically elected leaders refused to allow SEIU officials to take control of contract negotiations out of the hands of California Kaiser workers, and opposed SEIU’s efforts to force half of the local’s membership into a Southern California homecare local led by an SEIU official who has since been convicted on multiple charges related to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars of members’ dues money. NUHW is led by the former leaders of UHW prior to that takeover.
“Kaiser workers want to be part of a union that we trust and that is willing to stand up to employers like Kaiser on behalf of patients and healthcare workers,” said Angela Glasper, an Optical Sales Receptionist at Kaiser Antioch. “Both NUHW and CNA have been on the frontlines of both patient and worker advocacy. That’s why we’re supporting NUHW-CNA. With 70,000 Kaiser employees united, we will finally have the strength and power to win what Kaiser patients and workers deserve.”