Wall Street Journal blog: Unions fight over health-care workers

NewsJune 24, 2009

Even as the economy has lost millions of jobs over the course of the recession, health care has continued to add jobs. So it makes sense that unions would be eager to sign up health-care workers — so eager, in fact, that megaunion SEIU is locked in a public fight against an upstart health-workers’ union that’s trying to recruit new members.

The SEIU has asked federal labor officials to throw out petitions signed by tens of thousands of its own members who have asked to be represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“The SEIU is advocating free choice for every employee in the United States, unless you’re an SEIU member,” one of the leaders of the new union told the LAT. The SEIU argues that the new group has unfairly restrained and coerced workers, and has complained to the National Labor Relations board.

As is often the case with this sort of schism, the new would-be rivals are former insiders — they were SEIU officers until their Oakland, Calif.-based local was taken from their control earlier this year in a fight over the direction of the union.

Source: Wall Street Journal blog