Workers at Eden Medical Center petition to quit SEIU and join NUHW

NewsApril 6, 2009

Castro Valley, Calif.—A majority of the 350 healthcare workers at Sutter Health’s Eden Medical Center have filed a petition with the labor board calling for an election to join the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW). They say they’re joining NUHW to stay united with caregivers at more than 360 healthcare facilities across the state who are fleeing the scandal-plagued SEIU.

“In these tough economic times, we know we’re going to have to fight dangerous reductions in staffing levels, and the question is, who do we trust by our side in bargaining with Sutter?” said Katrina Bowman, an administrative assistant in the radiology department for nine years and an elected member of the bargaining team. “More than 3,000 workers at other Sutter hospitals have already chosen NUHW because NUHW is led by healthcare workers like us.”

Since NUHW was founded by union reformers just two months ago, more than 95,000 SEIU members have flocked to join NUHW for a stronger voice in on the job and a more democratic voice in their union.

SEIU has mounted an increasingly desperate effort to stop workers from leaving, stalling elections with legal challenges, making backroom deals to take away workers’ right to change unions, working with employers to threaten and discipline union members at work, and sending union staff into healthcare facilities to try to stop workers from organizing with NUHW.

“If we let SEIU officials negotiate for us, we know they’d give away everything just to close the contract and lock us into SEIU,” Bowman said. “We need a union we can trust.”

Caregivers filed their petition on Friday with the National Labor Relations Board.

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The National Union of Healthcare Workers is an independent, member-led union, dedicated to improving the lives of healthcare workers and the people they care for. NUHW is building a national movement of caregivers to hold healthcare corporations accountable to the public interest and win affordable, quality healthcare for all.