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Elected NUHW Stewards being removed from office by SEIU

I am not taking any sides, I try to present the story in the old way, the facts should speak for themselves. You the reader, are the best judge.

The SEIU is “firing” Stewards and Member contract specialists, elected by their members, from elected office.

The members of the UHW have had card signings at over three hundred sites and voted overwhelmingly to leave the SEIU. They want to form the New UHW, but since NLRB rules don’t allow a decertification petition until just before a contract expiry, they can not decertify until 2010 there is no legal NUHW even if a hundred thousand members think they belong to a new Union.

I don’t think this is going away, California Union members are “fired up, and ready to go” it looks as if they are gearing up for the long haul.

This is not going to come out well for organized labor unless both sides talk. From this side of the country it looks like the members of UHW have been trying for a long time. It takes two sides both willing to listen to make a deal. This is all about Andy Stern, can he lead? Can he forge unity or simply try to force compliance?

In California the war between the SEIU and the as yet unrecognized NUHW continues. Stewards are being removed for disagreeing with the appointed heads of their SEIU local.

Many won’t agree but stewards, when elected, agree not to act against their Union, agree not to promote another Union or to act against their Union. Like it or not, the SEIU is currently the legal bargaining agent and has the right to remove stewards for actions against the SEIU.

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April 2nd, 2009 Posted by narsbars | Executive Branch Bargaining, SEIU, SEIU 1989, Stewards, decertify, member apathy, nuhw | 9 comments


  1. 500 San Francisco homecare workers petition to join NUHW

    Date Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 1:00PM

    IHSS Consortium workers join 92,000 Kaiser, hospital and nursing home workers in effort to leave SEIU and join the National Union of Healthcare Workers

    SAN FRANCISCO—More than 500 homecare workers at San Francisco’s In-Home Supportive Services Consortium petitioned on Monday to join the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW). Caregivers say they’re getting rid of their old union, SEIU, so they can stay united with the 92,000 other California healthcare workers who are also seeking to join NUHW.

    “Homecare workers want to be united with hospital, clinic and nursing home workers so we have one strong voice to stand up for the people who need our care,” said Rosie Byers, a Consortium caregiver who led the effort to join NUHW. “SEIU tried to split our union in half, and gave us no say in the decisions that affect us.”

    In January, SEIU demanded that California’s healthcare union force out Byers and 65,000 other homecare and nursing home workers, and make them join a separate union that would be run by SEIU staff from Washington, D.C. Homecare workers’ elected local leaders said they would only comply if workers were allowed to vote on the transfer. Instead of allowing a vote, SEIU seized control of the local union in a hostile takeover.

    Since then, healthcare workers have been organizing to quit the SEIU-controlled union and stay united in NUHW. Workers have filed petitions to hold elections to join NUHW at more than 350 facilities across California, including most Bay Area hospitals and nursing homes.

    Healthcare workers continue to flock to NUHW despite a widespread campaign by SEIU to mislead union members and terrorize NUHW supporters. SEIU staff have threatened workers with the loss of their pay, benefits, and jobs, and shut SEIU members out of meetings for supporting NUHW.

    “NUHW is our union, led by healthcare workers who understand the work we do,” said Byers. “We’re joining to protect the gains we made over the years, by negotiating a NUHW union contract with the Consortium in June, and working together to stop unprecedented budget cuts that could hurt our homecare consumers and put our families in poverty.”

    Consortium workers’ petition was filed on Monday with the National Labor Relations Board.

    # # #

    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.

    Comment by Anonymous | April 2, 2009

  2. SEIU may well have “the right to remove stewards for actions against the SEIU” – but those same stewards would be equally removed by their membership if those stewards were to collaborate with the SEIU takeover. As a result, stewards and contract specialists are now having to be hired by SEIU at very frequently double their existing Kaiser salaries – such is the cost to go against the stated wishes of the membership you would purport to serve.

    SEIU can preach and bleat about “togetherness” and “member democracy” and “getting back to what works” all it likes – but it cannot do so without the membership.

    This trusteeship was, at best, ill-considered, and has been extraordinarily heavy-handed from the get-go.

    Eliseo Medina, on the day of the trusteeship, put out a robocall stating that only the E-board was removed, that all other positions and negotiations and bargaining would remain status quo.

    In less than two days after that robocall, all negotiations were suspended, all bargaining was called off, and stewards (many of whom were also members of the UHW E-board) were being interviewed for perceived disloyalty to SEIU.

    Make no mistake – there are no winners here (well, except for maybe CHW, Sutter, DoC, and other union-unfriendly hospital organizations), but SEIU will lose the most, because after what has happened over the last two months, there is no way in hell I would ever willingly go back to SEIU.

    Comment by SierraSpartan | April 2, 2009

  3. Santa Clara Kaiser

    2 Contract Specialist removed, Rep Chair removed, EBoard member fired by Edger James on YouTube, at least one third of the Stewards removed, and the LMP Labor Co-Lead which was also our Work Place Safety Labor Co-Lead after 11 years. Oh and the Management side of Work Place Safety jumped ship out of Kaiser and the UBT Consultant left his position to move to Work Place Safety because it is mandated. Not to mention the list of members that have been fired by the employer in the last ten days.

    We are hanging in there but I believe that elected Leaders can’t be removed with out a reason. But if you would like to know more let us know.

    Comment by Anonymous | April 2, 2009

  4. remember that old book Confessions of a Union Buster? it is about a union buster who repents and goes to work for our side. These people in SEIU are doing the opposite. They are turning their backs on the working class and doing the job of Union busters… WITH MEMBER DUES MONEY!!!

    Comment by Anonymous | April 4, 2009

  5. Folks should also remember the workers who got written warnings, last and final warnings, unpaid suspensions and who were fired from their hospital jobs for supporting NUHW. Will worked at Olympia for decades and is now out of work. Mell is a single mother and was fired.

    It is not legal for SEIU to work with bosses to have workers fired and in these terrible economic times this crime is made even worse.

    All members of SEIU should be very troubled by these actions. If you have a difference of opinion with the International you could be next. Beware of these people.

    Comment by Anonymous | April 4, 2009

  6. An arbitrator put Mell back to work with NUHW helping her with her case. Now Beverly has been fired from her job. SEIU when will you give up and leave our workers alone? We are leaving SEIU and no matter how much you collaborate illegally with the boss you can’t fire us all. Our vote will come. We are NUHW.

    Comment by Anonymous | April 27, 2009

  7. Editor:
    The activity and dedication of the NUHW believers is impressive.

    If any NUHW or SEIU people want to write their own stand pro or against SEIU or NUHW email me at NarsBars@UnionMaine.Org

    I would like to hear from you, this is not going to go away.

    Comment by Thomas Maher | April 27, 2009

  8. The ousted former uhw union stewards swore not to harm members "you cannot win a war with the enemy beside you".Joining NUHW will definately harm SEIU UHW members ..The shady former leaders should be arraigned by the federal courts for their corruption and theft of millions of dollars of members money. The former leaders greed for power has put our membership at risk.Shame on Sal Roselli and his cronies

    Comment by Anonymous | August 14, 2009

  9. Folks, don't buy the lie.

    Zombie UHW keeps regurgitating the same old lies, the same old spin that came out of the Marshall Hearings, which were completely one-sided and had the outcome predetermined even before the first deposition was taken. The only surprise to come out of the Marshall hearings was that Secretary Marshall recommended trusteeship for an issue that was not even part of the reason for the hearings in the first place.

    The real criminals in the SEIU-NUHW fight are the Purple People who have just this week actively colluded with Kaiser Permanente and allowed almost 1200 workers to receive pink slips without the called-for process in the existing contract.

    These occurred AFTER closed-door "Enterprise Bargaining" between SEIU and Kaiser Permanente, and that "Enterprise Bargaining" occurred without representatives of the affected workers, without election of a bargaining committee, and without periodic reports back to the rank-and-file on what was occurring in that bargaining.

    And now, with SEIU's silent assent, Kaiser is talking about cutting back its after-hours clinical service hours in Stockton, a city which does not have a Kaiser Hospital with an ED. Those patients in Stockton will instead have to go to a non-Kaiser facility for after-hours non-emergent acute-care needs. And the workers at that facility will see their hours – or possibly their jobs – drastically cut. The only thing that anyone has heard from SEIU is silence. A Kaiser PR flack from Fresno stating that the letter to the members regarding the service cuts needed to be "fine-tuned."

    SEIU's reckoning will come. Eventually we, the members, will be given the opportunity to tell SEIU exactly what we think of their "representation" since the imposition of the trusteeship. And we will then be able to show Kaiser that their collusion with Zombie UHW and SEIU will have repercussions.

    Comment by SierraSpartan | August 15, 2009

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