Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The First Cracks In The Dam...

North American Healthcare SNF workers are now officially bargaining-unit members of NUHW...
Workers at three Sacramento-area nursing homes and one Pacifica-area nursing home have overwhelmingly chosen the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) as their union. North American Healthcare, Inc., which operates the facilities, has agreed to recognize the union and begin contract negotiations with NUHW’s elected bargaining team. NUHW and North American Healthcare also agreed to continue the terms and conditions of the current collective bargaining agreement while caregivers negotiate a new labor agreement with their employer.

Despite an aggressive effort by SEIU to intimidate workers and deny them a free choice of which union they wanted to represent them, caregivers rejected SEIU and chose NUHW as the representative of North American Healthcare workers.

Workers’ decision was certified by Shirley Campbell, a retired 25-year veteran of the State Mediation and Conciliation Service who has overseen hundreds of union elections for the State of California. The employer and the union agreed on Campbell as a neutral third party to verify that NUHW has support from a majority of workers, demonstrated by signatures on a petition.

“I hereby find that National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) has been designated and selected by a majority as the exclusive representative of the employees,” Campbell wrote in her finding.

While SEIU officials advocate for the Employee Free Choice Act in Washington, D.C., in California they are working to obstruct union elections at more than 350 healthcare facilities and block 91,000 workers from leaving SEIU. They have engaged in a campaign of terror against workers who dared to speak out against SEIU. Several workers have been harassed, intimidated, threatened, and in some cases suspended and even terminated from their jobs because they want SEIU out of their workplace.

“Healthcare workers need a voice in our union so we can stand up for ourselves and for the people who need our care,” said Eloise Reese-Burns, a certified nursing assistant at Cottonwood Healthcare in Woodland for over 39 years. “We asked SEIU over and over to let us vote and determine our own future, and they refused because they wanted to divide us. I’ve been a union steward for 30 years, and now we are in a union that will respect our voices. We’ve made our decision, and if SEIU continues to try to stop our choice, then there should be a law against what SEIU President Andy Stern is trying to do.”

Some in the Labor Community may think this a small step, but it is still a worthy one all the same, because this is the first crack in the SEIU dam. The workers referenced above were SEIU-covered, were taken into bondage by the trusteeship, and have declared their freedom by signing over to NUHW.

And there was not a damn thing that the Purple Plague could do about it.

Word from NUHW to Our Glorious Maximum Leader: Actions Have Consequences. You have sown the wind - now see how it feels to reap the whirlwind.

To my brothers and sisters at the North American Healthcare facilities in Woodland, Sacramento and Pacifica:

WELL DONE! Welcome to NUHW!

1 comment:

  1. This is great news! Go NUHW!!!!


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