Probably in light of the NUHW Letter to KaiPerm's CEO, KP has evidently felt it necessary to send an E-mail out to the troops explaining its "official" position in the Great Union Foodfight:
It is very important to note that we have not, and cannot, take sides in this matter, or any disagreement among unions. Under the National Labor Relations Act, our legal and contractual obligation regarding UHW-SEIU remains unchanged. This simply means that Kaiser Permanente is legally required to recognize and bargain with UHW-SEIU until or unless the NLRB determines that it is no longer the exclusive lawful representative of employees in KP bargaining units.While it is amusing to think that SEIU actually has the capacity to conduct their activities "lawfully and appropriately," KP is taking what can only charitably be called a 'nuanced' position here.
We respect our legal obligations in this matter, and we are acting accordingly. It is our expectation that our employees and the unions involved in this issue will conduct their activities lawfully and appropriately as well.
No doubt Zombie UHW will claim this as a True Victory For Union Democracy or some such twaddle.
Unlike CHW, the KP contract is outside of the contract bar timeline, in that it is due to expire in October of 2010. Zombie UHW has already tried (and failed) to get some extension bargaining going, but I believe that KP wants to figure out exactly whom they will be bargaining with in 2010 prior to actually sitting down across the table from people.
As it is right now, KP has decided not to honor the expressed wishes of a clear majority of its employees to be represented by NUHW, preferring instead to let the legal wheels groan, while admonishing all parties to find some way to get along.