Another wrinkle came up in this whole mess regarding a group called "Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice (h/t to SternBurger), in which SEIU got together with the Catholic Scholars and other groups back in May of 2009 to push Congress to pass EFCA. SEIU was quite proud of this alliance, so much so that SEIU pushed this very same meeting out on its own blog as well.
Fast forward 6-1/2 months, and the Catholic Scholars have noted that SEIU isn't exactly living up to the message it was attempting to send back in May, and they're further displeased with St. Joseph management for going along with SEIU's plans...
Now, the average SEIU patron is either going to mumble something about "that was then this is now" or proclaim that SEIU has to save the poor workers at SRMH from the evil that is NUHW because, well, NUHW disagrees with SEIU.December 3, 2009
Mr. Kevin A. Klockenga
President and Chief Executive Officer
St. Joseph Health System Sonoma County
Sent Via Email
Dear Mr. Klockenga,
In your letter of Oct. 5, 2009 to Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice you explained that “SRMH leadership was scheduled to meet with NUHW officials to attempt to reach mutually agreed-upon ground rules for a future election.” We in CSWJ rejoiced in this statement since it demonstrated a new openness on the part of SJHS to improve labor relations and it was the first concrete application of the joint USCCB, CHA, and labor union document, “Respecting the Just Rights of Workers: Guidance and Options for Catholic Healthcare and Unions.”
We have followed developments in this matter and are disappointed that SEIU refused to attend a meeting with SJHS and NUHW to decide upon ground rules for an election. We believe, however, that you still had a moral obligation to meet with NUHW since the interests of the workers should not be held hostage to one party who refuses to attend a meeting. Simply meeting with a union to discuss ground rules in no way constitutes an endorsement of that union by SJHS. In the name of the common good, we urge you to meet at the earliest possible moment with NUHW to discuss ground rules for the last two weeks of the campaign. SEIU should, of course, be invited but it they refuse to attend we urge you to schedule the meeting anyway.
In addition, we are deeply alarmed at reports that SJHS has reverted to an earlier form of behavior and is actively seeking to bust the union movement at Santa Rosa. It is a violation of Catholic Social Teaching on workers’ rights for an employer to demonstrate anti-union sentiments. The decision for or against a union is rooted in the natural right of free association and the employer may under no circumstances violate or denigrate this right through actions or conversations with workers that have a clear anti-union prejudice. Accordingly, we call upon Saint Joseph Health System to cease its anti-union campaign and to follow the norms that are set forth in Respecting the Just Rights of Workers: Guidance and Options for Catholic Healthcare and Unions.
JOSEPH J. FAHEY
Chairperson, Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice
Still, it's pretty clear now that SEIU would rather workers have NO union, rather than to be affiliated with a competitor - even one that may be (by SEIU's own description) broke, ineffective, wheels falling off, bla-bla-blah. Zombie UHW basically cannot point to any accomplishments in the past nine months, because it has none. All of the contracts at Sutter were negotiated prior to the trusteeship (by NUHW), and all of the Kaiser agreements negotiated after the trusteeship have been complete and total fiascos.
What's amazing to me is that anyone wonders why SEIU is the Manager's Choice in a union election.