Thursday, October 14, 2010

You Can Lie, But You Can't Hide!

As a faithful reader of Sternburger with Fries, I was pleased to see Tasty connecting the dots between Steve Greenberg's whitewashing of SEIUs sins of the day and Randy Shaw for calling him out for who he is: Stern's college roommate turned thinly veiled cheerleader for SEIU International. The latest Greenhouse inspired problem: a NY Times article that supports the neutrality of Kaiser but ignores the injunction filed against Kaiser. Also of note is his delcaration that SEIU is a "powerful, nationwide union that could do a better job negotiating contracts" but I wonder if he has looked at any of these contracts. The "bigger is better" message still has great meaning to SEIU.

Below is included Steve Early's letter to the editor calling out the Time for its very selective reporting. Go Steve!

To Mr. Arthur Brisbane,
The Public Editor, NY Times:
When a big employer violates federal labor law, and its misconduct affects the outcome of the largest private sector union representation vote since 1941, shouldn’t Times readers be informed about this?
Steven Greenhouse’s Oct. 9, 2010 article on the recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election at Kaiser Permanente (“Big Union Wins Vote Against a Rival in California”) quotes a Kaiser spokesperson, John E. Nelson, who declared that the election was “fair.”
Mr. Greenhouse reports: “Mr. Nelson said Kaiser was neutral throughout the campaign and had ‘cooperated fully with the N.L.R.B. to assure that we met our legal obligations.’ ”
Nowhere in this article does Greenhouse mention that the NLRB has issued a major unfair labor practice complaint against Kaiser for violating its duty to bargain fairly with 2,300 employees who left the “big union” (the Service Employees International Union) in January and joined its “rival” (the National Union of Healthcare Workers. The Board’s regional director in southern California has accused Kaiser of withholding a scheduled 2% raise last April—a management action that unlawfully punished the defecting SEIU members for their exercise of “employee free choice.”
If Kaiser had "cooperated fully" with the NLRB and met its "legal obligations," this case would have been settled last Spring, and the affected workers would have been paid what they were owed under their old contract. Instead, management misconduct cast a long shadow on the just-completed election, in which 43,000 Kaiser employees chose to stick with SEIU, rather than change unions and be treated like their 2,300 co-workers now represented by NUHW.
On Oct. 4, the NLRB sought what’s called a “10(j) injunction” in federal court, to obtain immediate back pay and other benefits for the 2,300 workers, while their case is still being litigated. This action is taken in only a handful of unfair labor practice proceedings every year, where the damage to workers rights is particularly egregious. Yet Greenhouse makes no mention of this in his article, again failing to provide readers with a full and accurate picture of the employer behavior that influenced the outcome of the latest SEIU vs. NUHW contest at Kaiser.
In the interests of full disclosure, I should note that I am an active supporter of NUHW. But as someone with 35 years of experience in labor law, labor journalism, and union organizing, I find the omission of these salient details to be quite a lapse in The Times’ usual standards of reporting.
Steve Early
11 Ely Rd.
Arlington, Mass.

Better Dead than Red?

Wow, shocking but totally unexpected. Way to go Zombie UHW! You'll do anything but support dues paying members, won't you? I suspect this is the first of many healthcare employers to reduce it's workforce now that employers know that if put to a vote for UHW or NUHW, the Purple Plague will bend over backwards to screw it's own members just to secure a win over NUHW. The message here is clear: think for yourself or vote for NUHW and you're on your own. "Race to the bottom," indeed!

Monday, October 11, 2010

What a $50 million fear and lies campaign buys the Zombies

Read Cal Winslow's excellent article on  the Kaiser fight, why NUHW lost and why standing up to fear -- be it from your boss or your union -- is crucial to making an informed decision. SEIU will spend any amount of money and use lies, fear and employer collusion to keep what is shouldn't have. No wonder organized labor is taking a beating: Americas fastest growing union is going out of it;s way to show how progressive and caring it is!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Money Talks; Democracy Walks

As we've all heard by now the Zombies and their blind-sided members at Kaiser "have overwhelmingly voted to keep our union". We all know how the Zombies like to overstate everything but this one time they are right. They did achieve a victory but only by overwhelmingly annoying the very members it wishes to represent. They lied, bullied and spread fear among members who are just trying to do their job and are entirely uninterested in the livelihood of union employees bent on keeping their jobs, including clueless temps supplied by one of SEIU's remaining allies the Obama administration . They may have won the battle but, as in the Fresno Homecare War of 2009, they are losing the war for California healthcare workers and both victories are under review by the government.

Though the Zombies teamed up with Kaiser management and basically strongarmed their way to a false  victory, this cash hungry approach to keeping members will quickly bankrupt SEIU. Once those paychecks start bouncing (which I have heard has already began) they will be unable to find anyone to work on their behalf and against the members. It's hardly a surprise, but still very discouraging.

So what's next? Well the Zombies are likely to screw up the lives of members now under contract and once enough people are burned by SEIU they can put management intimidation and Zombie bullying aside, look at their diminished paychecks and vote what is best for them.

* * *

As you may have noticed I've been laying low for a while now and for this I have an explanation. As a homecare member I was (and still am) quite interested in the future of homecare in California where I was born raised and (for now) still live. I also wrote extensively about Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital given my various connections to the hospital. I want to write my own original material based on what I read and observe and not rely on the writing of others such a former UHW cheerleader "X Perez whatever", nor do I want to say pretty much the same thing as Tasty Burger. It occurred to me to Perez Stern covered the Fresno homecare battle, Sierra Spartan covered the descent of Andy Stern and I focused on Sonoma homecare...we all have out specialties. Tasty Burger clearly has the inside scoop on the Kaiser battle.

Since I've been busy with earning a living, keeping up with my bills despite the effort of SSI to penalize me every time I try to provide for my family, and branching out in my other financial endeavors I've had my distractions. For now there will be less frequent blog entries but I'm still here, watching, thinking, waiting for that sign that tells me now is the time to break free of Zombie rule here in Sonoma county.

Friday, September 10, 2010

New KP workers website

In an effort to combat the ever rising tidal wave of lies and manipulation from the Zombies I have posted a like to the NUHW sponsored website. Learn more about what is really going on in Kaiser. Note the tone of the website, no use of fear just just the law plain and simple. Go NUHW!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Kicking Us While We're Down: Republican Legislators Truly Despise the Poor

As a low income worker who is constantly attacked for working in the IHSS program and is brutally punished for trying to legitimately get ahead in life, I find it particularly gauling that Republican legislators are so willing to eliminate the poor by gutting our financial support! I know some of these legislators represent constituents that reward them saying "no" to spending money on any kind of socially oriented programs, but this is ridiculous.

Nothing like a little truth to destroy an otherwise solid sounding argument!

Friday, August 27, 2010

When in bed with the boss make sure the roof doesn't cave in!

This is disturbing as it is unexpected. As time goes on SEIU is becoming harder to differentiate from the employer it seeks to emulate, by acting more and more like the employers it should be battling on behalf of it's dues-paying members. This week's act of complacency and passive support is documented below in Randy Shaw's article on Beyond Chron.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

"Doctor" Huerta makes the rounds

She's fearless, she's respected and she's feared by UHW/Kaiser for daring to think and then speak her mind but that's exactly what she is doing. Go Dolores!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

2 down... a few more to go

Hear ye, hear ye: Anna "I've held every position but president, so pick meeeeeeeeeeeeee" Burger has decided to hang up her spurs. Don't run away now, SEIU is about to have it's rear-end handed to on it on a plate. Anna, you must stand by the president you now support...she's going to need it. Could this be the first of many high level SEIU execs to finally read the writing on the wall and jump ship before it completely sinks? Maybe. I'm sure Brave Sir Regan would rather die than quit so who's next? Email your suggestions. Top names will become choices on a poll.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kaiser Santa Rosa Stewards to fellow members: see you on the other side!

For a year and a half now the Zombies have been slapping around their own members on multiple occasions and recently it's own staff, but now now they've really done it: 48 of their own stewards resigned en masse to support NUHW. That's 48 less in quickly shrinking army of largely willingly-blind supporters*. To quote from my favorite movie: They "showed these men of will what will really was".

I wonder just how much loss they have to endure before they realize they are fighting an uphill battle against a tiny, underfunded, small in membership but well supported upstart union they keep losing to! This should prove to be quite an exciting summer for union democracy,  California healthcare workers and the long overdue but well deserved collapse from it's own arrogance.

* I suspect the Zombies supporters are half willingly-blind supporters, and half totally clueless people who just believe what is told to them because of the perceived authority that is SEIU.