Saturday, October 10, 2009

Santa Rosa Memorial workers receive anti-union mailer from SEIU-UHW; workers ask SEIU-UHW to leave

Here's the latest from Steve Sidawi, volunteer organizer for NUHW about the struggle with SEIU at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital (SRMH).

Workers at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital are used to anti-union literature from their employer, but this is the first one they've received from SEIU-UHW. This starting arriving at workers' homes yesterday and today. It provides confirmation that SEIU-UHW will be running a totally negative campaign against workers' chosen union, NUHW.

The mailer comes two days after members of the worker organizing committee delivered an open letter to SEIU-UHW Trustee Dave Regan asking SEIU-UHW to withdraw from the election. The text of the worker letter, signed by 75 SRMH workers, follows:


As members of the union organizing committee at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, we are appalled at SEIU-UHW’s last-minute interference in our union election. All of us have been working and sacrificing together to organize our union, and yes, it is our  union. You may disagree with the union we have chosen, but it is our decision to organize with National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW).

We filed for our election with NUHW back in April, and were forced to endure a five-month delay because of SEIU-UHW’s legal maneuvers. During that delay, nearly 200 of our coworkers were laid off, our pay was frozen and management has now made plans to take away our sick time. In this economy, workers at Memorial cannot afford to be without a union, but that is exactly what you have accomplished.

Your organizers showed up at our co-workers’ doors only after the NLRB finally allowed the election to go forward and your second attempt to stop our vote failed. The continued interference of SEIU-UHW organizers and lawyers is far worse than anything our management has done in recent memory. The NLRB may say you have a right to be on the ballot, but your presence in this election will only create confusion and division.

Last year, your union local in Ohio had scheduled an election for workers at Catholic Healthcare Partners. The California Nurses Association disrupted that election, like you are disrupting ours. In that election, the CNA used tactics to turn workers against their chosen union. You told the New York Times that the interference “is indistinguishable from that of the most vicious anti-union employers. It violates every principle of unionism. Real people are worse off today as a result of their behavior.” (New York Times, March 12, 2008).

Dave, like those workers in Ohio, we are real people too, and we are worse off because of your behavior. For too long, you and SEIU-UHW have actively prevented us from exercising our democratic right to vote for the union of our choice. So stop the house visits and stop the phone calls. It’s time for you to respect our decision and withdraw from the election at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.
They're not alone: read the North Bay Labor Council's letter asking SEIU-UHW to respect the workers wishes and jump back off the election bandwagon.

1 comment:

  1. Keyser - outstanding report! Keep it coming - you're going to be NUHW's eyes and ears for the SRMH fight!