Friday, November 27, 2009

Blast from the Past: Stern's words come back to haunt him!

A regular reader and commenter emailed me this damaging 4 page write up on the SEIU dispute with CNA/NNOC (California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee) and CHP (Catholic Healthcare Partners), an employer of 7,000 hospital employees in Ohio. SEIU's actions then are very similar to what is going on now at Memorial. So sit back and have a good belly laugh as you compare Stern's statements of yesteryear with his union's actions today.
It's hard to believe any trade unionist would condone-much less lead—a campaign whose only purpose is ... to deny thousands of workers the chance to have a voice on the job.
Yet, this is exactly what happened with the various representation elections such as Fresno homecare, Providence Tarzana, Sequoias Assisted Living Facility in Portola Valley, and so on. SEIU has proved time and time again that:
  1. any amount of money spent to prevent workers from choosing NUHW is wholly justified, and
  2. no union at all is better than choosing NUHW.
Union-busting is union-busting, no matter who is at the helm, and it goes against everything we have all fought for over the years.
Unless, of course, SEIU is doing the union busting against CNA, UNITE-HERE, NUHW, whoever is in SEIU crosshairs that day then it's ok.
Both sides agreed there would be no negative re-election campaign so that workers would be able "to freely choose without undue pressure" from either party, SEIU President Andy Stern told BNA March 10 [2008].
We were just days away from realizing our dream when scores of out-of-state organizers descended on our hospitals and began to frighten employees with vicious anti-union leaflets and rhetoric.
Fast forward to the Zombies inability to agree to election ground rules, as shown here (scroll down to page 3): except for the "re" in re-election, this is exactly what is going on at Memorial.

Does "undue pressure" include 1,000 Zombie staff flown in from around the county to intimidate and coerce 10,000 Fresno homecare workers, (only to barely win an election whose suspicious outcome is being questioned by former staffers and Fresno homecare members)? Better yet how about the expected 300 staff who will do the same to the 600 workers at Memorial? In Fresno it was 10 workers to 1 Zombie staffer, at Memorial it could be 1 to 1 since all 600 workers aren't at work at the same time. The hell I predicted they'd go through may be a great deal more uncomfortable than even I had initially conjured up.

Change a few words and you can see that what was irritating SEIU in 2008 is not viewed as a problem at all in 2009.

"If CWA [Communications Workers of America] NUHW works to achieve an agreement with Verizon Wireless Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital for a valid union election, should other unions [UHW] jump in at the last minute?"

How is that any different from UHW doing the same earlier this year?
These workers made their choice a long ago.
They did: NUHW. Suck it up Zombies it's time to get used to defeat.
Last week, SEIU announced that after a three-year effort, CHP, Ohio's largest nonprofit medical system, and SEIU had established pre-balloting ground rules and procedures governing the nine representation elections.

If SEIU had been organizing at those hospitals for the last three years, why wasn't it able to collect union authorization cards from 30 percent of the workers, she [then CNA Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro] said.
3 years to come to an agreement?! I know Mr.Rogers told us to take the time to do it right but this is ridiculous! Doesn't this run counter to SEIU's plan to grow as fast as possible?! Sheesh!

The Zombies complained NUHW staff stole the "signatures of the majority". If these signatures had disappeared for whatever reason re-gathering them should be quite easy: the workers know who is collecting the signatures and what they are about. They chose to ignore the members and that made them mad. Mad enough to despise the very presence of any SEIU staffer.
Stern, whose union pulled out of the AFL-CIO in 2005, said he contacted AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney and asked him to get CNA, which is an AFL-CIO affiliate, to cease its campaign, but with no success.
Really?! So SEIU leaves the AFL-CIO and then comes crawling back looking for help with a member of the AFL-CIO?  Isn't that like going to an ex-girlfriend's parents and asking for their help in talking some sense into her only to be shown the door with her father, his shotgun and his itchy trigger-finger?!

All this SEIU nonsense lead me to recall a bit of wisdom from George Carlin: "[L]et's not have a double standard here, one standard will do just fine." A fitting quote, don't ya think?

1 comment:

  1. Classic example of good ol' Andy riding the Hypocrisy express! It's union-busting when someone does it to SEIU buts its perfectly legitimate when SEIU does it to another union. The campaign at Memorial is almost a carbon copy of what happened in Ohio only with the roles reversed for SEIU.
    "According to SEIU,CNA/NNOC is distributing "deceitful campaign materials" to try to undermine SEIU's organizing efforts". Boy does that look familiar!
    And no Andy, other unions should not jump in at the last minute and force themselves onto the ballot! Especially when they are not welcome or wanted by the workers!So how about you withdraw from this election,recall the Zombie horde back to whatever graveyard you dug 'em up from and leave us(the Memorial workers)alone!
    "The labor movement should unify in protecting the sanctity of democratic unionism and stop the top-down deals that(SEIU president Andrew)Stern cuts across this country and around the world at the expense of workers." DeMoro said. Amen sister, Amen!