Monday, November 30, 2009

How to lose raises and your rights on the job in 6 easy steps!

Memorial hospital management has already begun their anti-union campaign with anti-union memos and one-on-one meetings between supervisors and employees. This week, St. Joseph Health System CEO Kevin Klockenga also sent a memo to all employees telling them that management wants them to vote against unionization. These practices are in violation of standards for fair union elections, and signal that workers’ rights continue to be at risk without an enforceable agreement between the parties.

Wait...what the? Hmmmmm This doesn't seem to square with their previous statement: "We are unwavering in our commitment to our employees, and honoring their dignity and choice on union matters," (shown on second page, second paragraph).

An employer offering anti-union advice is nothing new; Memorial management has released the following flier. I wonder how dumb they think their employees are?
Time to tear apart management style anti-union rhetoric.
1.) Why does the hospital allow union organizers to be in the cafeteria? They really bother me and my coworkers when we just want to eat our lunch in peace. Can we tell them to go away and leave us alone?
They offer a public cafeteria and can't choose who eats there. But should a worker be caught talking with a union rep and a worker willingly accept any written would have you think that's a crime against humanity! As for needing permission to tell someone to go away...I don't believe any worker thinks this. This sounds like a subtle way of getting managements' wishes into the minds of their workers.
2.) In last week's information on union dues, you said that dues for SEIU are higher than for NUHW. Why are NUHW's dues lower?
First off thanks for supporting NUHW with the lower dues argument. A nice and unexpected bonus. Betcha ya didn't mean to say that!

It appears that the Zombies have been feeding propaganda right to the hospital administrators. Does the phrase about NUHW "[i]s going broke and facing a substantial judgment in Federal court" sound familiar? It's right out of SEIU's constant whining you read on the anti-NUHW fliers.

I don't think SEIU wants to further weaken it's position with workers at Memorial and NUHW is trying to differentiate itself from the Purple Plague by not gathering dues until a contract has been negotiated and ratified. Also, dues deductions are handled by the payroll department, not the union. D'oh!

NUHW offers lower dues since it isn't paying off an $87.7 million loan, nor did it squander $10 million in Fresno and frightening and intimidating former members (scroll down to pages 35-37, 48-50).
3.) We were told that the union won't charge dues until we get a contract. Is that true?
When dues are deducted depends on which union is selected. The Zombies have no problem deducting dues for workers who are not yet members, as was the case for homecare workers 8 years ago. It was $10 a month for 4 months but still $10 x 1,800 x 4 = $72,000 for months of no real representation.
4.) Should I worry about paying dues if I am going to vote Neither [no union]?
If viewed as an investment it's a guaranteed return of several hundred percent, every month, no risk. Unless a worker is allergic to money who wouldn't want that?! I pay $32 in dues a month, and get a paycheck that is a couple hundred dollars more than if I weren't represented (at least until October 1, 2010; scroll down to Section 7.1 Wages). If  members made less money with a union would anybody vote for them? Ever?
5.) What happens if none of the three choices gets a majority [at least 50%+1] of the votes?
In the absence of an "absolute majority" winner a run off will be held. Handy tip for preventing a run off: don't throw away your vote by voting for no union or worse the Zombies. They contracts they bargain go downhill pretty fast in subsequent contracts.
6.) I signed the card that authorizes the union to represent me, but I changed my mind. The union and its supporters are telling me that I have to vote for the union. Is that true?
As for being required to vote: this isn't Singapore (where voting is mandatory) --  no one has to vote, ever. However, if you don't vote you can't complain if the outcome of the election and resulting union presence/absence. Given SEIU previous behavior, I suspect they are the ones pressuring the workers, NUHW simply doesn't have the desire to bully workers. SEIU's abandoning of the workers not once but twice should be all the motivation the workers need to vote against the Zombies and hopefully NUHW.

1 comment:

  1. The workers at Memorial should not be surprised that management has taken an anti-union stance. It appears that management and SEIU have partnered-up in the hopes that workers will ultimately vote for no union. We are all aware that the Purple Plague would rather that there be no union at Memorial unless, of course, members vote for SEIU.

    And what about the hundreds of thousands of union dues dollars that SEIU is spending to defeat NUHW and UNITE HERE? Do you, as a healthcare worker, think that it is fair that your own dues are being wasted in SEIU's struggle with NUHW?

    SEIU's desperate attempt to defeat NUHW is pitiful. The Purple Plague will go down in flames when the vote at Memorial is counted. Memorial workers will finally have the chance to vote for the union of their choice.