House Divided

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SEIU opposes the sale of a failing California hospital chain to Prime Healthcare for petty political reasons. Now, a number of SEIU members are bucking their union and supporting the proposed sale. SEIU wants to sell the hospitals to a New York-based private equity firm that has no experience running hospitals, reports the Gilroy Dispatch.

The California Nurses Association, which as an organization stands in Prime’s corner, is at odds with the SEIU-UHW. But within that service employee union, factions are splintering.

Centeno, a union steward for the SEIU-UHW, held back tears as she presented representatives from the attorney general’s office with a petition covered in 100 signatures from her colleagues who, like her, are bucking the union’s leadership and backing the for-profit buyer.

German Leyva, an SEIU-UHW union member and SLRH employee for 10 years, agreed with her sentiments.

“The union doesn’t speak for me or my co-workers. We’re not a part of it by choice; we have a ransom we have to pay,” said SEIU-UHW union member and SLRH employee German Leyva, referring to his union dues.