Undemocratic

Dirty tactics | Latest updates 0

beyond chronSEIU has been accused of negotiating lousy deals and not properly informing members of the details. Due to the union’s shoddy work, hundreds of California members want to join a rival union. Unfortunately, the workers can’t get their representation election scheduled because the AFL-CIO requested a delay of the election due to a backroom deal between the AFL-CIO and SEIU.

On March 30 … a worker committee petitioned the NLRB for a secret ballot election among 700 service employees at Enloe Medical Center in Chico. A week later, however, their champion in Washington, Rich Trumka, contacted NLRB headquarters and asked the agency to suspend further processing of that petition for at least 30 days. This request was immediately granted…

…Enloe employees may not get to vote for months…

The Enloe workers … first voted to unionize in 2007 but are now seeking a second vote—this time, to leave the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and join the National Union of Healthcare Workers… About 8,000 of NUHW’s members are defectors from SEIU, while another 3,000 hail from previously unorganized workplaces.

The secret ballot election that NUHW supporters like Patty Rusk are seeking in Chico would offer a choice between the incumbent union, their preferred alternative to it, or no union at all… “In our last contract, SEIU bargained away important language and put up absolutely no fight for livable wage increases, “ says Rusk, a unit secretary and 24-year employee of Enloe. “ “Then they rushed a contract ratification vote, giving us little notice and no copies of the contract they had bargained…Only 100 out of 700 employees voted. This is not how a union should behave.”

Benefits of Non-Membership?

Normally, Rich Trumka would only ask the NLRB for time to address organizational misbehavior–through his federation’s own internal dispute-resolution procedure–if the unions involved were both affiliated with the AFL-CIO and covered by its so-called “no-raiding” rules.  As many AFL-CIO unions recall with lingering resentment, the SEIU has not been a fellow member for ten years…

… Trumka now seems very desperate for SEIU re-affiliation with the AFL-CIO.

Last year, he and SEIU President Mary Kay Henry signed an “Agreement On Mutual Respect for Organized Workers. ” The main local goal of this bi-lateral peace treaty was to stem the flow of disgruntled California health care workers from SEIU to NUHW…

NUHW president Sal Rosselli has known Trumka for thirty years, since he was leader of the United Mine Workers. In a personal letter dated April 15, he reminded the AFL-CIO president that NUHW is not now and never has been directly affiliated with AFL-CIO…

“I believe if you look closely at the facts in this case,” Rosselli told Trumka, “you’ll see that SEIU is once again not acting in the best interests of workers, that that there are no grounds for SEIU to block this election, and that the effort to do that has nothing to do with the AFL-CIO.”

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