Thursday, June 14, 2012

SEIU-UHW Executive Board Member Resigns over Kaiser Bargaining

In predictable fashion, Dave Regan and Co. unveiled their final act of disinformation to wrap up SEIU’s contract negotiations with Kaiser Permanente.

Late last week, Regan announced a “landslide” victory in Kaiser workers’ ratification vote, which was marred by widespread misconduct. Here’s an SEIU leaflet claiming that “a majority” of Kaiser workers participated in the vote, and that 85% of them voted in favor of the deal negotiated by Dave Regan and John August.

Sources say both numbers are laughable. After all, workers at more than a dozen facilities voted down the tentative agreement, as recorded in public vote counts demanded by workers. Furthermore, workers report that nowhere near 50% of the bargaining unit of 43,000 workers participated in the votes.

Meanwhile, SEIU-UHW officials -- in a mad rush to fabricate favorable voting results -- ended up producing even more distrust among workers. For example, on the same day that SEIU’s “extended” voting sessions concluded at Kaiser Santa Clara Medical Center in Northern California, a worker returned home from work and was stunned to find in his mailbox an SEIU-UHW mailer -- delivered by the U.S. Postal Service -- announcing the statewide results of the voting… which had concluded only several hours earlier at his facility!  

It takes many days to design, print and mail a 43,000-piece mailing. So did SEIU actually count the ballots? Or did Regan rely on a crystal ball to gaze into the minds of Kaiser workers?

If SEIU staffers did any “counting,” Tasty guesses they employed the same meticulous methods they used to “count” the five million steps that Kaiser workers supposedly took during SEIU’s poorly attended “Wellness Walk.” That phase of SEIU-UHW’s negotiations was also marked by another memorable moment of purple disinformation when SEIU’s Joe Simoes famously compared SEIU’s Wellness Walk to the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Rosa Parks’s act of civil disobedience against Jim Crow laws.

SEIU’s credibility on the ratification vote faced other blows. For example, SEIU-UHW failed to provide copies of its tentative agreement to Kaiser workers… until NUHW got a copy and posted it on its website.

This week, SEIU suffered another blow when a member of SEIU-UHW’s negotiating committee – who also happens to be a member of SEIU-UHW’s Executive Board – resigned her positions in an act of protest and disgust. Here’s what Sophia Sims said in an email:
What I witnessed at the bargaining table was so serious that I have since stepped down from both the bargaining committee and the SEIU-UHW Executive Board, and have resigned from my position as an SEIU steward. How could I stay with SEIU when SEIU is so clearly in bed with Kaiser? All of us who witnessed SEIU's ratification vote at Kaiser over the last few weeks know that it was plagued with misconduct.
And here’s a video, produced by NUHW, where Sims describes her experiences during the bargaining and why she now supports NUHW: