Thursday, November 15, 2012

Explosive Pic from Kaiser's Corporate Conference Room

What kinds of backroom deals is SEIU making with Kaiser Permanente? Well, check out this explosive photo. It’s from a Kaiser conference room in Northern California. Just days ago, Kaiser execs made a presentation to a room full of company officials about Kaiser’s “Strategic Options.” During a break, Tasty’s source snapped a pic of one of the key slides in the presentation:  

Here's what the slide says:

Strategic Options

  • Salary Reduction
  • Hiring Freeze
  • Firing Staff
  • Freeze Capital Spending
  • Freeze Pension / Benefits

So what does this mean? Sources tell Tasty that a number of these so-called “strategic options” are already being implemented with the active support of SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan and John August.

Last week, Kaiser began implementing an estimated 1,000 layoffs across California. According to an email from the president of UNAC (a “partnership” union), Regan and other “partnership” officials began secretly discussing the layoffs with Kaiser last summer.

And the timing of the layoffs tells another important story. SEIU and Kaiser are so deeply in bed that the giant HMO decided to implement the layoffs at the same time as it announces record profits! Last Friday, Kaiser issued this press release announcing $2.1 billion in profits during the first nine months of 2012.

So... what about the fifth bullet point: “Freeze Pension / Benefits”?   

It's common knowledge that Regan and Kaiser have planned these cuts for a long time. They were poised to implement them during this year’s “Coalition” bargaining, but were forced to back-pedal after 20,000 members of NUHW and the California Nurses Association conducted strikes against the cuts, which won lots of support from SEIU members. 

In addition, the NLRB ordered a re-run election for 43,000 Kaiser workers in California, who’ll eventually get another chance to choose between either NUHW or SEIU-UHW. With a re-run election hanging over their heads, Regan and his corporate masters were reluctant to ram giant concessions down Kaiser workers' throats.

But make no mistake about it. Regan and Kaiser plan to cut workers' pensions and benefits as soon as they possibly can. And the photo is proof. 

As long as SEIU has a seat at the bargaining table, the cuts inevitable. Why ? Because SEIU has already allowed Kaiser’s main competitors to eliminate defined-benefit pension plans covering 17,000 workers at Dignity Health and Daughters of Charity Health System. SEIU's Regan has also engineered massive cuts to workers’ health insurance benefits. This has caused Kaiser’s execs to salivate like dogs in heat as they tell Regan, “We want some of that, too!”

And that's not all. With SEIU-UHW in your corner, even a wage freeze isn’t out of the question. Earlier this year, SEIU negotiated a wage freeze -- plus retirement and other benefits cuts -- for 14,000 workers at Dignity Health in California... even after the company pocketed $1.4 billion in profits over two years.

So look out Kaiser workers! And keep an eye out for Dave "Wall Street" Regan as he ducks into Kaiser's conference rooms with your bosses... and plots to steal money from your pocket. Now you know what kind of slides they've been shooting up on the wall.