Friday, October 29, 2010

NUHW Victory at SVMH!

On Thursday, workers scored an important victory at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital by overcoming months of SEIU's delay tactics and finally winning recognition as part of NUHW. Since May, SEIU has used one bogus legal maneuver after another to stop workers' election results from taking effect. Workers got fed up and began making hundreds of phone calls to the labor board to demand that their election be respected. On Wednesday, the labor board dismissed SEIU's latest appeal and on Thursday, it certified NUHW as workers' new union!

The action came none too soon. On Tuesday, SEIU staffer Lauren Sullivan (aka "Wicked Witch of the West") was meeting with management to talk through layoffs of 165 workers. Lauren is the same SEIU staffer who threatened workers with possible termination if they participated in a picket line in front of the hospital to protest the layoffs.

On Thursday, a crew of workers was meeting at a nearby Denny's to plan their next steps when they finally got the news of the board's action (that's them in the photo at the top). Some of the workers quickly got on the phone to tell SEIU Staffer Lauren Sullivan that she can no longer represent them in secret meetings with their employer.

And as for the Wicked Witch of the West? Tasty hears she ended up here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wicked Witch of the West

Here's a story that says it all. First, let's rewind our memories back to May. That's when 900 workers at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital voted by a two-to-one margin to leave SEIU and join NUHW.

Soon after the election, SEIU filed bogus legal charges to stall the labor board from certifying NUHW as the workers' new union. As the labor board takes its merry time sorting thru SEIU's charges, SEIU continues to be the workers' authorized union and still collects workers' monthly union dues... even though SEIU provides zero support to the workers there. Awesome!

A couple of weeks ago, management announced plans to eliminate 165 jobs at the hospital even though it made more than $14 million in profits during the past year. SEIU didn't raise a whisper of opposition and, instead, sent former SEIU Local 521 staffer Lauren Sullivan to meet with hospital execs to plan the job cuts. (Here's more background on Beyond Chron.)

So... workers self-organized their own picket line to fight the cuts. When SEIU learned of workers' plans, they sent Lauren Sullivan back to the hospital to organize AGAINST workers' planned protest. Lauren scurried through the hospital telling workers they could be fired if they joined the picket line (FOR REALS, Lauren??). Lauren, who apparently is BFF with SEIU staffer Velvet Hazard, quickly earned the nickname "Wicked Witch of the West" due to her evil ways and Halloween-themed outfits.

Despite SEIU's scare tactics and misinformation campaign (sound familiar, Kaiser workers), on October 21 workers held a successful picket line that was covered in 3 newspapers and 2 TV stations. Check out this TV coverage on CBS news. And Lauren... you might wanna start researching your next career move here... or here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Looks Like Dave Regan Has Some Competition!

Sophia Sims describes herself this way:

Union Activist; I have been a union activist for over 22 years. As a member worker, I have organized externally and internally, politically organized(precinct walking, phone banking, lobbying the lawmakers), union steward(representation of the members). Ive held union staff positions as a Rep./ Organizer and Staff Director(CHW & Kaiser Division. Currently the President of AFRAM (Los Angeles Area chapter and Western Region Secretary). Most union affiliated organizations like CBTU, A. Phillip Randolph, AFRAM(African American Caucus) been involved or a member. Alumni of the UCLA African American School. Held the office of Treasure with the staff union under Local 399. Mostly a humanitarian, I care about people even when they dont care about themselves or dont know how to care about themselves. Im known as Sophia, Sophie, or ss (lol). Also that person who is not afraid to speak out when there is an injustice done to

...and it seems she is running for UHW President against Dave Regan. Tasty wants to know more--email me at

CHW Workers Remain Committed to NUHW!

Check out this cartoon and more at the awesome website of Ellen Dillinger--a UHW member and healthcare worker who is also a talented cartoonist!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Kaiser Election Aftermath...

So, readers and friends...NUHW lost to SEIU in the Kaiser election. NUHW filed objections to that election because of violations of the NLRA including Kaiser illegally helping SEIU and Kaiser withholding raises from NUHW members to influence the voters in this election (in other words-- the missing 2% raises from the SoCal pros.)

And Tasty has been hearing from readers with complaints about the this one:

Tasty - I read the charges that NUHW filed last week against Kaiser and SEIU. But they forgot something important. Its true SEIU lied to Kaiser workers and told us we'd lose all our pay and benefits if we voted for NUHW. But SEIU had a special campaign to lie to immigrants. Why? Because many immigrants don't know how the laws work in this country. I know a guy from Mexico who works in dietary in my hospital. SEIU went to his house and told him "You got kids, right? And they get medical insurance from your job, right? If NUHW wins, your kids will lose their insurance." Another woman from Mexico, she works in EVS. SEIU went to her house 5 times one day and told her she will lose her pension if NUHW wins. She told me "I'm getting old. I can't lose my pension." I asked around, and in departments where theres just 1 or 2 Latinos, they were the only ones that SEIU visited in their houses. SEIU lied to all the workers, but they made a special focus to lie to immigrants. I hear that SEIU did the same thing to homecare workers in Fresno. Is that right? Isn't this kind of racial profiling illegal? For me, it is the most despicible thing to bully people who are the most vulnerable. Can the goverment investigate this? We need to let the world know what SEIU did here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Kaiser Vote Results

SEIU 18,290
NUHW 11,364
Neither 365

A real bummer for NUHW, but when the boss and the incumbent union are working together...what can you expect?

But based on the violations of labor law, Tasty has his money on a re-run.

Andy Stern's New Gig at SIGA--Makes More Sense Now!

Today's Huffington Post has an article called "Andy Stern's Bizarre Alliance with Private Equity and Bio Warfare."

Quite Revealing! Turns out that SIGA, the bio-pharmaceutical outfit that put Andy on it's board is owned, in part, by private equity big wig Ron Perelman...who also owns Allied Barton, a security firm where SEIU cut a notably bad deal for security guards.

From the post:

Stern and Perelman worked closely together when Stern was head of the SEIU and was attempting to organize Perelman's workers. Stern gave Perelman treatment that was unusually favorable to the private equity giant.

Stern and Perelman have a history of cooperation. The pair met in 2004 as SEIU was attempting to unionize AlliedBarton, a security company owned by Perelman's holding company, according to a labor official who knows them both. In September 2006, the SEIU surprised the labor movement by agreeing not to organize 10,000 security guards working for AlliedBarton, largely in the Philadelphia area, in exchange for organizing opportunities elsewhere. In 2008, the SEIU again surprised observers by not standing in the way of the sale of AlliedBarton to the private-equity firm Blackstone Group, as SEIU generally does in industries where it is organizing workers.

"In an unusual statement, the Service Employees International Union said it supported the deal," the Philadelphia Inquirer reported in 2008. "The SEIU, which has two million members, has been critical of private-equity firms for flipping assets, receiving favorable tax treatment, and paying huge compensation to the industry's top executives."

A labor official recalls how out-of-place the support for the Blackstone deal seemed at the time. "They were in the process of attacking private equity in general and the Blackstone Group in particular, and all of a sudden they said, 'Well, this is a company we can deal with,'" recalled the official.

So, Andy got a gig on the back of thousands of security guards who still live in poverty? Priceless.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dave Regan, an Excellent Chamber Maid.

In an effort to impose its will not just on the members of UHW, but on the more than 800,000 residents of the city and county of San Francisco, SEIU's trustees have teamed up with the Chamber of Commerce to unseat the progressive majority at the SF board of supervisors. (The Bay Guardian has the details.)

The trustees' alliance with the Chamber is part of their ugly deal with the notoriously anti-union Sutter Health, and as the Guardian notes, "puts UHW, part of the Service Employees International Union, in the odd position of using membership money to attack progressive politics in San Francisco – potentially undermining years of work by another SEIU affiliate, Local 1021."

Beyond that--SEIU's latest deal with the devil actually undermines one of the only campaigns the SEIU-backed Change to Win coalition is currently waging: US Chamber Watch, an effort targeted at countering the Chamber's "extremist political advocacy."

According the the Change-to-Win sponsored website: "The mission of U.S. Chamber Watch is to promote greater transparency and accountability in American political processes by shedding light on the funding and practices of the largest private interest lobbyist in America, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce."

Having sold out in such a bold way, it's difficult for SEIU and Change to Win to achieve even a minimal level of credibility when they try to pose as working class heroes fighting for the downtrodden--in fact they come off looking like pathetic hypocrites (just ask Jono Shaffer).

But, as you know, Tasty likes to look on the bright side. So where's the silver lining in this latest tawdry development? It's here: the deeper the hole SEIU digs for itself in California, the more we can see what the purple machine really stands for these days!

First, they decapitate the extremely popular and effective leadership of one of the best locals in all of SEIU, then in a desperate attempt to keep thousands of unhappy members in the fold they bully, lie and cheat their way through the bad joke known as the NLRB process. When that's not enough they jump in bed with the boss to get NUHW supporters fired.

At this point even the holdouts who bravely tried to defend SEIU's actions over the last year and a half will be forced to admit it: SEIU will say or do anything to hold on to the dues it extracts from the members of UHW. Even if that means hooking up with the Chamber of Commerce.

Meanwhile, At the NLRB.

Today the counting has started, as you can see from a car parked near the NLRB offices in Oakland.

Ok, well, more like the prep to the counting has started. Today will likely be tasks like: going through the list of eligible voters, seeing if either side objects to anyone being eligible to vote (i.e. management, workers who haven't worked there enough, or don't work there anymore. ), checking envelopes, etc.

Kaiser, SEIU and NUHW each have a team of 22 people with them. The ballots, of which there are about 30,000, will be grouped in batches and divided among 15 teams (each team consisting of 1 each from Kaiser, NUHW (most are Kaiser members) and SEIU.) Each team will go through the ballots/envelopes, to prep them for counting. The other 7 people are watching the counting, covering breaks, and/or are lawyers for each side.

Probably no real counting will get done today, and with this number of ballots it might not be done until Friday. The counting will go on each day from 8:30am - 7pm--no breaks!

Tasty is willing to be that this will be the longest day any Kaiser manager has worked in a long time.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Kaiser: Time to Cut Checks!

It's official. The 10(j) has been issued--The NLRB has told Kaiser to give all workers who voted for NUHW the 2% raise that Kaiser legally owes them--ASAP!!

It's raise and retro time for SoCal Professionals and RNs!

This one is for Our Brothers and Sisters at Unite HERE

Just in case you can't recall why you were fighting SEIU...Here is Anna Burger, recent SEIU Secretary Treasurer and Change to Win President--the most powerful woman in Labor.

With Hyatt owner and union buster Penny Pritzker.

By the way--they serve on the Economic Recovery Board for the Obama administration together. Barf.

Monday, October 4, 2010

While You Wait for the Kaiser Vote Results...

...enjoy a short video by Oscar Medina out about SEIU.

Kaiser Election--UPDATE--Time Extended

It's all over, except the counting!

All ballots must be in at the NLRB today.

The vote count starts Wednesday, Oct 6th, and may well take more than a day or two, depending on how many votes come in.

You'll know the results when Tasty does!

UPDATE: got this email!

Tasty - the NLRB has extended the final deadline for submitting ballots. The NLRB will accept mail-in ballots that arrive at its office before 5pm on Tuesday. So people in the immediate Bay Area can still mail their ballots on Monday so that they arrive on Tuesday. You can also hand-deliver your ballots to the NLRB office in Oakland up until 8:30am on Wednesday morning, when the ballot count begins. The NLRB's office is located in downtown Oakland at 1301 Clay Street, Room 300-N (510-637-3300). Bring your photo ID with you.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Breaking news! NLRB authorizes injunction against Kaiser

On Thursday, the NLRB authorized its attorneys to seek a 10(j) injunction in U.S. District Court against Kaiser Permanente for illegally withholding a 2% pay increase from the 2,300 RNs and Pros who voted overwhelmingly to join NUHW in January. This shows (once again) that SEIU is lying through its teeth when it tells Kaiser workers they'll lose their pay, benefits and scheduled raises if they vote to switch unions. It's a lie. In fact, Kaiser is now gonna get slapped with a federal injunction for breaking the law!

So what's a 10(j) injunction? It's like any court-ordered injunction or restraining order to stop illegal actions. Federal law allows the NLRB to seek 10(j) injunctions "when there is strong evidence that an employer has committed unfair labor practices" and the NLRB wants "swift relief" to "mitigate the damage of the employer's actions," according to the American Rights at Work (ARAW).

Each year, the NLRB seeks only a small number of 10(j) injunctions against the worst corporate offenders (That's you, Kaiser). According to ARAW, the NLRB issued an average of just sixteen 10(j) injunctions per year from 2001 through 2005.

Kaiser has now joined the ranks of America's worst corporate outlaws because its executives are hellbent on trying to help SEIU win the NLRB election. And It's clear why: In just 18 months, SEIU's DC trustees have handed huge prizes to Kaiser's executives, including hundreds of millions of dollars of pension cuts, 1,500 layoffs, and a side-deal to cut workers' health insurance. No wonder Kaiser's execs are willing to face federal injunctions.

And Tasty can just imagine the long list of additional concessions that Kaiser execs are preparing if SEIU wins the election.

Time to vote, Kaiser workers! Ballots gotta be mailed ASAP so they reach the NLRB office by Monday.