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.