Saturday, December 4, 2010

HCA Negotiations: Going Nowhere, Fast.

Tasty hears that SEIU's trustees are having some problems at HCA hospitals in California. Earlier this week, SEIU-UHW sent out a press release announcing that its members at three HCA hospitals in Southern California would conduct a one-day strike on Dec. 3 after more than a year of unsuccessful contract negotiations.

Registered Nurses at the three hospitals, who are represented by SEIU Local 121, have also been in unsuccessful negotiations at the same hospitals but, strangely enuf, Local 121 didn't issue a strike notice for Dec. 3.

According to the San Fernando Business Journal, the SEIU RNs planned to cross the picket line: "...members of SEIU Local 121RN will not be holding a strike on Friday. They still have five days left of bargaining with the hospitals’ management from Dec. 6 through Dec. 10, said Aimee Barajas, spokeswoman for the local union."

On Dec. 1, SEIU's trustees announced they were calling off the Dec. 3 strike and would instead sit down with HCA -- like they've been doing for more than a year.

So what's going on? As far as Tasty can tell, there are some serious coordination problems between SEIU's trustees and Local 121's leaders. How's it possible that these two SEIU locals are not coordinating their negotiations and strike plans against HCA, the largest hospital corporation in the US??

Tasty suspects these problems may have something to do with Ragin' Dave Regan's bull-in-a-china-shop style. During his short tenure in CA, Regan has already threatened the entire San Francisco Labor Council, the North Bay Labor Council, the Chair of the California Democratic Party, etc. Or it could be a simple case of incompetence by SEIU's out-of-state staff, like the failures that led to the firing of 38 UHW members at Piedmont Gardens in Oakland.

And this may be another hint: as far as incompetence, Tasty hears that Alex "Krooked" Espinoza is playing a lead staff role in the trustees' HCA campaign.