Monday, June 20, 2011

SEIU Launches Strike-Breaking Effort in Salinas

SEIU's trustees are writing a new, shameful chapter in the history of California's healthcare unions. It's called "Strikebreaking."

A few weeks ago, Tasty described how SEIU is actively assisting Kaiser in an unsuccessful effort to break strikes by thousands of NUHW members who're fighting against health and pension cuts that SEIU officials already accepted in a back-room deal.

Well, SEIU has now spread its strike-breaking operation to Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, where 700 NUHW members are planning a one-day walkout on Tuesday after the hospital said it wants to lay off about 100 staff.

When SEIU's trustees still represented Salinas Valley Memorial’s workers, SEIU let the hospital eliminate 165 jobs. SEIU organizer Lauren Sullivan even threatened workers they'd get fired if they joined workers protesting against the layoffs. She also signed secret deals to furlough workers.

After decertifying SEIU and joining NUHW, workers waged a successful fight to stop 100 additional layoffs proposed by a Chicago-based consulting firm. NUHW's campaign got national press attention, including front-page coverage in the Los Angeles Times and MSNBC, along with this sum-up piece in the Huffington Post ("Hospital Workers, Facing Layoffs, Launch Counterattack on Executives"). The hospital's CEO was forced to resign after NUHW members' exposed a multi-million-dollar executive pension scandal.

Fast forward to today. As workers prepare for their next battle against the hospital, SEIU has sent in organizers – including SEIU organizer Mauricio Vides, pictured above in a photo from the weekend – to encourage workers to scab during the strike.

So far, the only people talking to SEIU are two workers who've already announced they're gonna scab because they support the hospital’s efforts to lay off their co-workers and cut the remaining workers’ benefits (even though the hospital is making millions in profits). Sounds like they’re perfect for SEIU. Who knows... maybe Dave Regan will give them a job?