Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Canadian Healthcare Workers Win Pair of Victories

Last week, workers in Toronto won two more victories against SEIU.

First, on December 20th, a panel of three Canadian judges knocked down SEIU’s latest legal assault against the “Ontario Workers’ Union” (OWU), a new union that’s won at least five elections against SEIU since July

In SEIU’s latest legal attack, fancy purple lawyers have been trying to stop the new union from participating in elections by claiming that OWU’s constitution is somehow “flawed” and that the union was “formed illegally.” 

After SEIU lost this argument in front of the labor board, SEIU then appealed the decision to a higher court. On December 20, a panel of judges heard SEIU’s appeal. Normally, it takes 4 to 6 weeks for the judges to reach their decision. In this case, the judges reportedly needed only 40 minutes to rule against SEIU. And, to top it off, the judges ordered SEIU to pay thousands of dollars of attorney fees to OWU as a penalty for dragging the new union through the bogus legal challenge.

On the very next day, SEIU suffered its second defeat. That’s when approximately 200 lab workers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto voted to join OWU in a government-run election. The lab workers, who’ve never had a union before, recently decided to unionize… so they decided to approach their co-workers (who’re in SEIU) about joining SEIU. According to one source, the SEIU members told them “what a crappy union SEIU is,” and steered them to the Ontario Workers’ Union. 

As the date for last week’s union election approached, SEIU reportedly launched its usual smear campaign and then dispatched large numbers of SEIU organizers to tell workers to vote “no union.” Fortunately, workers persevered, and handed SEIU its second loss in a week.

According to one source in Ontario: “There's a definite stench of fear coming from the purple palace as OWU grows stronger and SEIU members realize they can liberate themselves from their purple chains...”

Way to go, Canadian healthcare workers!