Sunday, April 15, 2012

Dave Regan's Newest Weapon against Kaiser's Cuts

Last week, top officials at SEIU-UHW rolled out their latest weapons in their so-called “fight” to stop Kaiser Permanente from slashing health and pension benefits for 43,000 workers. So what are the new weapons? The Electric Slide and the Cupid Shuffle. 

The dance routines join a veritable armory of fearsome weapons that Dave Regan and John August have unleashed in recent weeks: wellness walks, team salad days, “the strike against obesity” (aka, the flash mob to Beyoncé), zumba classes, and purple pedometers.

What’s going on? After recent bargaining, SEIU-UHW announced that Kaiser proposed to cut workers’ health benefits by introducing a new “Flex” benefit plan. In response, Dave Regan announced that SEIU-UHW members would be holding “rallies” in front of Kaiser’s hospitals across California.

And last week, SEIU-UHW staffers held 21st-century “rallies” at a handful of facilities. Here’s how SEIU-UHW describes one rally in a blog post entitled “Bringing It On at Kaiser Richmond.” (Click on image to enlarge.)

As readers can tell, not many workers have actually attended these rallies. That’s why Regan and Co have resorted to posting a photo of a single worker with fake dumbbells. Nonetheless, Regan’s propaganda team is telling workers that the lame “rallies” are causing Kaiser to “take notice.” On Thursday, Regan sent an email to workers that says:
We began flexing our muscles at rallies at Kaiser facilities around the state. And today, as we wrapped up our third round of national bargaining, it’s clear that Kaiser management has taken notice. We can’t let up now. We’ve been keeping up the pressure with our rallies across the state.
Hmm… Hard to imagine that Kaiser’s executives are quaking in their boots at the site of small numbers of workers doing the Electric Slide... especially when SEIU-UHW officials actually teamed up with Kaiser's supervisors to try to undermine statewide strikes by 20,000 members of NUHW and the California Nurses Association, which are aimed at actually stopping the same benefit cuts.

Here’s how one member of SEIU-UHW put it in an email to co-workers: 
SEIU is a joke. How is doing the electric slide, eating apples and oranges, going to stop the Kaiser cuts? We need a union, not a dance teacher!