Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Reports from SEIU-UHW's Ratification Votes at Kaiser Permanente

What’s going on with SEIU-UHW’s contract ratification vote at Kaiser Permanente? Well, Tasty has been getting lots of interesting reports from workers who describe scenes like this one:
I went to vote and there were 7 SEIU reps in purple shirts inside the voting room. 7 of them. They check your name on a list and then you have to mark the ballot on a table right in front of them. No privacy. They can see how your voting! It was intimidating. Why do they need 7 people to watch us vote. Oh yeah, and there were no copies of the agreement in the room for us to look at. NUHW is the only one whose handing out the agreement to employees.
Other reports include these:
  • SEIU blocked many workers from voting because their names don’t appear on SEIU’s list. In one case, SEIU’s staffers even blocked a union member “in good standing” who’s been paying full union dues for 18 years.
  • In several facilities, SEIU-UHW staffers forced union members to leave the voting room because they were “asking too many questions” about SEIU’s tentative agreement.
  • At many sites, SEIU staffers are pressuring workers to vote "yes" on the proposed agreement.
  • In at least one case, a worker reports that SEIU had pre-marked his ballot when he showed up to vote.
At Kaiser Modesto Medical Center, a worker tried to 'watch-dog' the vote by sitting quietly in the voting room to observe her union's balloting process. An SEIU-UHW staffer named Jared Mayhugh quickly put an end to that. He had her removed by four Kaiser security guards.

So how are workers voting? Well, Tasty hears that SEIU is only doing public counts of the ballots in some facilities. In other facilities, they simply take away the ballot boxes at the end of the day. At one site where SEIU actually counted the ballots, they discovered that there were more ballots in the box than the number of people who’d been checked off on the list of voters. When people said “WTF!,” an SEIU staffer replied, “Don’t worry about it. We’ll figure it out when we get back to the office.”

Despite SEIU’s dirty tricks, workers at more than a half dozen sites have actually succeeded in voting down SEIU’s tentative agreements! Tasty hears this happened at Modesto Medical Center, Stockton, Livermore, Delta Fair, Modesto Bangs Clinic and Alameda. 

Stay tuned for more crookin'! SEIU's ratification votes will continue into June.