Monday, December 10, 2012

SEIU-UHW Officials: "We Knew about Kaiser's Layoffs in August"

Check this out. Remember the internal conference call that Tasty posted last week?

That’s the one where SEIU-UHW officials claimed they had no advance knowledge of Kaiser Permanente’s massive layoffs, which will hit an estimated 1,000 workers in California. Instead, SEIU-UHW officials claim they first learned about the giant job cuts when Kaiser sent emails to SEIU-UHW’s entire membership in recent days.

One worker famously asked, “What kind of partnership is that?”

Well, check out the latest development.

A resourceful reader was able to record a different SEIU-UHW conference call where union officials revealed a very different story. Tasty has posted an audio excerpt from this conference call below.

In this second conference call, Hortencia Armendariz and Chokri BenSaid (the NorCal and SoCal directors of SEIU-UHW’s Kaiser Division) say SEIU-UHW officials first learned about Kaiser's plans many months ago... when they attended an August 13th meeting of the Kaiser labor-management partnership council in Los Angeles.

At that meeting, two of Kaiser’s top execs -- Ben Chu (President of the Southern California Region) and Judy White (Business Administrator of the Southern California Permanente Medical Group) -- made a presentation to union officials where they announced that Kaiser was facing a “budget gap” of hundreds of millions of dollars, which is Kaiser’s justification for the massive layoffs hitting workers just in time for the holidays. (More on Kaiser's so-called "justification" later.)

Apparently, this is the same meeting that UNAC’s president described in an earlier letter to UNAC’s members.

So what else did SEIU-UHW reveal during its internal conference call?   

Chokri BenSaid says that “approximately 250” of SEIU-UHW’s members in SoCal have already been served with layoff notices -- which SEIU-UHW calls “position elimination notices.”

He also gave details about the particular job classifications that are most affected by the layoffs. And he reports that 982 of SEIU-UHW’s members are being targeted for early retirement. Here's the recording.