Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Labor Legend Dolores Huerta and Filipino-American Health Workers Ass'n Endorse NUHW

Dolores Huerta

As ballots arrive at the homes of 45,000 workers at Kaiser Permanente, two voices in the labor movement have thrown their support behind NUHW.

Dolores Huerta -- who co-founded the United Farm Workers Union with Cesar Chavez -- has been spotted at Kaiser hospitals in Southern California wearing a red NUHW t-shirt as she meets with workers. Here’s a statement from Huerta, who last year won a Presidential Medal of Freedom:

Kaiser workers organizing with NUHW-CNA are carrying forward the proud tradition of Cesar Chavez and me with the United Farm Workers, of standing up for their rights. I urge you to be part of Cesar's legacy by voting for NUHW-CNA.

And in a second endorsement, the Filipino-American Health Workers Association (FAHWA) issued a written statement urging Kaiser workers to vote for NUHW and sharply criticizing SEIU-UHW for colluding with the hospital industry to cut workers’ benefits, implement layoffs, and undermine California’s landmark safe-staffing laws. Here’s an excerpt from FAHWA’s statement, with the full version below.

The Filipino-American Health Workers Association (FAHWA) views with deep concern the collusion of California Hospital Association and the management of SEIU-UHW, led by Dave Regan...

FAHWA condemns in equally strong terms the collusion of the healthcare industry and Dave Regan to water down contractual standards... The collusion will enable health corporations to set in place various schemes of labor flexibilization that will ultimately result in unsafe working conditions, loss of job security, unsafe patient care, and the loss of pensions, benefits and jobs. This collusion is already hurting the interests of SEIU-UHW members...

In stark contrast to SEIU-UHW's sell out of its workers, FAHWA commends the efforts of the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) and the California Nurses Association (CNA) to preserve the gains and standards that its membership and union have won in the past. Both unions have stood their ground against the attacks of the healthcare industry against the health workers and their patients.

FAHWA calls on the general membership of SEIU-UHW, in particular the 15,000 Filipino-American nurses and other healthcare workers in Kaiser Permanente, to repudiate the collusion of California Hospital Association and Dave Regan's SEIU-UHW-led management and to support NUHW-CNA; and join the ranks of health workers and their organizations that genuinely advance the interests to uphold, promote, protect and defend their rights and of their patients.