Sunday, May 5, 2013

More News and Analysis of Kaiser Election

Here’s additional reaction to the Kaiser election in BNA’s Daily Labor Report. The article, entitled “In Rerun Election Mirroring First One, SEIU-UHW Retains Kaiser Representation” and authored by Joyce Cutler, includes comments from Nelson Lichtenstein, a labor historian and the director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy at UC Santa Barbara. Here they are:

Nelson Lichtenstein, UC Santa Barbara history professor and union watcher, told BNA May 2: “[The] original effort of SEIU to take over UHW-West, this will be SEIU's Iraq, and I think the last four years has proven to be the case.”

Lichtenstein said “the whole thing was a blunder on the part of the SEIU.”

“It's always been in SEIU's court to extend their hand to NUHW and resolve this” as SEIU has done with other unions it battled, Lichtenstein said.

“The remarkable thing about NUHW, always in labor history established unions of whatever sort never back dissident factions. It's just not done. But in this case it was done. Basically the political and union base of the Bay Area and California did back NUHW,” Lichtenstein said. “I do think that it will be wise on the part of the SEIU to extend an olive branch to the leadership and the activists of NUHW and end this thing, this internecine warfare.”

NUHW after results were announced said together with 18,000 CNA-represented Kaiser registered nurses and 5,000 NUHW-represented Kaiser employees, “13,000 workers belong to a majority of Kaiser workers in California who stand united and ready to fight the downward spiral of cuts that SEIU-UHW and employers like Kaiser are forcing on healthcare workers everywhere.”