Wednesday, June 5, 2013

NUHW Defeats SEIU-UHW in Today’s NLRB Election at Kaiser Permanente

Earlier today, Kaiser Permanente’s optical workers in Northern California voted by an overwhelming majority to be represented by NUHW.

Approximately 370 workers were eligible to vote in today’s NLRB election, and they voted for NUHW by more than a two-to-one margin. 

Here are the results:

NUHW:  214
SEIU-UHW:  103
No Union:  3
Challenged Ballots:  22

In 2010, this same unit of optical workers voted to decertify SEIU-UHW and join NUHW. Also in 2010, four other units of Kaiser workers bolted the Purple Palace and joined NUHW. 

Together, these 4,000 workers have fought the same benefit cuts that SEIU-UHW has already accepted from Kaiser, including cuts to workers' retiree health coverage.

In response to the workers’ fight-back campaign, SEIU-UHW teamed up with Kaiser to try to force the optical workers back into SEIU-UHW. 

SEIU-UHW poured untold amounts of money into their decertification campaign -- including weekly mailers, robocalls, live phone calls, fake telephone surveys, websites, purple buses, etc. SEIU-UHW staffers also worked hand-in-hand with Kaiser's managers to try to break the NUHW workers’ strikes.

Meanwhile, Kaiser has given every possible advantage to their “partner,” including giving SEIU-UHW free access to the optical worksites in order to carry out the purple campaign.

So… has Kaiser’s and SEIU-UHW’s joint campaign undermined optical workers’ support for NUHW?

Nope! According to today’s election results, optical workers’ support for NUHW has actually grown stronger since 2010.

In the 2010 election, NUHW won by a margin of 52% to 48% (154 votes to 142 votes). Today, NUHW won by a margin of approximately 70% to 30% (214 votes to 103 votes)... and with an even higher turnout among voters.

Tasty hears that NUHW’s margin of victory would have been far bigger, but SEIU-UHW’s Greg Maron blocked the NLRB from counting 5% of the ballots by frivolously challenging NUHW supporters’ right to vote. Maron (whom workers charitably refer to as “Greg Moron”) even challenged the voting rights of optical Shop Stewards who’ve worked at Kaiser for more than a dozen years!

According to workers, Moron and SEIU-UHW staffer Justine Fout couldn’t even scare up a single Kaiser worker to attend the vote count with SEIU-UHW.

Congrats to the optical workers!

Fyi, in case you're interested, here’s NUHW’s post on the election.