Friday, October 30, 2015

Unionization Election Points to 'Tale of Two Unions'

Here's an interesting "tale of two unions" story.

SEIU-UHW is failing to win unionization elections engineered through Dave Regan's backroom deal with the California Hospital Association.

For example, workers at Mission Hospital rejected SEIU-UHW in an election held earlier this year despite the fact that the hospital's executives gave every possible advantage to SEIU-UHW and basically pleaded with their workers to join the purple union.

Meanwhile, non-union workers continue to join NUHW through NLRB elections. Earlier this month, 160 workers at one of California's largest nursing homes (181-bed Novato Healthcare Center in Novato, California) voted to join NUHW. It's the latest in a string of election victories for NUHW.

What accounts for the difference?

Regan has chosen a deliberate strategy of trying to grow SEIU-UHW by making it the bosses' preferred union. Regan gives special assistance to hospital corporations by helping them slash workers' benefits, implement lengthy no-strike clauses, impose gag clauses, and freeze wages. In exchange, Regan asks these bosses to herd their workers into SEIU-UHW, the bosses’ union.

So far, workers aren't buying what Regan (and the bosses) are selling.


It ain’t rocket science. 

Most workers don't like their bosses -- typically giant corporations squeezing profits from their hard work. Workers want fair wages, health insurance for their kids, a good retirement plan, and dignified treatment. And they want a union that'll help them fight for these goals.

This month's unionization victory at Novato Healthcare Center seems to confirm this notion. The workers launched their effort to join NUHW only after learning about NUHW's recent strike at a nearby facility run by the same parent corporation.

"I want some of that action," workers seemed to say.

So... a strike and a fighting union inspired workers to stand up to their boss.

It makes sense, right? And it represents a striking counterpoint to SEIU-UHW's strategy of purple company unionism.