Wednesday, December 21, 2016

AFT Trounces SEIU in Runoff Election at Washington Hospital

Last week, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) thrashed SEIU Local 49 in a runoff election for 900 workers at 450-bed PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver, Washington.
Tally sheet from NLRB vote count

Here are the vote totals, according to NLRB records:
AFT:  319 votes
SEIU Local 49:  110 votes
Challenged Ballots:  1 ballot
Voided Ballots:  4 ballots             

The runoff election -- which took place December 14-15 -- followed a late-November election in which AFT's Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals was the top vote-getter yet failed to secure an outright majority as required by NLRB rules.

In last week’s runoff, workers’ support for SEIU dropped sharply. In fact, SEIU’s vote total dropped by more than one-third -- from 171 in the November election to only 110 in last week’s vote.

On December 16, the AFT issued a press release quoting President Randi Weingarten: "I'm thrilled to welcome the service and maintenance workers at PeaceHealth Southwest into the AFT family... The AFT continues to grow as a healthcare union..."

SEIU Local 49 is headed by Meg “I Love the Boss” Niemi, a close ally of SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan. Niemi is also a member of SEIU’s International Executive Board.

For more information, see "PeaceHealth employees vote for union choice" (The Columbian, December 19, 2016) and “PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center workers vote to join AFT” (NW Labor Press, December 19, 2016).