By Steve Early
When the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) defeated the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) in balloting among 43,000 workers at Kaiser Permanente (KP) last October, SEIU Executive Vice President Dave Regan was exultant. SEIU’s victory was “a huge achievement,” he said. “NUHW is now, for all intents and purposes, irrelevant. We’re thrilled.”
On a conference call with union staffers and SEIU supporters at Kaiser earlier this week, Regan sounded a lot less thrilled. And for good reason. On Monday, July 18, a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) hearing officer found evidence of election misconduct by SEIU and Kaiser—presented by NUHW—was very relevant to her determination of whether the largest NLRB vote in 70 years should be overturned.
In a strongly-worded 34-page rebuke, federal Administrative Law Judge Lana H. Parke ruled that collusion between Kaiser and its largest union so “interfered with employees’ exercise of a free and reasoned choice” that a new election must be held. In particular, Parke cited the impact of management in unfair labor practices in several smaller Kaiser bargaining units where workers voted to leave SEIU and join NUHW prior to the September-October 2010 election in a statewide unit of service and technical employees.
Read the full article at Working In These Times.