Published on dissident voice, by Seth Sandronsky, January 24th, 2009.
What happens when 91 percent of eligible Service Employees International Union members refuse to vote, as the two options given to them exclude the option many of them say they want? Just ask the international executive board of the SEIU. After the embarrassing nine percent vote, the SEIU board voted January 9 to merge three locals and create a single union of long-term home care and nursing home workers statewide.
The locals to be merged into the new union of 240,000 workers are Local 521 in San Jose; Local 6434 in Los Angeles; and United Healthcare Workers-West in Oakland, whose leadership has become the target of SEIU International President Andy Stern by criticizing his corporatist strategy of trading workers’ rights and powers for an easy road to membership growth …
… Recent coverage of the SEIU vs. UHW conflict in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times has omitted this free speech issue. That omission influences the view of both unions in the court of public opinion.
Meanwhile, the UHW members’ vote to disaffiliate from the SEIU may become a moot point. Consider this. “National SEIU officials are expected to launch a hostile takeover of UHW” in a matter of days, according to a January 18 press release from Sadie Crabtree of the UHW. It looks like they are already making the first move for that.
If this takeover is allowed to happen, it will be on the watch of President Obama, for whom both the SEIU and the UHW campaigned last fall. (full text).