The union battle escalated yesterday in Fresno, CA as the NUHW officially filed charges with the California Public Employee Relations Board against the SEIU for alleged interference in the voting process to organize home healthcare workers.
Both sides traded barbs and hurled accusations at each other. The SEIU dismissed the NUHW’s efforts, essentially branding them as sore losers:
“Some of the things I’ve heard (are) just preposterous,” said Dave Regan, an executive vice president with SEIU. “When you lose, and you tell everyone you have to win, there’s wild allegations and sour grapes.”
The NUHW held a press conference with healthcare workers to provide accounts of the SEIU’s alleged illegal activities. Given the SEIU’s history, these allegations are not too surprising but still appall the conscience.
Here’s one account of outright intimidation:
“I was at the door of a fellow homecare provider, explaining why I was voting for NUHW,” said Phally Pov, a provider and NUHW volunteer. “An SEIU organizer saw us and ran around the corner. Minutes later two huge men pulled up in a car, jumped out, and started coming toward us and yelling. They yelled over me and wouldn’t let me talk with the provider. I noticed that the men smelled strongly of marijuana. I was afraid for my safety, and the provider I was visiting was visibly shaken. They threatened the member that if he voted for NUHW he would lose his benefits. When they were finished yelling at us, they handed the other provider a t-shirt and told him he’d better vote for SEIU-UHW.”
An example of vandalism:
“I saw a man in purple walking up to my door,” said Lesalie Kyle, a provider in North Clovis. “I had an NUHW sign behind my locked screen door because I didn’t want SEIU harassing me at home. He rang the bell, and when no one answered he kicked my screen door in and put a bunch of SEIU flyers in front of the sign.”
And for good measure, theft:
Silbenia Conley, a provider in Kerman, filed a police report after three family members in her home witnessed an SEIU staffer steal a sign she had put on her door to show her community that she supported NUHW.
Welcome to the world of union organizing campaigns. Now imagine what organizing campaigns would be like if EFCA is passed, the secret ballot is effectively eliminated, and paid union organizers are given free reign.