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California Nursing Home, Homecare Workers Vote Overwhelmingly to Preempt Forced Transfer
Date:3/18/2008

OAKLAND, Calif., March 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an unprecedented election, nursing home and home healthcare workers overwhelmingly have voted to remain members of United Healthcare Workers-West, demonstrating their unwillingness to be forcibly transferred to another Service Employees International Union local branch.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080318/DC17028)

Despite widespread interference, including a disinformation campaign aimed at suppressing voter turnout, 99 percent of nursing home and 96 percent of homecare workers who voted agreed that staying in UHW would be best for them, their families and, most importantly, the people they serve.

"The outcome of this election demonstrates clearly that homecare workers and nursing home workers want to remain in UHW, the statewide union for all healthcare workers," said Aaron Peskin, President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. "Their overwhelming vote despite the appearance of shamefully inappropriate interference on the part of their employers and national union officials shows just how much our workers care about making their voices heard."

This election, conducted by an independent third party, was held in response to an anticipated power grab by SEIU to take away 65,000 members' bargaining rights. But the sheer number of participants in the process demonstrates the overwhelming desire of members to remain in a democratic, member-run union. This dispute between UHW and SEIU has been widely covered in the California media and national news outlets such as the New York Times, Harper's and the Wall Street Journal.

"This vote gave us the opportunity we wanted to demonstrate our desire to stay in UHW and remain part of a member-led union," said Li Bao Pan, a homecare worker in San Francisco. "We wanted to make our voices heard loud and clear, so we cast our
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SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West
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