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Doctors Medical Center Election Tainted
Date:5/21/2009

Management opened door to NUHW organizing effort

OAKLAND, Calif., May 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West (SEIU UHW) is protesting the recent decision by the California Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) to allow the decertification election at Doctors Medical Center (DMC) in San Pablo to continue. The PERB issued its ruling in the face of clear violations of labor law by DMC management and organizers of NUHW, which is seeking to decertify SEIU UHW at the hospital.

"Management gave NUHW a free hand to organize in our hospital and to confuse our members about who their union really was," says Martha Torrentes an EVS at Doctors. "The same people who failed to help us get a new contract last year are now abusing the law to win a tainted election."

The leaders of NUHW, who were ousted from their jobs at UHW in January, are the same people who failed to support bargaining at DMC last year -- allowing the contract to expire and negotiations to go dormant. After losing control of UHW, these ousted leaders started a new organization and began to undermine member support for SEIU UHW.

The PERB has issued three separate charges -- two against management and one against NUHW -- that make it clear that both the employer and NUHW acted illegally during the election. These complaints are very serious and may overturn the results of the election on appeal. The employer clearly wanted NUHW. According to PERB, management allowed NUHW organizers full access to the hospital floors while greatly restricting the access of SEIU UHW organizers.

"Everyone knows why management supports NUHW," says Jose Quinto, who works in the hospital's surgical operation. "They know they will be the ones who benefit when their workers are the only members of their own union and have no resources or clout."

Adding to the damage, the PERB also found that NUHW illegally instructed workers to hand ballots to NUHW supporters. This is a clear violation of the law and undermines the integrity of the voting process. NUHW has a history of ethical violations: They misused members' money when they were in office; they harmed the union's ability to represent the workers once they left office; and they have now illegally interfered with an election.

    CONTACT: Pete Janhunen
    510-502-2457


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SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West
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