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SEIU: 'Union-Busting' by California Nurses Association
Date:3/10/2008

Attempt Made to Deny Union for Healthcare Employees in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The California Nurses Association (CNA) has launched an anti-union campaign against nurses and other healthcare employees in Ohio, seeking to derail a three-year effort by the workers to unite in District 1199 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Just days before votes -- this Wednesday and Friday at nine Catholic Healthcare Partners (CHP) hospitals in Ohio -- the CNA has sent organizers and deceitful campaign materials into Ohio trying to undermine the effort - even though they cannot get on the ballot themselves.

SEIU President Andy Stern sent a letter today seeking intervention from the AFL-CIO Executive Council, of which CNA is a member, after top AFL-CIO elected officers in Washington, D.C. and Ohio refused to step in on behalf of the workers.

"The tactics being used by the CNA would make the Right-to-Work Committee proud," Stern wrote. "It's hard to believe any trade unionist would condone -- much less lead -- a campaign whose only purpose is to persuade workers to vote 'no' in a union election and to deny thousands of workers the chance to have a voice on the job.

"Union-busting is union-busting, no matter who is at the helm, and it goes against everything we have all fought for over the years," he wrote.

The votes are the culmination of a three-year effort by workers at these hospitals to form a union under a recently reached agreement with CHP specifying ground rules to ensure a fair and free vote.

"We were just days away from realizing our dream when scores of out-of-state organizers descended on our hospitals and began to frighten employees with vicious anti-union leaflets and rhetoric," says Michaela Silver, a respiratory therapist at CHP's Community Hospital in Springfield, who for years has been rallying support from community allies to win fair organizing rules. "I don't know how these CNA people can claim to be part of a union. I can't believe they can look workers in the eye and make such outrageous anti-union statements."

Stern called on the Executive Council to hold CNA accountable, saying their actions undermine everything unions in America have been doing to unite more people and bring new hope to workers who are struggling to get by.

"I hope you will join me in condemning CNA's actions. It would be a shame to think we were placing our hopes for rebuilding the American labor movement in the hands of an organization as elitist and anti-union as CNA."

With 1.9 million members, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in North America. Focused on uniting workers in three sectors to improve their lives and the services they provide, SEIU is the largest healthcare union, including hospitals, nursing homes, and home care; the largest property services union, including building cleaning and security; and the second largest public employee union.


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SOURCE Service Employees International Union
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