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SEIU Retaliates Against California Caregivers & Democratic Reform Movement
Date:5/6/2008

UHW Healthcare Workers Demonstrate to Protect Their Voice & Vote at SEIU Hearing

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif., May 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The battle over the direction of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) intensified today as the first in a series of hearings was held to determine the fate of more than 60,000 long-term caregivers who are members of United Healthcare Workers -- West (UHW). UHW represents 150,000 caregivers in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home care throughout California.

The hearings are a staged attempt by SEIU leaders in Washington to dismantle UHW -- the fastest growing local union in the country -- by stripping the union of 60,000 plus nursing home and homecare workers without a fair, democratic vote. In March, approximately 97 percent of the long term care workers who participated in an election conducted by an independent third-party voted to remain in UHW and voiced strong support of their statewide union of healthcare workers. That mandate from UHW members is being ignored by SEIU.

"I'm not going anywhere," stated Rosie Byers, a homecare worker for 30 years and member of the UHW Executive Board. "UHW is my union, because we are committed to democracy, member empowerment, and have a proven track record of winning great contracts and organizing the unorganized. We voted to remain in UHW, so all healthcare workers can stand together to raise standards for our patients and working families."

UHW members have faced an unprecedented attack from their own parent union, SEIU, for advocating for reforms designed to make SEIU more democratic and accountable to its members. These proposals have been denounced by Andy Stern, president of SEIU, who favors top-down, big business unionism by making secret, behind-the-scenes deals that exclude rank-and-file involvement.

"It's appalling that SEIU leaders based in Washington have retaliated against rank-and-file members and threatened
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SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West
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