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Statement From SEIU International President Andy Stern on UHW Leaders' Response to the Jurisdiction Decision

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) announced the formation of the nation's largest long term care workers union, giving workers and the patients that they serve a greater voice as we face one of the worst economic crises in our nation's history.

Since adoption of the New Strength Unity plan in 2000, SEIU has made numerous jurisdiction decisions that have helped members who do the same work unite in the same locals to increase their strength and bargaining power. Over the years, these decisions have involved a wide variety of mergers and consolidations; in fact, United Healthcare Workers-West (UHW) itself has grown by this process. Today the IEB decided that long term care workers in California are best served by uniting in their own local. This decision affects Locals 6434, 521 and UHW.

In almost every case, locals have accepted and fully cooperated with the jurisdiction decisions and our members have grown in strength.

Now UHW leaders are apparently unwilling to accept the democratic processes of this union and are instead hiding behind opposition that they manufactured after a months-long campaign of scare tactics and misrepresentations to their members.

There are press reports that UHW leaders have indicated their desire to disaffiliate from SEIU. If and when SEIU receives such notice from UHW's leaders, we will take the matter into consideration in light of the circumstances and determine the appropriate action under our Constitution.

With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare, and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers, not just corporations and CEOs, benefit from today's global economy.

SOURCE Service Employees International Union
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