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UHW Members Call on SEIU to Schedule Disaffiliation Vote
Date:1/9/2009

"Widespread and Profound Opposition" Cited

OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In response to letters, petitions and other requests from members employed at healthcare facilities and worksites across California, the Executive Board of SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West (UHW), consistent with provisions contained in the Service Employees International Union International Constitution, has sent a letter today to SEIU President Andy Stern requesting that he schedule a vote of the local union's 150,000 members to formally disaffiliate from the Washington, D.C.-based SEIU.

The petitions submitted to the Executive Board cite various concerns that have led members to request the disaffiliation vote:

  • The forced removal of 65,000 long-term care members from UHW;
  • The stifling of union members' free speech rights;
  • Widespread corruption by Stern-appointed union leaders.

In making its request, and consistent with the SEIU Constitution, the UHW Executive Board is not taking a position in support of disaffiliation. The SEIU Constitution, in a new section passed at the controversial 2008 convention in Puerto Rico, specifically states that "no officer or local union or affiliated body shall support or assist any efforts to dissolve, secede or disaffiliate from the [Service Employees] International Union."

In its letter to Stern, the UHW executive board acknowledges its obligations regarding disaffiliation under the SEIU Constitution, and adds that, "Nonetheless, we consider ourselves required by our duties to our members and to the SEIU to report to you that we believe there is widespread and profound opposition within our membership to any efforts to dismember our local union or to take away its rights of democratic governance..."

According to the SEIU Constitution, a disaffiliation vote could be scheduled in as soon as sixty (60) days.

With more than 150,000 members, SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West is the fastest-growing healthcare union in the United States. We represent healthcare workers in all job classifications and all healthcare settings, including hospitals, homecare, nursing homes and clinics. Our mission is to achieve high-quality healthcare for all. | www.seiu-uhw.org

Contact: Sadie Crabtree, 323-365-2083


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SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West
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