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SEIU Won’t Allow Card Check for Union Organizing

At Least When A Rival Union Tries It

The SEIU is one of the most powerful forces pushing for enactment of Card Check. But if a rival union promises better representation for SEIU workers and tries to get a majority of them to sign cards, the SEIU turns to thug tactics and fights them tooth and nail:

One of the leading proponents of a bill that would allow workers to form a union by signing authorization cards is being accused by a California health care union of blocking such a card-check election for its members.

In January, the National Union of Healthcare Workers was established by former leaders of the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West. They had been removed from SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West executive board and steward positions after accusing the SEIU of centralizing power at its Washington headquarters and making “corrupt deals” with employers.

Since then, about 100,000 health care workers throughout California have petitioned to leave the SEIU and join the new union. The effort has been stymied, according to the National Union of Healthcare Workers, by SEIU tactics that resemble those of businesses that want to prevent unions from forming.

The SEIU has tied up the process by filing charges in court and at the National Labor Relations Board, according to the union. It also has been accused of intimidating workers who want to change union affiliation.

According to an executive of the National Union of Healthcare Workers, the situation is analogous to the bleak scenarios offered by opponents of the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill that would facilitate unionization…

One person involved in the California health care union’s defection from SEIU found it ironic that Stern would not let the decertification process occur through card check.

“He seems to be an advocate of EFCA except for SEIU members,” said John Borsos, vice president of the National Union of Healthcare Workers.

Backers of Card Check claim it is needed because employers engage in underhanded tactics to frustrate organizing efforts. They also say that there’s no evidence that organizers will use force (or other inappropriate tactics) to get workers to sign cards. With the National Union of Healthcare Workers blowing the whistle on the SEIU, we see that workers have more to fear from the unions than from their own bosses. Passing Card Check will allow union bosses to apply pressure on holdouts, and force workers to endorse their union – as they are already doing to health care workers in California.

And even if Senators water down Card Check and pass a simplified version, the bill still strengthens the already heavy hand of union leaders who put their own interests above those of their workers. Why should the White House and Congressional Democrats reward those who engage in the thuggish tactics on display here?

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