On Eve of State Hearing, NUHW Says It Cannot Prove Any Allegations of Election Misconduct and Withdraws Charges Over Closely Watched Union Election
After years of making serious allegations of misconduct stemming from a 2009 union election among Fresno County’s 10,000 home care workers, the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) withdrew the charges on the eve of a hearing before the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) in which they were finally required to prove their accusations.
The hearing was scheduled to begin today.
“This was a four-year public relations stunt and has never been anything more than that,” said Dave Regan, president of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, whose union was the subject of the accusations. “The supposed incidents never happened, not one, and now after years of wild and defamatory public charges we find out what we knew all along – NUHW didn’t have a shred of evidence to support a single allegation.
“This was a case of NUHW abusing the legal system for four years to gain publicity,” Regan said. “We believe the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) and other authorities should investigate NUHW’s deliberate misuse of the system and the wasting of taxpayer dollars.”
SEIU-UHW is seeking attorneys fees from NUHW and urging the PERB to require NUHW to reimburse the state for other fees it incurred in connection with the case (see letter from SEIU-UHW’s attorney to the PERB at http://www.seiu-uhw.org/files/2013/02/letter.pdf).
In its letter to PERB withdrawing its false charges that SEIU-UHW used coercion, physical threats, shout downs, and false statements during the 2009 election, NUHW attempts to cover its failure to offer proof by making yet new allegations against SEIU-UHW, charges for which they once again present not a shred of evidence.
“We knew all along the charges were false, but it’s good to have NUHW officially out of our lives so we can focus on our work taking care of seniors and people with disabilities in our communities,” said Cathy Lowe, a Fresno County home care worker.
In an effort to explain away its failure to offer any proof, NUHW complains about delays in the process, many of which it was responsible for. For example, it took NUHW five months to file the initial charges, and all along the way NUHW’s lawyers sought postponements – including an attempt last week – as they frantically sought to find proof that never existed.
SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is the largest hospital and healthcare union in the western United States with more than 150,000 members. We unite every type of healthcare worker with a mission to achieve high-quality healthcare for all. SEIU-UHW is part of the 2.2 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the nation’s fastest-growing union. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.