OAKLAND – An attempt to overturn the results of last October’s union election at Kaiser Permanente is fading fast.
The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that 88 of the 118 objections to the election do not merit a hearing, a major step toward certifying the overwhelming vote by 43,500 Kaiser Permanente workers to remain members of the Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW).
The objections were filed by the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) after they lost the election to SEIU-UHW by a margin of 18,290 (61%) to 11,364 (37%).
A hearing will be held February 7 on the remaining charges, which are without merit.
“SEIU-UHW won this election fair and square because we know it is the union with the strength to win a better future for Kaiser workers and the patients we serve,” said Cali Lombardi, a Patient Care Technician at Kaiser Modesto. “We have spoken, and if NUHW had any dignity they would accept the clear judgment we made last October at facilities all across California.”
The board threw out a wide range of allegations that SEIU-UHW improperly used intimidation, threats, inducements, coercion, physical force, shout downs, eligibility lists, collection of ballots, and email. It also said NUHW had failed to provide witnesses to its objections.
“However, in spite of having been granted a one-week extension, when Petitioner (NUHW) submitted its evidence in support of its Objections on November 4, it failed to specify a single witness who would testify to a single objection.” And even when given a two-week extension to do so, NUHW failed to link testimony to its objections, the board said.
Of the 129,500 SEIU-UHW members who have now made the choice between SEIU-UHW and NUHW, more than 123,000, or more than 95%, have voted to stay in SEIU-UHW. Since its creation two years ago, NUHW has failed to win a single contract for any of the roughly 6,000 workers it now represents.