NLRB Schedules Hearing on SEIU-Kaiser Collusion

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board issued a report that could result in the overturning of last fall’s election for 43,000 Kaiser workers due to misconduct by both Kaiser Permanente and SEIU.  NUHW filed objections to the election, alleging that both Kaiser and SEIU had engaged in electioneering misconduct and colluded to prevent workers from choosing to be represented by NUHW.

In its January 14, 2011 finding, the NLRB found sufficient merit in dozens of objections filed by NUHW to warrant holding a full-blown hearing, including that:

• SEIU unlawfully threatened Kaiser employees with loss of wages and benefits if NUHW won the election.
• Kaiser paid SEIU representatives to campaign for its preferred union, SEIU.
• Kaiser provided special access to SEIU staff and supporters that it denied to NUHW representatives.
• SEIU engaged in various acts of physical force and violence against supporters of NUHW.

The January 14th report also reiterates two recent rulings by an NLRB administrative law judge and a federal judge, both asserting that Kaiser broke the law when it withheld scheduled wage increases and other benefits to approximately 2,300 professionals and registered nurses in Southern California who voted overwhelmingly to be represented by NUHW in January 2010. The hearing will seek to determine whether Kaiser’s illegal activities unlawfully impacted the outcome of the disputed election.

The hearing before an NLRB hearing officer is scheduled for February 7, 2011.

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