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NUHW suporters: Please take note of the astute conclusions of author Jay Youngdahl: "The argument that the workers were too scared to vote for NUHW-CNA was condescending and paternalistic when made by NUHW supporters to explain their 2010 defeat. And one cannot credibly claim that, with the backing and money of the militant and committed this time around, Kaiser workers were again mousy and scared." Because that is exactly what you are continuing to do. Please stop insulting the workers that you claim to care so much about--if you don't respect the folks you want to represent, you probably shouldn't be the ones representing them...
When two elephants fight, it is the grass that gets trampled. -- African proverb
The elephants here are indeed Andy Stern and Sal Rosselli, The grass is the workers making up the turf that is being fought over.
The leadership of pre-trusteeship UHW-W agitated the membership to believe that representation by SEIU was the worst thing that could happen to a worker. But loss of their jobs is also not good. Of course, that is not the concern of NUHW pushers who were formerly UHW-W leaders. They can just sit back now and wring their hands over those poor poor workers who got involved in trying to get their sisters and brothers to sign petitions to decertify or deauthorize SEIU in UHW-W - represented facilities, and who now have lost everything.
Oh wait--they didn't just sit back. No, NUHW actually posted a flyer complaining that SEIU is not defending these people.
Mr. McCauley steps smartly over the part where Jay Youngdahl points out that the leaders of NUHW "will have to work with no money for salaries or expenses unless they can find a rich angel to fund them." The "expenses" in question include the legal costs of helping a worker who has been fired for circulating a petition in opposition to the union recognized by the employer. SEIU is under no legal obligation to spend the money of its other members in order to defend people that employers have chosen to punish for engaging in anti-SEIU activity. Sure, people have a right under the law to engage in collective action to change or oust unions. But realistically, rights have no meaning unless there are resources available to take a case to court, or to even win the opportunity for an NLRB hearing. And as Mr. Youngdahl so astutely comments, NUHW has no resources.
I have been following this sorry saga for several years now, and nowhere did I see where the NUHW leadership ever warned the members of the UHW-W that they would be engaging in anti-SEIU activities at their own peril. I see much snarkiness on the Perez Stern gossip blogsite about how badly the anti-SEIU membership of UHW-W is treated by the current post-trusteeship leaders, including how the former staff of UHW-W that assisted in the aforementioned anti-SEIU agitation of the membership has not been welcomed back to work for UHW-W with open arms. What I don't see is any useful information, like the fact that elected union leaders (or their delegated authorities) have an absolute right to fire staff that has opposed any policy of the union--unless the policy is illegal, but even then, you gotta prove that in court. Also, any claim that SEIU is violating its duty of fair representation hinges on what constitutes "fair" representation. In other words, for those workers fired while passing around anti-SEIU petitions or refusing to bargain while represented by SEIU staffers, good luck with a) proving that that was the reason you were fired, or b) arguing that SEIU has a duty to represent persons working against SEIU.
Again, without resources, it is always the grass that gets trampled when the elephants fight. All of the pretty talk of thousands and thousands of workers who signed NUHW petitions won't save a single blade.
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