Unions would like you to believe that they are always working on behalf of the employees against the “bad guys” in the company. Well employers are not always the bad guys.
Union vs. union
Sometimes in union disputes the employer is not involved at all. In the case of Kaiser Permanente in California, 45,000 employees are at the center of a dispute between two unions. They are currently represented by the Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers – West (SEIU-UHW). However, an Administrative Law Judge of the NLRB recommended that the election that had been won by the SEIU, be set aside based upon certain conduct by the SEIU-UHW, that the Judge found to have interfered with the employees’ exercise of a free and reasoned choice.
As a result of the activities of the SEIU the National Labor Relations Board has scheduled a re-run union election. The 45,000 employees will decide whether they wish to remain represented by their current union, Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers – West (SEIU-UHW), choose the petitioning union, National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), or have no union representation at all. The original election was in October 2010 so this election will be an indication of how well the employees have been treated by the SEIU. The voting will be held in April and ballots will be counted in May.
I am certain the election will be watched closely for any “funny business”. Personally I hope the employees opt for no union, but given that it is California I really doubt that will occur.