Healthcare union fight highlights national labor battle

Normally, a union battle at a single hospital wouldn't attract much national attention. But this particular battle, which pits workers at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital between an emerging union and established giant, has the attention of labor watchers across the country.

Not long ago, a group once affiliated with the giant Service Employee International broke away to form a competing organization--the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW). While the NUHW doesn't have any members yet, it's hoping to score some at Santa Rosa.

It's facing an extremely tough rival in the SEIU, which has more than 2 million members in healthcare and other industries. Tensions between the two have been high, and the insults have been flying.

Not only is the new union fighting for hundreds of Santa Rosa workers, it's also fighting to kick off dozens of elections across the state of California. This could win them more than 100,000 new members, including more than 2,300 Kaiser Permanente employees scheduled to vote next month.

Get more information on the battle:
- read this Los Angeles Times piece

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