LOS ANGELES, April 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Association today condemned the Service Employees International Union for targeting CNA/NNOC leaders and members with threats and intimidation, stalking them at home and in patient care units at hospitals.
In a statement today, CNA/NNOC -- the nation's largest RN union -- demanded SEIU International President Andrew Stern "immediately renounce the actions of SEIU staff and cease and desist these despicable attacks against anyone who speaks out against his pro-corporate agenda."
"SEIU's behavior, sending swarms of staff to threaten women in their homes, is especially disgraceful, and another illustration of their contempt for a predominantly female profession that they treat as chattel in so much of their activity, including trying to force RNs into his union," said CNA/NNOC Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro.
Roving bands of SEIU staff, four or five at a time, arrived on the doorsteps of at least two CNA/NNOC female Board members in Southern California Thursday, with video cameras to film their abusive exploits.
Debbie Cuaresma, RN, was confronted by five SEIU staffers chanting they were "from another union and another state," who harassed her and her daughter. Margie Keenan, RN saw four SEIU staff members arrive at her door, yelling epithets and screaming at her. Both called the police; the SEIU staff ran off before the police arrived.
Subsequently, Keenan learned that SEIU staff had first showed up in her nursing unit at Long Beach Memorial Hospital searching for her, and asking a co-worker where to find her.
'I will not be intimidated by bullies.'
"I was home alone. Four people were staring at me through the window. When they saw me they started screaming and trying to scare me. I called the police and they ran off," said Keenan.
"I am a leader of CNA/NNOC. I am proud of my organization, and I will always stand by it in our common goal of fighting for my patients and my colleagues. I will not be intimidated by bullies hired by (SEIU President) Andy Stern."
Cuaresma also expressed outrage, saying "I am appalled that five bullies would come to my house with cameras and hurl abuse at my daughter. I believe this to be nothing less than a violation of my family's privacy."
"Union membership is about collective democracy. Nurses decide they need a union and then choose the union of their choice," Cuaresma said. "We will continue to give voice on behalf of our patients and we will never be intimidated in our struggle to defend our ratios and our hard-won benefits. Stern should rethink his strategy -- he will not intimidate me or the CNA."
Thursday's attacks on CNA/NNOC Board members are the latest escalation by the Service Employees Union which has in internal conversations bragged about its intent to "destroy" CNA/NNOC for challenging SEIU's practices which the RNs say compromise patient safety, erode RN standards and professional practice, and undermine workplace and union democracy.
Also on Thursday, CNA/NNOC obtained a letter from an SEIU staffer who resigned in disgust with the behavior of SEIU International and quoted a top SEIU official bragging of plans "targeting ten to fifteen C.N.A. bargaining units."
SEIU's corporate partnerships compromise patient safety
Perhaps the most egregious behavior of SEIU International, says CNA/NNOC are its deals with corporate hospitals and nursing homes, sacrificing patient safety for agreements to help it recruit more SEIU members.
For example, SEIU has signed pacts with nursing home operators in California and Washington state agreeing to lobby for the nursing home chains. Under the 2003 California deal, SEIU agreed to oppose legislation requiring nursing homes to provide enough staff to keep patients safe and healthy, and to not report health care violations to state regulators except when required by law.
Five years later, according to a report cited in the Los Angeles Times this week, despite increased state funding for nursing homes, the direct result of SEIU lobbying, nursing homes are spending less in California on direct patient care, and reports of patient mistreatment have shot up 38%.
Similarly, in partnership with hospital corporations, SEIU lobbied in California against the RN-to-patient minimum ratio law, and worked to erode the law after it was enacted.
In New York, SEIU joined with the Greater New York Hospital Association in supporting the closure of more than a dozen hospitals and nursing homes, proudly issuing a joint statement that "We are surely the only hospital association and health-care workers union in the history of the United States to support a process that could lead to the downsizing of our own industry."
Treating RNs as chattel
SEIU International is also seeking to retaliate against CNA/NNOC for opposing its top down deal with Catholic Healthcare Partners in Ohio. The employer picked SEIU as its chosen union to represent RNs and other employees without a single signed union card, and CHP and SEIU agreed to prevent employees from discussing the rigged election that resulted from the deal.
SEIU and the employer called off the election after the deal was exposed when it became apparent there was little or no support from the employees.
"What nearly occurred in Ohio was a marriage arranged by a paternalistic employer worried about losing control of its workers and a paternalistic union that agreed to take over the workers' management in the employer's interest. It was a business arrangement by men in which women are objects of trade rather than trading parties," DeMoro said
For more information about SEIU's efforts on behalf of employers, see http://www.ServingEmployersInsteadofUs.org .
SOURCE California Nurses Association/NNOC