University of Calif. Workers Mull Strike; Two Unions Battle Over Representing Kaiser Permanente Workers

Patient-care workers at the University of California's hospitals will vote this week on whether to strike over staffing levels, pay and their pensions. In the meantime, two unions vie to represent health care workers at Kaiser Permanente.

Los Angeles Times: Union For Patient-Care Workers At UC Hospitals To Take Strike Vote
The union representing nearly 13,000 University of California patient-care workers plans to take a strike vote beginning Tuesday. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME 3299, will hold the strike vote through Thursday and announce results next week. The vote comes after nearly a year of negotiations between the workers and UC over staffing, pay and pension reforms. The contract expired in September (Gorman, 4/29).

The Wall Street Journal: Powerful Union, Upstart Battle Over Shrinking Pie
The Service Employees International Union is locked in battle here with an unusual opponent: another union. SEIU has enjoyed years of rapid growth even as organized labor has withered in the U.S. Now, it is competing with the National Union of Healthcare Workers to represent 45,000 nursing aides, pharmacy technicians and janitors at health-care giant Kaiser Permanente. The fight is playing out in cafeterias and break rooms, where NUHW supporters and organizers in bright red T-shirts have clashed in recent weeks with purple-clad SEIU backers. The National Labor Relations Board will begin counting ballots of Kaiser Permanente workers on Wednesday. The board threw out the results of a previous election in 2010, which the SEIU won, after finding that the SEIU had threatened members who backed the NUHW (Maher, 4/29).

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