Early, Steve

CNA and NUHW Join Forces Against SEIU and Kaiser

By Steve Early

Two of the biggest strikes in the last sixteen months were conducted by members of the California Nurses Association (CNA) and the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW). Their target each time was Kaiser Permanente, the giant California health care chain that made $6 billion in profits since 2009 but still wants union job cuts and contract givebacks. Last August, CNA and NUHW formed an "Alliance of Kaiser Unions" dedicated to "raising standards for Kaiser caregivers and protecting Kaiser patients." The Alliance blasted the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the SEIU-dominated Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions (CKPU) for choosing "to partner with Kaiser to increase the corporation's profitability at the expense of their own members and patients." On January 3, CNA and NUHW took their recent collaboration a step further, announcing NUHW's formal affiliation. CNA and NUHW will now jointly seek decertification of SEIU's 43,000 service and technical employees at Kaiser.