If today's labor movement is going to reverse decades of decline, union leaders are going to need to forget the habits of the last 30 years and learn something new from the rank and file: You don't win a fight by not fighting.
As the SEIU awaits the results of its Kaiser election contest with NUHW, the union faces a reckoning regardless of the outcome. SEIU confronts a "heads I lose, tails you win" scenario as Kaiser election results are announced on October 8.
SEIU is not promoting its efforts at Kaiser hospitals for good reason. Its campaign is taking a page from the playbook of professional union-busters by avoiding public debate, instead seeking to sway workers through lies and fear.
Nearly 30,000 of us signed petitions telling the government that we want NUHW to be our union and we wanted this election to make it official -- the biggest private sector union election in more than 70 years.
Our disagreement with SEIU was about democracy, and how friendly a union should be with corporations. We insisted that workers should always have the right to vote on the issues that affect our workplaces, our union, and our future.