Well not when it's SEIU scheduling the vote against the opposition of the whole elected member bargaining team, and the vote is on a contract workers have been organizing around for three years, there's a formal arbitration date set for Monday, and the arbitrator has already recommended a better deal than the one SEIU has negotiated and wants to vote on. Then it's just the same old SEIU hoping they can steamroller workers to please the boss.
This Monday and Tuesday Centinela stewards met at the Commerce Zombie UHW office, where SEIU rep Loretta Stevens (who used to work with Tyrone Freeman) tried to get them all to agree to a back room deal that she had negotiated with their employer. The deal Loretta negotiated was LESS than what the arbitrator recommended last October. SEIU demanded that the stewards hear management's proposal, which was presented by their CEO on Tuesday. After the presentation, the stewards caucused and voted NO and said that SEIU needed to go forward with the arbitration. Loretta then told them that she would hold membership meetings at the hospital on Thursday, and then that she would hold a vote on the boss's proposal on Friday.
Since the trusteeship Loretta hasn't made herself anymore popular than her bargaining strategy is! A reader says she put out a flyer bashing the bargaining team, calling them ineffective, and attacking activist and former e-board member Michael Fenison directly, and she's also called other activists "out of control" and tried to marginalize them for disagreeing with her. The "Bargaining Update" she put out was about 30% self pity and 70% threats (see clip below).
So here's a reader's report on why there won't be a vote today after all..!
"So that gets us to yesterday. Yesterday Loretta tried to have a membership meeting to explain the vote, and the steward council showed up. The whole steward council began to yell, question, argue, push push and push some more for Loretta to cancel the vote and have the real bargaining team to go to arbitration (which was the council's plan all along).
The leaders were there all day, I'm talking about from 7am to 7pm, yelling and questioning and pushing Loretta to do this, and towards the middle of the day, workers and NUHW volunteers began making "Vote No" stickers and flyers. Finally at 7pm, exhausted Lorretta calls her supervisors and cancels the vote. But the steward council wasn't done - since they didn't trust Loretta at all, they got her to put everything in writing and sign it!
They won, won big in front of all their co-workers, they fought back against SEIU and their bully tactics, even though it took them 14 hours to do it, they fought back, didn't let up and they succeeded. It was amazing and honestly I couldn't believe i was able to see this unfold.
SEIU is not ready for us and if you know of any workers or leaders who begin to tell you that we can't win, that we can't fight back, that SEIU is just too big and too powerful, you tell them what happened at Centinela. About how a group of leaders stood up against SEIU for 14 hours and won what was right. But most of all, tell them that the only reason the leaders were able to fight back is because they were united and they didn't let each other get frustrated or angry or disillusioned. they all held each other accountable and that's the path to success.
VENCEREMOS PRONTO COMPANIEROS, SOLO SI SEGUIMOS UNIDOS!!!"