November 12, 2008: UHW members demonstrate statewide against SEIU attempt to place UHW in trusteeship at hearing in San Jose.
  Statewide demonstrations by UHW members protesting SEIU's trusteeship hearing occurred simultaneously in Los Angeles, Oakland, and Sacramento. The Sacramento protest at Sutter Health headquarters combined dismay at SEIU's attempt to trustee UHW with anger at Sutter's failure to reach a contract agreement at the bargaining table.

  The sidewalk in front of Sutter Health was filled with UHW demonstrators, many of them arriving after a day spent attending the trusteeship hearing in San Jose.

  UHW members employed at Sutter Hospitals in the Bay Area have been bargaining with Sutter since May, working without a contract since September. Sutter refuses union proposals to improve standards for employees and patients, offering instead cuts which will make it increasingly difficult to attract and retain staff. UHW members employed at CHW hospitals recently won a favorable contract with CHW and marched in solidarity on this occasion with Sutter employees.

  Sharon Martinez, long time unionist and UHW Rep Chair at Mercy General Hospital. Guy Renfrow, UHW political organizer, in green vest.

  Signs saying: "Retirement with dignity," "Voice in Patient Care," "Fair Wages," "Job Security" - all asking Sutter to accept standards other employers such as CHW have agreed to.

  At sunset, union members gathered at the speaking platform to be inspired by UHW members whose recently won contracts gave hope to Sutter employees. A common theme among the speakers was the added difficulty union bargainers face because of the attempted SEIU trusteeship of UHW. Employers have drawn out the bargaining process this year in the hope of bargaining with a trusteed SEIU-run union that cares more about gaining new members through back-room deals with employers than getting good contracts.


"Every union member has a stake in your fight! If Andy Stern can do this to your union, he can do it to any of us!" Sacramento Labor Council Secretary Treasurer Bill Camp reminding UHW members that we have many friends in the community. Bill Camp read a letter to SEIU from 240 union, religious, and civic leaders calling on SEIU to resolve their issues with UHW through mediation rather than trusteeship.


"Now, we have learned that several months ago, after an intensive 48 hour process, a mediator proposed by SEIU and accepted by UHW offered recommendations for a peaceful path toward resolution of the dispute between UHW members and your leadership team – recommendations that UHW representatives accepted and your leadership team rejected.

At this critical moment, when we stand so much to gain by uniting to change the direction of our state and our nation, and so much to lose if we divide our forces against ourselves, we ask that you accept the mediator’s recommendations and seek a peaceful resolution of your dispute with UHW rather than precipitate a crippling civil war inside SEIU, California’s largest union." --excerpt from letter by 240 union/civic/community & religious leaders.

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