RN Jobs >> Browse Articles >> Labor, Unions


SEIU vs. CNA: The Battle Exposed

SEIU vs. CNA: The Battle Exposed

August 19, 2008

In mid-March of this year, the National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC), an offshoot of the California Nurses Association (CNA), objected to the Service Employees International Union’s (SEIU) vote to organize over 8,000 Ohio nurses in nine Catholic Healthcare Partners (CHP) hospitals.

The SEIU retreated after CNA/NNOC criticized their means of dealing with employers, and not nurses, to hold said election. The CNA also attacked the CHP for having filed for the elections without both demonstrating support from the nurses themselves and with the full backing of a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filled with anti-union Bush appointees.

According to an article written by, “SEIU and CHP used what is known as an ‘RM petition,’ filed by an employer whenever one or more unions claim to represent its workers, or when an employer believes that a union doesn’t represent a majority of employees.

“Thanks to the RM petition, SEIU didn’t have to gather membership cards to register support, which is normally required in NLRB elections. Instead, an agreement between SEIU and CHP management would have allowed a fast-track election, in which neither side would campaign (though there were reports of the employer telling nurses to vote for the SEIU.)"

Following the unsuccessful election in March, on April 12th, union members tussled at the Labor Notes Conference in Dearborn, Mich.

Labor Notes, a nonprofit organization and network for rank-and-file union members and grassroots labor activists, sponsored the networking conference.

According to the Associated Press, "The California Nurses Association, an AFL-CIO member, and the SEIU are competing to sign up nurses, with the SEIU complaining that the CNA is raiding its members.

“CNA executive director Rose Ann DeMoro was scheduled to speak at the conference, but said she canceled when she heard rumors that SEIU would be there to protest. SEIU members tried to storm the conference’s banquet to protest during what they expected to be DeMoro’s speech, the CNA said.

“‘While breaking in the building, the SEIU staff, now joined by SEIU staff inside the building, physically assaulted a group of union members and activists at the door,’ CNA said in a news release. ‘At least one woman, a retired auto worker and former business manager for Labor Notes, was injured and went to the hospital after being pushed to the floor and hitting her head on a table.’

“AFL-CIO President John Sweeney on Tuesday squarely blamed the SEIU, which left the labor federation in 2005 to form a rival federation called Change to Win, for the scuffle. ‘There is no justification — none — for the violent attack orchestrated by SEIU,’ Sweeney said.

“But the SEIU says their people were the ones attacked.

“‘Contrary to the CNA’s description of what happened, however, many of the protesters were being pushed, shoved, and even assaulted by conference participants,’ the SEIU said.

“The SEIU said its people were there to protest the CNA, but ‘the protest was mostly peaceful.’

“‘Unfortunately, a brief period of pushing and shoving occurred when conference organizers attempted to block the protesters from entering, which resulted in a number of unintentional injuries — including several SEIU members and organizers.’

“And SEIU President Andy Stern said Sweeney ‘has the power to solve this problem.’

“‘He should stop making excuses and protect workers,’ Stern said.

Read more on the next two pages: Who are the CNA/NNOC and the SEIU, and what do they have to say?

  • Mickeymouseclubhouse_240_max50


    about 6 years ago



  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 6 years ago


    Well I belong to the"non Nursing union" 1199 SEIU in New York and the benefits are wonderful the with 4 week vacation in the first year for LPN AND RNS .No co pay for Dental ,Doctor, hospital procedures and medication . They provide educational advancement via the state college system and prep classes for entrance to program at all levels of hospital personal . 1199 SEIU was formed by a pharmacist . They represent Nursing ,pharmacy , social services the handle all workman companion , disability ,dispute resolution , continue education and a great pention after 10 years It is a win- win situation as I see it for the nurses in Ohio and their administration . If you want to see what they are about go to I really think that if the leaders of the CNA and SEIU would join together they be able to get what they know what needs to be done.
    Well I guess that all for now from Jane Mary
    PS Oh I now retried due to MS so what I have said is Just my opinion if I was well I still be working . Because I do not have the medical benifits that I had when I was working and sence of worth.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 6 years ago


    Just wondering why the CNA seems to have such a problem with another union organizing nurses? Aren't we all supposed to be working for the same thing? I always had a sneaking suspicion that the CNA is more than just a labor union with their own agenda. Just wonder what that agenda is.

  • Jeanne_wiggins__rn__msn_c__max50


    over 6 years ago


    I WANT THIS MESSAGE TO BE HEARD LOUD AND CLEAR ACROSS AMERICA! I would like to point out that if we are fighting against each other, "the man above" stays very, very happy because we are not fighting against him. This is the same thing that goes on when minorities try to climb the ladder of life. If we tear eachother apart from within, we destroy ourselves! "The man" likes us nice and divided.....DIVIDE AND CONFUSE! We are easier to control that way. There are more nurses than any other profession. If we united, we could seriously change EVERYTHING! Signed, My two cents in the middle of the heartland and sick of all of the fighting, picking and "crabs in a barrel" mentality that is our dirty little secret in nursing

    P.S. If a few people acting together can change the world, what could several million acting together change? Think about it. I don't have the answers, but I can definitely see the problems! What if there were one unit with much lower dues because more people could then afford to be a member? I'm not knocking any single organization. I like all of the organizations, quite honestly but money can be tight for working parents. Just a thought.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    over 6 years ago

    I can only say, having been a member of CNA they have always been very professional and have never perpetrated violence of any kind when I was involved. I've found the organization to be extremely ethical and fair.

  • Dad_stuff_029_max50


    over 6 years ago


    Sounds like the old days of labor union violence!

NursingLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a nursing or healthcare degree program. Use NursingLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.