Now that the SEIU appears to have failed in its attempt to secure passage of federal legislation to eliminate secret ballot elections, the union has come back to its local activities. This morning's Boston Globe and Boston Herald both contained full-page advertisements saying negative things about our hospital.
Regular readers will remember that this is part of a corporate campaign. Recall that the purpose is not actually to organize workers, who tend to be offended by the ads. For example, one nurse wrote me today: "I was appalled to see a full page SEIU ad in the Boston Globe this morning against BIDMC! What kind of smear campaign is this?" No, the purpose is to denigrate the reputation of the hospital, its lay leaders, and its management in the hope of creating public pressure to provide concessions that would make it easier for the union to organize workers here.
Readers of this blog will also know that I have a great concern about the future viability of the Globe, so I am pleased that the paper has received this ad revenue, which is in the range of $30,000 to $40,000 for the one-day run. The good news for our colleagues at the newspaper is that they can expect more ads like this from the SEIU. The ads will tend to focus on areas where the union hopes to create a sense of vulnerability for the hospital.