Monday, May 04, 2009

They're baaaack!

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.

11 comments:

catsandmusic said...

where does SEIU get the kind of money they need to run these ads? The figure you cite for a one day run is roughly equivalent to a year's salary for me and others who are in the union's main target group. I shudder to think of hard working people's union dues being used in this manner.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing you're not the only hospital in the boston area with ongoing chief searches, especially given the abundance of academic medical centers in the area. The ad is extremely misleading in that regard - I wonder if they'll have a similar one for each hospital, next?

Anonymous said...

As a physician at another hospital in town, I have to say that this is a real turn off to me as to what the SEIU would ever be like to work with. Can you imagine their tactics in a negotiation? They seem to have forgotten the golden rule.

Anonymous said...

What does it take for the SEIU fear tactics to be viewed for what they are: criminal extortion? Why aren't the politicians who take SEIU dollars and support the elimination of secret ballot elections not being ridiculed in the media? With the soaring costs of health care, worsening access, and hospitals struggling in the red, why aren't any of our public leaders challenging the reckless and unethical methods of expansion used by this union? As a life long democrat I am profoundly embarrassed that my party has given a home and endless support to this organization.

Anonymous said...

I had the displeasure of rubbing elbows with 1199 for close to 20 years. They are everything that you would expect (and more) of a Union representing non-professional laborers; they are bully's, they'll slander anyone who poses a threat to them, and, sadly, the energy and money that they dedicate to these (unprodutive) tactics and campaigns comes out of their member's pockets. I think I heard that the laborers at the infamous Boston Medical Center are the one's to thank for opening the door in Boston to the SEIU. Thanks a lot guys! The SEIU's latest effort to slander BIDMC, one of the finest academic medical centers in America, is just not worthy of anyone's attention. Considering the source, I'd suggest turning the page to the next quickly.

Anonymous said...

I find these tactics sickening and am appalled that they are legal!

Anonymous said...

Since card check certification is on the horizon, the SEUI has come up with a union card that, if signed, will not let you quit membership

Here’s the process of getting the card back from the union, should an employee change his or her mind:

"This authorization shall be irrevocable for one year from the date signed below, or until the expiration of WORKERS UNITED’s contract with my employer, whichever is sooner, and shall be automatically renewed for successive one year period from the date signed below. I can revoke this authorization only by sending written notice by registered mail to my employers and to WORKERS UNITED not more than 20 days and not less than 10 days: 1) before the expiration of each yearly period, or 2) before the expiration of WORKERS UNITED’s contract with my employer."

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:43:

Wow. Sounds like a cellphone contract, only worse, of course. Next there will be an early-out penalty fee.
Thanks for exposing this information. It will certainly help me advise my Congressman.

nonlocal MD

Aron B said...

"The bill doesn't remove the secret-ballot option from the National Labor Relations Act..."

That's from the Wall Street Journal.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123751316400391295.html

The big change is that employees get to choose card check or secret ballot, not management. If this makes secret ballots less likely, its only because the workers want it that way.

Paul Levy said...

Read through the process and you will see it is virtually impossible for employees -- as distinct from the union -- to insist on the secret ballot approach.

PH Student said...

I am amazed how you fight off their expensive ad campaign (it must be in the hundreds of thousands now?) with a blog which costs exactly zero dollars. Interesting how social media level the playing field..