Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tactical update on SEIU

It's been a while since I have provided an update on SEIU's corporate campaign against BIDMC and on its attempts to organize the health care workers in this city. For those who were away on Labor Day, you might have missed this interview by Bob Oakes on WBUR with the local head of the union. The blog post to which Mr. Oakes refers is this one.

What is striking about the interview is to compare the broad agenda set forth with actual actions by SEIU. Whereas the past several years have been characterized by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars disparaging BIDMC; there has been virtually no activity with regard to the other hospitals mentioned, those in the Partners Healthcare System.

There has been a theory circulating around town that this tactical decision to avoid MGH and Brigham and Women's Hospital might have its origins in the personal relationship between the former head of the SEIU and the Chief Operating Officer of PHS, who served as an Deputy Secretary of Labor under President Clinton. Will SEIU's reluctance to take on the PHS hospitals be put aside now that Mr. Stern has left the SEIU and the COO is leaving Partners?


Anonymous said...

It has been interesting watching the SEIU-BIDMC saga unfold from afar. My perception is that the union's attacks on the hospital, and anonymously on its CEO, have done nothing but draw the staff closer together in antagonism to it. Perhaps it will have better luck at Partners.


Anonymous said...

I read your blog off-and-on, have commented a couple of times. I find it informative generally and appreciate the public discussion.

Wrt this post, I need clarification as to your underlying point... you have been largely saying all along that SEIU is devious and less than transparent as to their motives (with which I agree), but are you really saying to SEIU 'if you're going to continue to try to muscle into healthcare, why aren't you picking on my arch-enemy Partners instead'?

Isn't it smarter business strategy to keep your own house in order (which you seem to be doing, as nonlocal points out) rather than trying to stir up the pot. If SEIU gets a toe into Partners, BIDMC will not be far behind and it will be very bad for your employees in the long run.

76 Degrees in San Diego said...

My friend from Tennessee told me;
"A skunk and a bear will get into a fight. The bear will always win. But, is it worth it?"

Anonymous said...

Oh, 76, you did my heart good once again. LOL!!