Labor

SEIU Propaganda Campaign Hits California Health Care

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California's Prime Healthcare Services (PHS), a private for-profit hospital chain, is fighting back against ugly propaganda and extortive threats from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The California Public Policy Center's Unionwatch site has a quick and dirty summary of the charges:

Hammers or lies: whatever gets the job done

PHS rejected SEIU's demands for a "quick" deal for SEIU members at PHS' Centinela Hospital Medical Center so that SEIU could avoid a challenge from NUHW, an upstart union formed by disgruntled SEIU members.  SEIU initially threatened to expose "dirt" on PHS, disseminate reports based on Medicare data, and claim that these reports showed that Medicare patients were acquiring serious blood infections like septicemia at PHS' hospitals even though SEIU knew that the Medicare data identified conditions present on admission; not hospital acquired conditions.

The Unionwatch site also links to a full summary of the excruciatingly detailed press release from PHS announcing that it has reported the SEIU to the U.S. Attorney's office. Other lowlights include SEIU officials claiming they would have PHS executives fired if the provider didn't eliminate secret-ballot unionization; claims that PHS hospitals were not earthquake safe; and union lobbying of the Securities and Exchange Commission to delay a public stock offering.

(HT: Mish Shedlock)

More from Reason on dirty, desperate unions here.

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  1. Again, dealing with unions for a living…I’m SHOCKED that any of this is alleged about the SEIU! Surely there’s no basis for any of this! Scurrilous charges by bourgeois blackguards and capitalist ne’er-do-wells….!!!!

    /hurr durr hurr

  2. Of course, no post about the SEIU is complete without this cartoon.

    1. That one’s going to the printer. Thanks.

  3. it has reported the SEIU to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

    I eagerly await, et c…

    1. That would be the U.S. Attorney’s office whose head reports to Obama, and Obama is beholden to labor unions for getting him elected?

      Good luck on that!

    2. Oh, I don’t doubt there will be punitive actions taken in this matter by DOJ. Not against the SEIU, though.

  4. “Look for the union thug label.”

  5. Until we see the SEIU calling thousands of their members into the streets, the heart of our problems aren’t really being addressed by anyone.

    1. calling thousands of their members into the streets

      You know who else called people to the streets…

      1. The Doobie Brothers?

      2. Firefighters evacuating a building?

      3. Martha Reeves and the Vandellas?

      4. Jefferson Airplane?

        1. Ooo, good reference. (And now I can’t get the song out of my head!)

            1. That was great. Loved the fringed leather pouch dangling from Casady’s belt. Hmmm, we all got old, didn’t we.

  6. The SEIU received a waiver from ObamaCare; how will they beat themselves?

  7. I’m not bothered by unionization as long as it isn’t enabled or impeded in any way by government interference.

    It’s increasingly clear that unions aren’t necessarily looking after the best interests of their members, anyway. The pension deals are a good example of how deferred compensation end up being illusory compensation. When the company goes downhill, even the union will agree to raid it’s own pension fund to save jobs in the short term. Collectives are not smarter about long-term planning than individuals.

    1. Laws against an employer firing employees who attempt to unionize is government interference.

      Without such laws, unionization is extremely unlikely. So if you’re against interference, you’re effectively against unionization.

      1. OK.

      2. So a group of airline pilots couldn’t get away with forming a pilots’ union? I suppose you could pull some scabs off the street and throw ’em in a cockpit. You know, autopilot and all that makes it so easy.

        1. DanD|2.7.11 @ 10:17PM|#
          “So a group of airline pilots couldn’t get away with forming a pilots’ union? I suppose you could pull some scabs off the street and throw ’em in a cockpit. You know, autopilot and all that makes it so easy.”
          I’ll bet you’re ignorant enough to think that makes sense.
          Your homework for tonight: Find the logical flaws in DanD’s statement. Or fail.

        2. If all of them simultaneously refused to work without a CBA, that would put the airline in a tough position. But that’s unlikely to happen; in reality you’d just have to fire the first pilot who stepped out of line.

          And reality is most jobs don’t require enough training to make it worthwile to deal with a union rather than fire everyone and start over.

          1. Besides, the market will correct and the airline will find someone willing to work for less to the job that the disgruntled pilot is currently threatening to leave.

            It comes down to market 101: pay your employee the lowest possible price point while charging your clients the highest. The client will determine whether or not the service is worth it, and when it comes down to it, self-interest almost always trumps ideology.

            That is the big problem in America, union or not: Americans overvalue their labor price points.

      3. After you answer that, also consider: nurses, parcel deliverypersons, IT staff of large companies, or pretty much any specialization that requires competent, trained employees on the job each day.

        Some companies truly deserve unions, and they usually end up getting them. Other times, unions force themselves upon companies or entire sectors using the coercive power of politics, as parasites descend upon a host.

        I would like to think that any libertarian worth his/her salt would draw a fine distinction between these two archetypical scenarios.

        1. “I would like to think that any libertarian worth his/her salt would draw a fine distinction between these two archetypical scenarios.”

          Uh, like to try that in English?

        2. No one deserves a union any more than they deserve a job.

          Speaking of unions, how about those greedy football players threatening a lockout, highly trained, yet easily replaceable?

          The idea that one is indispensable is a total myth.

    2. I wouldn’t want to deny workers the right to form groups to pursue common interests anymore than I would want to deny investors the right to form groups to pursue common interests. However, in a truly free market economy, neither monopolistic unions, nor monopolistic corporations would exist for any sustained period of time.

      1. I think the more likely scenario is that the workers scrape enough money together to simply bypass the capitalists altogether and form a co-op.

        However, I think that unions can form without government intervention. Most of the skepticism that is leveled at union formation could be directed at political movements under a tyrannical government as well. Who wants to be the first person to stand up when they’ll simply make an example of you? But sometimes, you just get so sick of things that you don’t care, and their heavy-handed reaction sets off the emotions of enough other people that it causes a general revolt.

        While it’s true that “fire everyone” is a nuclear option for the company, it doesn’t come without costs — every new hire requires at least some training, some paperwork, some time to really get what they’re doing; until you get enough new hires to reopen, your capital is just sitting around unused, while your competitors continue to make money — some customers with brand loyalty may leave for the person that’s actually selling product. It’s basically like a self-imposed strike, but worse in the short-term.

        Now, that said, the social dynamics of unions without government help will be such that they are going to primarily respond to egregious and widespread abuses; they aren’t likely to be used for a 5 cent hourly wage increase or because management punished a bad worker.

  8. The middle class owes its existence to the union movement, and it’s no coincidence that both are disappearing.

    1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      1. Proof me wrong, moron.

        1. Proof read me wrong, I’m a moron.

          FIFY

        2. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        3. $500 billion in unfunded pension liabilities in California alone?!

          You know, all those government employees aren’t turning a profit. Their incomes come out of the paychecks of real live working people! How does handing working people a bill for $500 billion in unfunded pension liabilities help the middle class?!

          Is all this new to you?

          1. UNIONIZE THE LIABILITIES NAO

          2. Government doesn’t usually turn a profit (TARP and the GM investment notwithstanding) but it provides the institutional substrate that makes it possible for the corporations to turn profits.

            If we reduce compensation for public servants, or reneg on past promises to them, the best and brightest are going to diappear from government work. I’d love to see the corporations try to turn a profit with roads that don’t get fixed, schools that don’t educate, and police who don’t prevent crime.

            1. “the best and brightest are going to diappear from government work”

              OH NOEZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            2. Not real certain as to which ‘we’ you are referring to, but it seems to me that the best and the brightest are mostly the worst and the dimmest.

            3. If we reduce compensation for public servants, or reneg on past promises to them, the best and brightest are going to diappear from government work.

              I’ll remember that the next time I’m at the DMV.

            4. If we reduce compensation for public servants, or reneg on past promises to them, the best and brightest are going to diappear from government work.

              You really think government’s loaded with the “best and brightest”? Honestly, that excuse sounds just as lame as the justification for companies hiring CEOs at huge salaries, right before the company tanks. At least the companies are doing it with their own money and not everyone else’s.

              I’d love to see the corporations try to turn a profit with roads that don’t get fixed, schools that don’t educate, and police who don’t prevent crime.

              Spare me–if the government limited itself to these basic functions, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

              1. At least the companies are doing it with their own money and not everyone else’s.

                No, companies do it with OPM (other people’s money), too. Technically investors are free to choose where to invest their money, but in practical terms today’s investment management industry is heavily weighted toward overdiversification, which means little accountability for negligent boards.

                I’d love to see the corporations try to turn a profit with roads that don’t get fixed, schools that don’t educate, and police who don’t prevent crime.

                Ever been to California?

            5. I’d love to see the corporations try to turn a profit with roads that don’t get fixed, schools that don’t educate, and police who don’t prevent crime.

              Do you have any evidence at all that the best and brightest are going into teaching, let alone becoming cops or fixing the roads? Because, it seems to me, the best and brightest don’t, for example, get into college debt and then whine about being underpaid, as if teachers’ salaries were as mysterious as the contents of BarryCare before it passed.

            6. “Government doesn’t usually turn a profit (TARP and the GM investment notwithstanding)…”

              You’re playing funny with words in two obvious ways:

              1) Government doesn’t generate its own income. It parasites off the economic activity of those of us who do.

              2) Within the context of this thread, you’re conflating the government with the middle class…

              TARP recipients, for instance, may have paid the government back–but they haven’t paid the middle class back…they haven’t paid ME back!

              They took the money out of our future paychecks–so we’re still paying for TARP–but when that money got paid back, they never sent me a check. Did they send one to you? Maybe mine got lost in the mail?!

              They haven’t authorized $700 billion in tax cuts.

              They haven’t retired $700 billion in outstanding debt.

              That money is in the general fund and stillcoming out of my future paychecks!

              …don’t tell me the bloodsucking UAW is doing the middle class any favors–until they pay back every red cent they’re still stealing out of our future paychecks!

            7. Hobie Hanson|2.7.11 @ 8:37PM|#
              “Government doesn’t usually turn a profit (TARP and the GM investment notwithstanding)”
              Ya know, when I used to, well, ‘self medicate’, I’d have asked if I can get some of whatever you’re taking.
              Now, I just say BULLSHIT!

            8. I’d love to see the corporations try to turn a profit with roads that don’t get fixed, schools that don’t educate, and police who don’t prevent crime.

              Well, that’s what the situation is now. You don’t really think the government is effectively performing those functions, do you?

            9. If we reduce compensation for public servants, or reneg on past promises to them, the best and brightest are going to diappear from government work. I’d love to see the corporations try to turn a profit with roads that don’t get fixed, schools that don’t educate, and police who don’t prevent crime.

              How effectively do schools educate?

              How effectively do police prevent crime?

          3. if it wasn’t for the fukctard rethuglicans, there wouldn’t be such a liability

            1. Why don’t you go jerk off in private?

            2. Max|2.7.11 @ 8:38PM|#
              “if it wasn’t for the fukctard rethuglicans, there wouldn’t be such a liability”

              Ya know, when I used to, well, ‘self medicate’, I’d have asked if I can get some of whatever you’re taking.
              Now, I just say BULLSHIT!

        4. I normally don’t get involved in these little lovers’ spats, but Max, no one has to prove you wrong, you yourself do a more than adequate job.

        5. You offer no proof of that link, you twit.

        6. Max|2.7.11 @ 7:17PM|#
          “Proof me wrong, moron.”
          Pretty much an ignoramus about ‘burden of proof” along with the rest of you idiocy.

    2. The sharp rise in living standards in (predominantly) capitalist countries is due to the benefits of private capital investment, entrepreneurship, technological advances, and better and more educated workforce (no thanks to the monopoly of education public, which has only served to dumb people.) Unions take advantage of this while pursuing policies which impede the very institutions of capitalism.

      -Jorge Val?n

      http://www.jorgevalin.com/arti…..orenzo.htm

      (Translate)

      1. Correction. That was a Thomas J. DiLorenzo quote translated to Spanish by Jorge Val?n, and translated back to English by Google Translate.

        I was recently on the LIO website.

      2. Bullshit!

      3. fucking teabagger

        1. Max, your personal fantasies are none of our business.

        2. I warned you, Maxie, one more outbreak like that and off to bed with no dessert.

        3. I know you are, but what am I?

        4. Max|2.7.11 @ 8:51PM|#
          “fucking teabagger”

          Ya know, when I used to, well, ‘self medicate’, I’d have asked if I can get some of whatever you’re taking.
          Now, I just say BULLSHIT!
          This might be a lesson for you max.

        5. With his child-mauling pit bull on a loose leash.

        6. I doubt DiLorenzo was a “teabagger”, Max.

  9. LOL, I hink we knew that was coming.

    http://www.net-privacy.at.tc

  10. Arise, ye workers and unite!
    These SEIU thugs seem to be a more evolved specimen of the hired guns that used to be on the other side of the picket line when the labor movement first kicked off. While they are still fans of good old fashioned intimidation they seem to have learned that deep pockets and lawsuits will get you further than deep pockets and bullets.

    1. A. P. Wiggles|2.7.11 @ 9:39PM|#
      “Arise, ye workers and unite!
      These SEIU thugs seem to be a more evolved specimen of the hired guns that used to be on the other side of the picket line when the labor movement first kicked off….”

      I’m sure most everyone remembers stories about the Homestead strike and the ‘horrible’ result.
      Well, I’d suggest you read “Meet You in Hell” (Standiford; who is no friend of business), pp 163-195.
      The massacre was the result of union thugs. period.

      1. I was thinking more of Blair Mountain and some of the unrest in the western rail and mining industries when I wrote that but point taken. I have no illusions as to the motivations and tactics of many of those involved in the early labor movement though at the same time I detest the idea of business relying on state power to prevent workers from collectively negotiating a wage if they choose to do so. I also detest unions relying on state power to get employers to yeild to their demands, so here we are.

        1. A. P. Wiggles|2.7.11 @ 10:20PM|#
          “I was thinking more of Blair Mountain…”
          Not familiar with that; got a reference?
          In the case of Homestead, the management barged Pinkertons up the river to protect the closed plant against the thugs. The Pinkertons changed the landing site several times to avoid the thugs; the thugs chased the barges, fired on them and then attacked the Pinkertons when they finally landed.
          And *THAT* is an historical claim of superiority of the thugs.

          1. Yes, it is unfortunately true that thugs often prevail. As far as the Battle of Blair Mountain goes check out Thunder in the Mountains: The West Virginia Mine War by Lon Savage.

  11. I see a market for an anti union thugry company opening up.

    You threaten my clients with a firing? That’s a beatin’. You threaten to try and slander my clients? That’s a beatin’. You continue to breath? That’s a beatin’. Your still alive? That’s a beatin’.

    1. After all they bring a knife, you bring a gun. Right Barry?

    2. It’s called the mob, and I’m sure they would have some very interesting opinions about YOU trying to compete with THEM.

    3. hmm’s Anti Union Thugry LLC|2.7.11 @ 11:02PM|#
      “I see a market for an anti union thugry company opening up.”

      Hasn’t happened yet; the unions seem to have a, well, “monopoly” on thuggery.

      1. Not a total monopoly, the Pinkertons are still around.

    4. Dear god contraction fail…

      The mob and the unions are pretty much the same thing. I don’t think it would be completion so much as opposition.

  12. And all those alleged problems at the PHS hospital would magically disappear the next day if it become an SEIU shop.

    Isn’t that true, Max.

  13. And who has spent the last three years raising a ruckus about how evil the SEIU and other unions are? Gleen Beck.

    1. We don’t need Beck to tell us unions are evil.

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