Union Seeking To Represent Home Care Workers Must Arbitrate Dispute
U.S. District Judge Barry Moskowitz on Wednesday declined to block Service Employees International Union from soliciting home care workers in 29 counties where union representation had been assigned to United Domestic Workers of America under a 2000 court agreement, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Moskowitz said the dispute between the competing unions would have to be resolved through private arbitration, as required by the terms of the 2000 agreement. That agreement gave UDW authorization to organize in 29 California counties and jurisdiction for the other 29 counties to SEIU.
SEIU Local 434B, which represents 105,000 home-care workers in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, has been recruiting UDW members in Riverside County and other UDW jurisdictions, according to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
AFSCME on June 30 won a federal court order to place UDW in a trusteeship because of financial mismanagement by UDW officials. AFSCME then protested "recruiting raids" by SEIU organizers, who were attempting to covert some of UDW's 40,000 statewide members, the Union-Tribune reports.
AFSCME has alleged that some former UDW workers who now work at SEIU misrepresented themselves as UDW employees to encourage home-care workers to change unions. AFSCME said it has gathered more than 1,000 registration forms from home-care workers who said they were misled into signing up for SEIU membership.
SEIU President Andy Stern has said that the union is trying to organize nonunion members, not trying to take members from other organizations (Kinsman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/11).