RNs Call on Service Employees Union (SEIU) President Stern to Renounce Violence Following Brutal Attack on Labor Event

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 General News
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OAKLAND, Calif., April 14 In the wake of a brutal attackon a labor conference in Michigan Saturday night by staff of the ServiceEmployees International Union, the California Nurses Association/NationalNurses Organizing Committee Monday called on SEIU President Andrew Stern to"renounce the use of violence, and stop targeting women, nurses, and workingpeople for threats and harassment."

By their own admission, quoted in an SEIU press release after the event,SEIU said it sent 800 people to the event to confront CNA/NNOC Rose AnnDeMoro, the scheduled banquet speaker that night, and other female CNA/NNOCleaders who were at the conference.

Concurrently, SEIU representatives were engaged in stalking and harassingfemale CNA/NNOC Board members in their homes and in their nursing departmentsover the past few days.

"Together these actions reveal an unmistakable pattern of violence andspecific targeting of women labor leaders that is reprehensible and shouldhave no place in our labor movement or our country," said DeMoro today. "Sternhas an obligation to the labor movement and the world to take a clear standagainst such disgraceful behavior."

Labor Notes, an independent magazine, also issued a call to Stern and SEIUto "repudiate" the use of violence following the shocking events of Saturdaynight when purple-clad SEIU staff stormed the Labor Notes conference banquet,crashing through the doors, and assaulting union members in their way in aneffort to rush the stage.

According to Labor Notes, "a recently retired member of United AutoWorkers Local 235, Dianne Feeley, suffered a head wound after being knocked tothe ground by SEIU International staff and local members. Otherconference-goers -- members of the Teamsters, UAW, UNITE HERE, InternationalLongshoremen's Association, and SEIU itself -- were punched, kicked, shoved,and pushed to the floor."

Meanwhile, roving bands of SEIUers continued their campaign against femaleCNA/NNOC Board members. On Saturday, one team arrived at the house of CNA/NNOCBoard member Veronica Rocha, RN just as she and two family members wereentering her car to drive to a memorial service. The SEIU team in the carfollowed them and at one point began yelling at them in the car.

"I really felt threatened and personally violated when they showed up atour place of residence uninvited and continued to follow us, knowing I did notwant to interact with them. Nobody deserves to be stalked in this manner,"Rocha said. "I really don't believe that they would appreciate an unannouncedvisit from CNA at their homes, disrupting their personal family life. I amproud to represent CNA, a professional organization with membership thatsupports and advocates for patients and safe staffing."

When CNA/NNOC Board member Janice Webb, RN arrived at her San Diegohospital to work in her nursing unit Saturday, the night shift charge saidthat "someone from SEIU was calling the unit last night asking for my phonenumber and address. I am unclear as to how many times they called."

"When will Stern and his gang learn that threatening women in their homesand harassing them in areas where they are caring for patients is abusive,immoral, and unacceptable behavior?" DeMoro said.

At the Labor Notes conference, the Saturday night attack followed a day ofdisruption by SEIU at the conference, as Labor Notes also noted in a pressrelease afterwards: "Despite being welcomed to the conference earlier in theday -- and given space to debate (CNA/NNOC) supporters -- SEIU Internationaland regional staff shouted down speakers at workshops and panels throughoutthe event."

Many others witnessed that as well, such as Heather Ives, RN, an Ohio NNOCmember who said, "I came here to learn as a novice to the labor movement andthe social movement. I wanted to gain knowledge of how to organize people forsocial causes in u

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