Solidarity With USC Healthcare Workers sign now

This petition is both a letter of support to the USC Hospital Workers organizing to unionize and a letter to the USC Administration, specifically President Sample, urging them to respect workers' right to unionize and expressing dismay over their decision to employ the Weissman Group, a union busting consulting firm, to derail NUHW organizing efforts.

1. Letter of Support for USC Hospital Workers


A LETTER OF SOLIDARITY TO OUR FELLOW TROJANS

We have recently learned of the struggles of the USC Hospital employees to be recognized by the union of their choice the National Union of Healthcare Workers.

Although we are angered and dismayed that the USC administration has chosen to hire the Weissman Group to help break worker solidarity and union support, we are not surprised. USC has a long history of disrespecting workers and their unions through subcontracting, not negotiating in good faith, and spreading disinformation.

We understand the importance of the work that you perform on a daily basis and we believe that all USC employees deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. A fundamental part of this is the right to organize under the union that has been democratically chosen by the majority of workers.

We are especially excited that USC Hospital workers have chosen to organize under NUHW as we see it as a progressive union that prioritizes worker democracy and empowerment.

According to USCs mission statement, The central mission of the University of Southern California is the development of human beings and society as a whole through the cultivation and enrichment of the human mind and spirit . . . while at the same time helping [our students] to acquire wisdom and insight, love of truth and beauty, moral discernment, understanding of self, and respect and appreciation for others. We find it deeply disturbing that an institution with such stated goals would choose to hire a well-known union-busting firm, an act which is clearly the antithesis of such stated objectives.

We want you to know that we respect and admire your commitment and courage and stand ready to assist however we can.

The Faculty and Students of the University Park Campus


2. Letter to USC President Sample

March 26, 2010

Dear President Sample:

We have recently learned of the struggles of USC Hospitals Service, Technical and Professional employees to be recognized by the union of their choice the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW). An overwhelming majority of the 600 workers at USC Hospital have filed for an election to certify NUHW as their union. USC has not supported this position, and worse, has hired the Weissman Group. Although the Weissman Group defines itself as Human Resource Architects, it is a well-known union-busting firm. Indeed, the following was taken from its website:

Union Avoidance Consulting and Strategy

Strategies

Most organizations believe they are better off operationally and from an employee morale standpoint if they remain union-free. In addition to the prospect of a work stoppage, unionization brings with it the cost and uncertainty of collective bargaining, as well as the potential interference or limitation of direct communication with employees. If there are issues that are causing employee morale to suffer, most organizations would agree that they can be more successful if they can identify and resolve those issues directly, rather than having their employees go to an outside third party. A well conceived union avoidance strategy can benefit you and your employees.

Union organizing campaigns

Many organizations facing a union organizing campaign find it to be one of the most disruptive and disillusioning experiences they encounter. Developing an appropriate response to this situation must entail a careful analysis of the operational situation, the emotions of those involved (both employees and managers) and the impact such activity could have on other parties, such as customers.

In your corner: The role of consultants

The Weissman Group consultants work with managers and supervisors to help organizations achieve a positive outcome. Through this process, we not only help guide supervisors and managers to accurately educate employees about the potential implications of union representation, but help them identify and understand the issues which brought about the unionization effort. This process not only enhances the organizations likelihood of success in the unionization attempt, but decreases the likelihood of future attempts by heightening managers sensitivity to issues that negatively impact employee morale.

The National Labor Relations Act guarantees employees the right to choose whether they want to have a union represent them. However, the law also guarantees employees the right to not be represented. An employer has an obligation moral, if not legal to make sure employees make an informed decision about unionization by making sure they have the necessary facts.

Ultimately, the decision is their decision to make.

The website proudly lists USC as one of the Weissman Groups clients. Several workers have also shared with us their experiences of intimidation and bullying that have occurred via the Weissman Group.

According to USCs mission statement, The central mission of the University of Southern California is the development of human beings and society as a whole through the cultivation and enrichment of the human mind and spirit . . . while at the same time helping [our students] to acquire wisdom and insight, love of truth and beauty, moral discernment, understanding of self, and respect and appreciation for others. We find it highly contradictory that an institution with such stated goals would choose to hire a union-busting firm, an act which is clearly the antithesis of such stated objectives.

We also find it especially disturbing that the University would choose to hire the Weissman Group at a time of great financial uncertainty. While most faculty and staff have had our wages frozen, the University has instead invested considerable resources in trying to break the spirit of the workers. Those funds could have otherwise been spent in student financial aid or enhancing the salary and benefits of USCs lowest-paid employees.

We understand the importance of the work that hospital workers perform on a daily basis. They are a vital part of USCs health care system and valued members of the Trojan Family. As such, they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, including their employer recognizing and accepting their right to organize under the union that has been democratically chosen by the majority of workers.

As faculty and students, we urge you to rescind the Weissman Group and allow the election to move forward without delay and interference.

Sincerely,

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Chris CordovaBy:
Culture and SocietyIn:
Petition target:
USC Hospital Workers (We Support You!), USC Administration (Stop Union Busting!)

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