Two California branches of the Service Employees International Union, 100,000-member Local 250 and 30,000-member Local 399, will merge into a statewide union. About 31,000 union members turned out for the vote, and about 90% approved the merger, union officials said. The merged union will be called United Healthcare Workers West. Local 250 President Sal Rosselli will be president and Local 399 President Jorge Rodriguez will be executive vice president. The merger will strengthen organized labor's voice in organizing drives, bargaining and political disputes, union officials said. "The creation of this new union is not only the next step, it's a necessary step to meet the ongoing challenges in the healthcare industry," Rodriguez said. -- by Melanie Evans
Calif. SEIU locals to merge into statewide union
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