The upstart National Union of Healthcare Workers failed for a second time to win the prize of representing 45,000 workers at Kaiser Permanente hospitals in California.
In a do-over election ordered after NUHW disputed the results three years ago, the incumbent SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West retained representation rights. On Thursday the National Labor Relations Board tallied 18,894 votes for SEIU and 13,002 votes for NUHW, according to a NUHW news release, while 334 voted for neither union. The unions have a seven-day period to challenge the results.
The election was seen as in important test of strength for NUHW, which has ambitions of becoming a national foil to SEIU, the dominant organizing force in U.S. hospitals, nursing homes and home care.