Be very, very careful about SEIU. I'm a strong progressive myself, very pro-union philosophically, but these people give unions a bad name. They lie, distort, send subversive emails and letters full of half-truths or outright untruths. Creating a strong union movement must not depend on such Bush-like tactics!
I'm quite disappointed to see them showing up in a MoveOn email.
Watch out - they open you to what could be well-documented claims of fraud and deception. That is NOT something MoveOn needs!
These people are weasels. Those of you who've been following Paul Levy's blog, as CEO of my hospital (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, aka BIDMC), and who perhaps have met him, know what kind of man he is: competent, compassionate, committed, honest. SEIU wants to unionize his hospital, and they've been claiming he's a slimy liar who uses manipulative tactics more appropriate to the Bush administration.
Paul advocated in an August 2006 post for a free exchange of views: "we will vigorously oppose any efforts to short-circuit the legitimate process by which employees of this hospital can consider, debate, and vote on this issue."
Several months later he again advocated that the vote be by secret ballot. Last summer he spelled out specific tactics the union has used in other cities. One commenter said
The initial cause for unions was to avoid worker exploitation and unsafe working environments. I don’t see this happening at BIDMC. If a Hospital or business provides a good safe place to work with decent benefits and livable wages for all its employees than there is no need for union intervention. That being said I do feel there are still places of business that could use a union…Maybe the SEIU should be looking at Wal*Mart????"
Paul's "pages from the playbook" post contains comments spanning three months, with back and forth between Levy and various attackers (and supporters). You can decide for yourself whether he's open and honest. Consider in particular the August 13 comment by an employee, which criticizes several things about life as a nurse at BIDMC - Paul published it unedited. This man is not a manipulator.
I personally believe the Reagan administration did us all a great disservice when they started busting up unions, starting with PATCO... that's one reason the middle class is disappearing in the US, with grave consequences throughout the economy. But the solution is not to lie and go after great not-for-profit institutions. Shame on them - not only are they not attacking the problem, they're giving the solution a bad name in the process.