Employees of Planned Parenthood want to unionize with the SEIU—but it’s doubtful the nation’s largest abortion provider will let that happen without a fight.
NEW YORK, NY—A group of nearly 250 Planned Parenthood workers want to unionize with a branch of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), according to a petition filed with the National Labor Relations Board.
On Friday, 1199SEIU filed a petition with the NLRB to hold a election among 245 “professional and non-professional” employees at the Planned Parenthood facility in New York City.
Excluded from the petition are “employees already represented [by a union], physicians, supervisors and guards as defined by the Act.”
The petition filing is an indication that Planned Parenthood will not “voluntarily recognize” the union without an election.
As a result, barring any challenges from Planned Parenthood to the union’s petition, it is likely that the NLRB will schedule an election within the next three to four weeks.
Normally, Planned Parenthood and the SEIU are allies., as the SEIU often provides the abortion chain with financial and public support.
In fact, former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards is married to Kirk Adams, the longtime head of SEIU’s health care branch, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
However, the two allies have historically parted ways when it comes to the SEIU unionizing Planned Parenthood’s employees.
In Colorado, for example, Planned Parenthood vigorously fought the SEIU unionizing its employees at 14 of its facilities.
In December 2017, after a vote of 72-57, Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains affiliate (PPRM) appealed the outcome of the election to, ironically, the appointees of President Trump at the National Labor Relations Board in Washington.
In April , the NLRB accepted the case for review, and a three-member panel ruled in PPRM’s favor, putting the union on hold. PPRM officials said they appealed the initial ruling that favored holding union elections because it wants workers at all 24 of its clinics in Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico to be part of the bargaining unit. Officials at PPRM say they appealed SEIU’s vote to unionize because only 40 percent of their workers voted for the union.
Our brothers & sisters at @PPRMBargaining are fighting for higher wages, a voice on the job, and the opportunity to provide the best care to their patients. They voted to form a union, but @PPRockyMountain refuses to recognize it. https://t.co/84L3XW6UR1
— SEIU Local 105 (@SEIU105) May 24, 2018
Eventually, Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains settled its differences with the SEIU before the entire NLRB could rule on the case.
The Colorado case is not the first time Planned Parenthood has been accused of ‘union busting.’
Workers at Planned Parenthood of Columbia Willamette and Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York accused the health-care organization of trying to stop their unionization efforts, according to Rewire.
In addition to its alleged ‘union-busting,’ the nation’s largest abortion provider has come under fire for its mistreatment of employees—including alleged discrimination against its own pregnant employees.
“In interviews and legal documents,” reported the New York Times, “women at Planned Parenthood and other organizations with a feminist bent described discrimination that violated federal or state laws — managers considering pregnancy in hiring decisions, for example, or denying rest breaks recommended by a doctor.”
Whether or not the Planned Parenthood workers in New York decide to become unionized remains to be seen.
However, even if they do unionize, it does not mean they will get a contract, let alone a contract they like…as the SEIU’s own employees know first hand.
- SEIU Local Accused of Threatening, Interrogating Its Own Staff
- Union Workers At SEIU Headquarters Are Preparing To Strike
- Accused of “Union Busting,” SEIU Presents Unionized Staff Its Final Offer