Rally Saturday--join Rep. Patrick Murphy in supporting Express Scripts workers

Despite the recession, Express Scripts (one of the country's largest mail-order pharmacy companies) has raked in $550 million in profits since the beginning of 2010.

And yet Express Scripts is threatening to close its Bensalem facility and put 900 workers on the unemployment line unless they take huge pay cuts and give up the quality health care their families depend on. They would move the work in PA to MO or AZ.

Express Scripts makes millions off of union and employer health plans; contracts with state and federal agencies (including a $2.8B contract with the US Dept. of Defense); and the Medicare Part D prescription plan.

If our economy is ever going to recover, we have to stop giant corporations like Express Scripts from using the recession as an excuse to destroy good jobs.

UNITE HERE Local 634 Members Beat Back SEIU Raid By 2:1 Vote

Last week the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) announced the results of the election to represent the 2,300 cafeteria workers and noon time aides in the Philadelphia School District: members of UNITE HERE Local 634 voted by a 2:1 margin to stay with their union and rejected SEIU’s anti-union tactics.

After months of attacks directed by New York-based SEIU 32BJ, the PLRB counted 1121 votes for UNITE HERE Local 634 and only 551 votes for SEIU Philadelphia Joint Board. There were 10 votes for no union and 198 challenged ballots.

Corporate Censorship of Political Speech and Organizing Online

On Friday, the Media and Democracy Coalition stood with SEIU, the Teamsters, UFCW, Healthcare for America Now, small business owners, Greenpeace, PennEnvironment, AFSCME, Change to Win, the Sierra Club, and many other groups in denouncing the regressive policies of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at its meeting in Philadelphia.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been fighting healthcare reform, climate change legislation, and President Obama's attempt to guarantee freedom of speech and freedom of expression online. I spoke of the growing threat from the giant corporations like Comcast that control the Internet to our freedom of speech online, and the need to make net neutrality the law.

SENATE PASSES HB 834--Mandatory Overtime on the Way out in PA

I'm pasting in our press release, below, but also wanted to just say thanks to all those of you who have joined us in the fight to end mandatory overtime for health care workers in PA--the grassroots pressure that was provided by our progressive allies, along with the voices of thousands of health care workers--finally lifted our bill over the time, in the final days of this legislative session.

(HARRISBURG, PA) – Seven years after launching their campaign to end mandatory overtime for nurses and other direct patient caregivers, members of SEIU Healthcare are anxious to celebrate their victory.

The Pennsylvania Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday to pass a House Bill 834, a bill restricting mandatory overtime for nurses and other caregivers. Forced overtime has been shown to increase medical errors and put patients at risk. It’s also a leading factor in many nurses’ decision to leave the bedside.

Ban Mandatory Overtime--Take 2

Here's the second in our series of SEIU Healthcare PA members talking about the need to ban mandatory overtime.

Mandatory overtime affects hospital workers, nursing home workers, and state and county employees.

If you love seniors, call your state senator and tell them to vote for a ban on forced overtime. If you live in the district of a member of the Republican leadership, call and tell them to schedule a vote on the bill (HB 834).

Taking Action to Ban Mandatory Overtime

On Tuesday, January 29, health care workers from around the state will be converging on the state capitol in Harrisburg to urge the Senate to ban forced overtime.

Click here to hear one nurse's story about why she's making the trip.

This is the first in a series of video emails we're sending the PA General Assembly, to let them know why health care workers all over the state need an end to mandatory overtime.

Carlyle Group Billionaire David Rubenstein throws down with SEIU over Manor Care, a nursing home chain

This morning, I took part in an action with SEIU against David Rubenstein. Kati Sipp has already put SEIU's official shout-out up here. The story has already broke here and in The New York Times. The Inqy isn't quite right. Police did show but no arrests were made. The action's organizers had every intention of leading us out either before or when the police showed. Cops in Philadelphia are very respectful of protest of all kinds (I'm sure this isn't always true, but it has been for me). As long as you do what they say when they say it, I've never known anyone to get arrested. And, by that time, you've made your point so there is no reason not to go.

Rubenstein is a billionaire investor at the helm of the private equity firm, The Carlyle Group. Carlyle recently purchased Manor Care, the nation's largest nursing home chain. The work of a private equity firm is not, of course, quality services, quality work, honoring a mission or any other socially responsible business motive. The work of a private equity firm is to squeeze as much cash out of its investments as it can. At times, this might mean making a company do its job better, but it might also mean selling it off in pieces. Or kicking out Unions. Or scaling back services even more but in not quite measurable ways.

In the case of Nursing Home Care, of course, poorer services means a lower quality of life and shorter life expectancy for seniors. SEIU has an official campaign website for the issue.

I came along to the action as a friend of the Labor Movement and not as any sort of leader or Organizer. I was with the flyering group on the floor and joined in with the people unfurling the banners in the balcony when they chanted:
"Better Staffing, Better Care!
"No more money for The Billionaires!"

The event took place at The Bellevue. Click read more for the juicy details!

SEIU Hits the Streets!

Join two thousand members of SEIU as they march for their health care. The city-wide contract will expire on October 15 and if the bosses around the city are still trying to take back health care or wages, there maybe a massive strike. Come out and march with your favorite janitors and show the bosses that they do not stand alone!

WHAT: March and Rally for a fair contract

WHERE: Dilworth Plaza, 15th St. and JFK Boulevard

WHEN: Thursday, September 27, 2007, 12:00 Noon - 2 pm. (march starts at noon)

Call (267) 250-6480 for more information.

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