Tags >> unions
Dec 11
2009

Memorial Hospital Union Vote

Posted by Bruce Robinson in unions , Santa Rosa , rights , religion , policy , nonprofit orgs , jobs , healthcare , Health , employment , business , activism

Bruce Robinson

Charges and countercharges are mounting in the run-up to next week’s union representation election at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

Father Ray Decker (right) , who is active with the Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice group, says that while he and other clergy are pressing Memorial Hospital to take a more Christian stance toward the union organizing efforts of their workforce, they have no illusions about who they are actually speaking to.

Katy Hillenmeyer, spokeswoman for St. Joseph Health Care of Sonoma County, which operates Memorial Hospital, says the impartiality of the new Fair Election Oversight Commission is open to question, as some members have clear ties to one of the competing unions.

Wages and workplace issues are part of the debate in the union representation vote, says telemetry technician Nancy Timberlake, a 24-year Memorial Hospital employee. But the biggest single issue for her is job security.

Oct 22
2009

Community Benefit Agreement

Posted by Bruce Robinson in unions , Sonoma County , Rohnert Park , nonprofit orgs , jobs , housing , environment , energy , employment , corporate responsibiliyt , construction , community , business , activism

Bruce Robinson

A  new “Community Benefit Agreement” between the developers of the big Sonoma Mountain Village project in Rohnert Park and a coalition of labor, housing and environmental groups could set a new standard for cooperation between factions that have more often been adversaries.

David Grabill with the Housing Advocacy Group was one of the first to contact Codding Enterprises about the Sonoma Mountain Village project. He recalls that after some encouraging early meetings, it soon became apparent that it would be more productive to engage the full Affordable Development Coalition in the ongoing talks.

Kirstie Moore, development manager for the Sonoma Mountain Village project (seen fully built out in this artist's rendering), says the lengthy negotiations with the Affordable Development Coalition (ADC) were a learning experience for both sides.

The voluntary agreement with Codding Enterprises is legally binding for  Sonoma Mountain Village is concerned, but for other development projects, says ADC Director Marlene Dehlinger, it represents a standard to live up to, not a requirement that anyone else is obligated to meet.

Sep 08
2009

Union Vote at Memorial

Posted by Bruce Robinson in unions , Santa Rosa , rights , politics , nonprofit orgs , jobs , healthcare , Health , government , employment , business , activism

Bruce Robinson

Employees at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital are one step closer to a union representation vote, something that could come within a matter of a few weeks.

 

Steve Sidawi, a volunteer organizer with the National Union of Healthcare Workers, traces the history of the unionization effort at Memorial Hospital.

The administration at Memorial Hospital disputes that version of past events. Katy Hillenmeyer, spokeswoman for St. Joseph’s Health System, Sonoma County, says the company has precisely lived up to their legal responsibilities.

Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane sees taking a high-profile position on labor issues such as this one as part of her job, representing the workers within her district.

 

Aug 25
2009

Whole Foods Boycott

Posted by Bruce Robinson in unions , Sonoma , Sebastopol , Santa Rosa , rights , protest , politics , policy , Petaluma , nonprofit orgs , Napa , media , jobs , Ideas , healthcare , Health , employment , corporate responsibiliyt , California , business , activism

Bruce Robinson

Local activists are urging customers to boycott Whole Foods to protest the company ownership’s opposition to health care reform and organized labor.

With four stores in Sonoma County, one in Napa and two in Marin, Whole Foods is the dominant purveyor of organic groceries in the North Bay. Georgia Kelly says that joining the boycott has meant disruptions in her personal patterns, but she feels living out her personal values is more important.

Ben Boyce (left), director of the Living Wage Coalition, contends that while John Mackey is certainly entitled to his own personal beliefs, others who do not share those beliefs have a responsibility not to provide the financial support to perpetuate them.

 

"Even in countries like Canada and the U.K., there is no intrinsic right to health care. Rather, citizens in these countries are told by government bureaucrats what health-care treatments they are eligible to receive and when they can receive them. All countries with socialized medicine ration health care by forcing their citizens to wait in lines to receive scarce treatments..." wrote Whole Food CEO John Mackey (right)  in his Wall Street Journal essay, "The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare."

"Rather than increase government spending and control, we need to address the root causes of poor health. This begins with the realization that every American adult is responsible for his or her own health." Read the full article  here.

 

Will Shonbrun's response, an Open Letter to Whole Foods Market, was first published in the Empire Report. You can view the main Facebook page supporting the boycott here.

 

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