United Healthcare Workers

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The SEIU United Healthcare Workers West, founded in the 1930s, is a statewide local union of the Service Employees International Union in California in the United States. It has a membership of 150,000.


UHW was created by the merger of two SEIU local unions: Local 250 in Northern California and Local 399 in Southern California. The larger of those two locals, Local 250, began when workers at San Francisco General Hospital, who were inspired by the 1934 general strike in San Francisco, organized a union at their hospital in 1934.

UHW is headquartered in Oakland, California and has offices statewide. UHW is an industrial union representing all classifications of health care workers in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, home health agencies as well as homecare workers. UHW is one of the fastest growing unions in the nation and is very diverse, with its members speaking more than 50 languages.


On June 23, 2010 SEIU-UHW members at Kaiser Permanente ratified a contract covering 46,000 California workers guaranteeing a 3% annual wage increases. [1] Other recent victories of the union include winning a six-week strike against Sutter Health in San Francisco, the conclusion of successful negotiations with Catholic Healthcare West, a successful win of an election at O'Connor Woods Retirement Community in Stockton, California and a statewide contract victory with the Hospital Corporation of America, the nation's largest hospital company. Most of the union's current organizing work is being carried out in Southern California.

On January 27, 2009, SEIU placed UHW West under trusteeship and dismissed 70 of the local's executives, including president Sal Rosselli.[2][3] Rosselli and other ousted leaders reformed under the National Union of Healthcare Workers and pushed for UHW West members at 60 facilities to vote to decertify SEIU.[4]

An election between SEIU-UHW and NUHW for representation of more than 40,000 workers at Kaiser Permanente facilities throughout California will be held by mail ballot. Ballots will be mailed to workers starting September 13 and will be counted in Oakland, CA October 6 through 8.[5] In the series of elections that have taken place so far to determine whether or not current SEIU-UHW members want to stay in their union or join rival NUHW, more than 73,000 have chosen to stay in the local.[6]

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