NUHW Launches Serious National Mental Health Worker Organizing Effort
By Doug Cunningham
The National Union of Health Care Workers (NUHW) is launching a national effort to organize private sector mental health workers. NUHW President Sal Roselli says his union is partnering with IAM – the machinist’s union – to make mental health the leading civil rights issue of today.
[Sal Roselli]: ” We’re gonna be developing legislation together to achieve that. I see it as the vehicle to make NUHW a truly national union.”
NUHW was created by workers in California several years ago in a dispute with SEIU over who control of a large local.
Roselli says since organizing 10,000 Kaiser Permanente workers NUHW turned a corner into financial stability. And he says the mental health workers organizing is a serious effort. Tens of thousands of such workers are enduring what Roselli says are “Cuckoo’s Nest” conditions.
So why do workers choose to go with NUHW?
[Sal Roselli]: “They almost always respond with something like well, number one we’ve done our research. We want a union that we control.
We want a union that’ll help us fight our employer. We’re not looking for another boss. So NUHW is the place for us.”