Former union rivals SEIU and CNA/NNOC team up for reform

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Two union rivals have set aside their differences and joined forces to increase support for the card-check legislation and bolster healthcare union recruitment.

Often at odds in the past, the Service Employees International Union and the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee announced a new accord Wednesday in Oakland, CA. They hope their coming together will spur the adoption of the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as the card-check bill, and promote strong union recruitment in the healthcare sector, according to a statement from each of the unions.

"This agreement provides a huge spark for the emergence of a more powerful, unified national movement that is needed to more effectively challenge healthcare industry layoffs and attacks on RN economic and professional standards and patient care conditions," said CNA/NNOC Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro.

The SEIU currently represents roughly 80,000 nurses around the country, while the CAN/NNOC represents 85,000. The CNA/NNOC will soon merge with the United American Nurses and the Massachusetts Nurses Union, creating an entity that will represent more than 150,000 nurses. (McKnight's, 2/20)