Facing SEIU picket, Planned Parenthood cancels fundraiser
Trouble in liberal paradise.
It seems that the Planned Parenthood of the Columbia Willamette (PPCW) in Portland, Ore. and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are in the midst of a little labor spat — but then nothing is little when it comes to either of these groups.
Last August, employees at the PPCW voted in favor of unionizing with the SEIU Local 49 in a National Labor Relations Board Election. The pair have been trying to work out a contract since November to no avail.
Due to frustrations with the slow contract process, the SEIU made plans to picket PPCW’s annual fundraising dinner scheduled for May 12 — a move that reportedly caused Oregon Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber to cancel his plans to attend the event, the Willamette Weekly reported.
“The governor will not cross the picket line and has canceled his appearance,” Kitzhaber spokesman Tim Raphael told Willamette Weekly.
The pressure caused PPCW to cancel the entire $250-per-plate event on Wednesday.
“It is with great disappointment that I write to let you know that we have decided to cancel our upcoming Spring Gala next Saturday, May 12,” David Greenberg, president and CEO of PPCW wrote in an email to supporters, obtained by Willamette Weekly.
“The decision by SEIU to picket our event has put many of our supporters into the untenable position of having to choose between two organizations, and two progressive causes, both of which they support,” Greenberg wrote, explaining that the organization wishes to respect their supporters’ allegiances to both groups.
The SEIU also rallied in front of a PPCW conference in late March.
“We’re here today because we’ve been bargaining since November 1, 2011,” explained Skye Frome, a registered nurse, at the time. “And while we’ve made some progress, we have yet to see our most serious concerns addressed in any meaningful way. We’re here to show management that we’re serious about reaching a fair contract.”
In an ironic twist, the SEIU’s international executive vice president, Kirk Adams, is married to Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Neither group responded to The Daily Caller’s request for comment.