Union Forces Planned Parenthood Biz to Cancel Fundraiser

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 9, 2012   |   5:32PM   |   Salem, OR

A union in Oregon has forced a local Planned Parenthood abortion business to cancel its plans for a fundraising dinner because of squabbles between the abortion giant and the Service Employees International Union, with which staff at the abortion business affiliated.

Last year, workers at Planned Parenthood in Oregon voted to unionize with the Service Employees International Union. Some 161 care providers at Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette (PPCW) voted to form a union with SEIU Local 49 in a National Labor Relations Board Election (NLRB). The vote was a strong majority for the union with a tally of:  97 yes for the union and 43 no.

Officials with the local abortion business opposed the move, citing increased costs, with the Portland Mercury reporting:  “In multiple emails, [Planned Parenthood CEO David] Greenberg told employees to weigh the arguments and make up their own minds. But in an email dated July 19th, he writes that the union may be promising more than it can deliver and says, ‘I hope you will not vote to have SEIU represent you.’”

“Unlike many unionizing campaigns, the workers at the local Planned Parenthoods don’t have a laundry list of complaints,” says the Mercury. “Instead, the drive for the union revolves around having more of a voice in the planning and administration of PPCW, as well as ‘gaining a livable wage for all staff’ and maintaining health benefits.”

Now, Planned Parenthood of the Columbia Willamette has had to cancel its dinner, scheduled for Saturday. Williamette Week has the details:

The $250-per-plate event fell victim to a threatened picket line. Last August, Planned Parenthood’s 179 clinical workers voted to become part of Service Employees Union Local 49. Since November, the organization and SEIU have been trying to agree upon a contract. Frustrated with the pace of negotiations, SEIU let Planned Parenthood and many of its patrons know they planned an action for Saturday night. That was an effective move, given that many of the metro area’s elected officials and their top supporters planned to be at the event, which this year had a “Roman Holiday” theme.

Gov. John Kitzhaber, who backs abortion, canceled his plans to attend the function after he heard about the picket and Planned Parenthood CEO David Greenberg threw in the towel and sent the following email:

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.

This difficult decision was taken after we learned that SEIU Local 49 would be picketing the event. As you may know, PPCW is in contract negotiations with our employees who are represented by the union. The purpose of the Spring Gala is to raise the vital funds needed to provide health care to the low-income women, men and teens that rely on us, and to recognize and thank our most committed supporters.

This year we had planned to recognize Christine and David Vernier, two of our most dedicated champions. 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. It is out of respect for Christine and David as well as our other supporters that we have decided not to go forward with the event.

The Planned Parenthood-SEIU link isn’t a surprise given the SEIU’s abortion advocacy and a key leadership link it has with the nation’s biggest abortion business.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which represents nearly two million workers in over 100 occupations across the United States, pressured pro-life Democrats who initially opposed Obamacare over its abortion funding provisions. In some cases, the union threatened pro-life Democrats and others who were undecided on the legislation with supporting primary election opponents if they didn’t vote yes on the bill or motions to make the bill law.

In 2005, SEIU networked with one of the top pro-abortion groups, Emily’s List, for Americans for Health Care, a joint project between the Service Employees International Union, and the abortion advocacy group.

But one connection clinches it when it comes to the Planned Parenthood hookup. The name Kirk Adams probably doesn’t mean much even to most pro-life advocates. He is a top attorney for SEIU and happens to be married to Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood.

The SEIU and its political affiliate also contributed $3 million to America Votes, headed by Richards at the time Adams was an aide to SEIU President Andy Stern. Adams, according to the Wall-Street Journal, directed the Obamacare effort for the union — which resulted in a slush fund for Planned Parenthood — and met with pro-abortion President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, to discuss the bill.