While California Nurses Association Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro became head of a union that cares for other people, she has since proven herself to be uncaring and out of touch with other people’s interests.
In 2005, the Orange County Register make it clear: she is not a nurse but a hired labor activist that has an “aggressive, accept-no-compromise approach.” More than 10 years later, nothing has changed, according to this CalMatters headline: “In health care debate, nurses’ union boss doesn’t play nice—and that’s the way she likes it”.
During her time as executive director, hundreds of union members have filed actions against CNA with the National Labor Relations Board.
DeMoro has opposed Democratic leadership on key issues, including opposing President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, endorsing Green Party candidate Ralph Nader in the 2000 Presidential Election, and refusing to endorse Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election against Donald Trump. In both the 2000 election and 2016 elections, Democrats lost the White House by a relatively small numbers of votes, and voters are left to wonder if DeMoro’s actions helped Republicans win. Here’s DeMoro’s take on the race and why she wouldn’t support Hillary Clinton, from NPR.
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In fact, DeMoro has advocated more than once for a split in the Democratic Party, further ensuring it would be more difficult for Democrat candidates to win elections:, as reported in this story: Head of National Nurses United Encourages Bernie Sanders to Start a People’s Party
DeMoro doesn’t care about the political leanings of nurses she claims to represent, as she sees the world through only one lens, according to this Capitol Weekly article: “One high ranking public union official described her to BuzzFeed as a “bomb thrower, not a bridge builder.” “If you aren’t a neo-liberal zombie, you’re a bomb thrower,” she replied. Read more » About U.S. senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), whom some consider a rising Democratic party leader, DeMoro told the New York Times, “She’s one of the people the Democratic Party is putting up. In terms of where the progressives live, I don’t think there’s any ‘there’ there.”
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We need a union that advocates for working class people. Job ranking websites tell the stories of people who do not like to work at CNA/NNU headquarters because of poor leadership. Here is just one review about working at NNU:
“They are an abusive, enormously hypocritical employer. Period. They tout ideological ideas about workers’ rights while treating their own employees like dirt. The culture of the organization is a cult of personality of the NON-RN leadership and a caste system. The NON-RN leadership hold themselves in much, much higher regard than the tank and file employees, particularly the organizers who are considered the lowest caste.”
Another review about working for NNU states:
“-most toxic (working) environments even compared to service industry jobs I’ve had.
-no room for error.
-housing and racial discrimination
-it’s exhausting working and living with fellow organizers for 24/7 for two weeks straight (we were not allowed to have single/separate hotel rooms)
-Older, white co-workers were favored over the younger, people of color”
And a third review:
“Great mission on paper, one of the worst places I have ever worked; demoralizing, backstabbing, management based on fear.” View more »
DeMoro was quoted as saying a Robin Hood tax would help alleviate the suffering of millions of Americans, noting that the “wealthy get bonuses and bailouts,” but she ignores the fact that union dues pay her nearly half-a-million-dollar salary and benefits. Read more »
One former worker at NNU offers DeMoro and her team this telling advice:
“Grow and develop organizers especially younger organizers of color. Do not prioritize nor favor older, white organizers: This is why there are not a lot of young people of color in the movement. Be more transparent. Offer criticism and evaluation before firing someone.”
The real problem with paying leaders salaries five to six times more than members is that doing so puts union leaders in a different social class, where it’s easy to feel out of touch with members’ needs.