By Suzanne Bates
Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s new running mate Kamala Harris has shown a willingness to choose cozy relationships with union leaders over the needs of workers. In one case, this led to retirees’ pensions being slashed.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Harris helped block the sale of a chain of indebted hospitals to Prime Healthcare Services after union leaders with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) raised objections to the sale.
SEIU leadership wanted to unionize all of Prime’s California hospital workers in exchange for their approval of the sale, but Prime rejected their offer. Harris, acting in her capacity as then-Attorney General of California, had the power to approve the sale. She instead made it unworkable by attaching requirements that were unacceptable to Prime.
The hospitals were then sold to a hedge fund, ultimately leading to the hospital chain going bankrupt.
Retirees’ and workers’ pensions were slashed in the fallout of the bankruptcy.
In an ironic twist, after she was sued for her part in stopping the sale to Prime, Harris used “qualified immunity” to shield herself from the lawsuit. Harris recently voted to strip qualified immunity from police officers.
Harris has a 100 percent score from the AFL-CIO and has said she wants to ban right to work laws at the state and local level.