SEIU United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is a left-of center California-based health care workers union that is an affiliate of the Service Employees international Union (SEIU), a prominent and left-of-center national labor union. SEIU-UHW is also identified as SEIU Local 2005 and was formed in 2004 as a result of a merger between two smaller local SEIU chapters in California.
It was involved in internal conflict in 2009 which led the national SEIU organization to take custody of the local union and dismiss its leadership. Today, the union has over 100,000 members working in various nursing and other health care roles throughout California. It frequently initiates strikes and pressure campaigns against the largest health care employers in California such as Kaiser Permanente, Dignity Health, Sutter Health, Tenet, Prime Healthcare, and Verity Health. The union is also a member of the SEIU California State Council, which coordinates action among the local SEIU unions in California. 
SEIU-UHW was founded in 2004 as a merger between SEIU local unions 250 and 399, which were respectively located in northern and southern California. The two local unions had worked on supporting and opposing ballot initiatives together. Both unions had grown their ranks of health care worker members after Congress authorized collective bargaining at non-profit hospitals in 1974. 
In 2004, the unions merged and rebranded as SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West and as SEIU Local 2005. Shortly after the merger, the national SEIU placed SEIU-UHW under trusteeship and dismissed 100 of the local union’s officers including then-president Sal Rosselli. The shakeup was a result of a longstanding feud between Rosselli and then-national SEIU president Andy Stern, of whom Rosselli was a vocal critic.  
Rosselli and other union leaders were initially obstinate about the order from its parent organization, refusing to acknowledge it and continuing to heap criticism upon Stern, whom Roselli accused of negotiating weak union contracts. Following his ouster from SEIU-UHW, Rosselli formed National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), which began to compete with SEIU-UHW for membership, pushing over 60 locations to vote to decertify their SEIU affiliation. The ensuing elections resulted in most of the union bargaining units staying with SEIU-UHW.  
SEIU-UHW has become known for waging battles with businesses through ballot initiative campaigns in California. SEIU-UHW president Dave Regan has been vocal about his support for waging campaigns through ballot initiatives. SEIU sponsored ballot initiatives targeting private dialysis companies in the 2018 and 2020 election cycles, leading dialysis companies to spend over $100 million in both elections to oppose a proposal that would require doctors on site at all dialysis clinics, which companies say would lead to the closure of many clinics and harm the industry. 
Critics of Regan’s method of focusing SEIU-UHWs efforts on ballot initiatives point out how the union uses them much more frequently than its peers and that Regan targets companies at which the union is seeking to expand its membership. Dialysis companies say that the proposal targeting them are an attempt to drain resources until the companies are forced to unionize. Others call Regan’s approach “electoral blackmail.” 
The SEIU-UHW has recently taken its focus on ballot initiatives national to focus on broader pro-union policies throughout the states. Regan helped launch the Fairness Project, which has sponsored ballot proposals in over a dozen states supporting increased minimum wages and expansion of the Affordable Care Act. 
SEIU-UHW promotes many far-left policies on race issues and has increasingly published more materials and resources supportive of left-leaning “racial justice” priorities. 
Supposed N95 Mask Stockpile Incident
During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in late March 2020, SEIU-UHW announced that it had secured a large shipment of 39 million N95 masks for various hospital systems in California and elsewhere to purchase. The union later stated that it did not have a financial stake in the transaction. The union targeted hospitals that failed to purchase masks from the stockpile with petitions accusing the hospitals of “putting bottom line profits over safety.” A few weeks after the initial announcement, it was revealed that the mask stockpile did not exist and the union was a victim of a scam, a discovery made when the federal government attempted to seize the shipment to be used by FEMA under the Defense Production Act. 
Dave Regan is the president of SEIU-UHW, having held the post since 2011. He was one of the custodians put in charge of the union following the 2009 ouster of Sal Roselli. Regan has become known in union organizing for leading aggressive ballot initiative campaigns to target businesses where SEIU-UHW is pushing to unionize. He has supported campaigns for a $15 minimum wage in California and founded the Fairness Project to focus on state-level ballot initiatives across the United States. Regan was previously the president of SEIU District 1199, a local SEIU union covering Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Regan also sits on the SEIU national executive board as a vice president.