Bureau Of National Affairs
Monday, November 25, 1996
LIUNA Wins Elections For 1,000 Workers At Two Hospitals In Northern California
Laborers' International Union of North America Local 716 recently won representation rights for more than 1,000 health care workers at two hospitals in Redding, Calif. The union also lost two smaller elections at the same facilities.
Voting in an NLRB supervised election Nov. 14-15, registered nurses at the Redding Medical Center, which is owned and operated by the Tenet Corp., voted 169-116 for LIUNA representation, with 38 additional ballots being challenged. A total of 365 nurses were eligible to vote in the election.
LIUNA also won an election conducted on the same days among technical workers and licensed practical nurses at the same hospital. A unit of 210 employees selected the union by a vote of 89-84.
The union lost a third election among a unit of skilled maintenance workers. Workers in that unit cast nine ballots against representation, eight ballots for LIUNA, and one ballot was challenged.
At Mercy Medical Center, which is owned and operated by Catholic Health Care West, LIUNA won an election among a unit of 467 RNs, but lost an election among a unit of 165 technical employees.
In the RN unit, the vote was 231-192 for representation, while in the technical unit the vote was 107-43 against representation.
In a statement, LIUNA General President Arthur A. Coia said that “these hard-working men and women will now have the representation and protection they need and want. This is not only a great victory for the rights and dignity of these workers, but for their community and the human spirit,” he said.
According to the union, major issues in the organizing campaign were better wages and safer working conditions. The union also said that over the last few months the hospitals have made staffing cutbacks that resulted in drastically increasing the ratio between patients and nurses.
According to LIUNA spokesman David Roscow, employees at the two hospitals talked to a number of unions, including the Service Employees International Union, the California Nurses Association, the International Association of Machinists, and the Office and Professional Employees International Union, before deciding on LIUNA.
Spokesmen for neither hospital could be reached for comment.
Copyright © 1996 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc., Washington D.C.