Yesterday it was announced that the NLRB has begun the settlement process stemming from complaints by workers organizing at Orlando Health hospitals.
At the end of 2013 the National Nurses United filed multiple complaints of harassment with the NLRB.
Jennifer Lemmon, Assistant Director of Organizing for National Nurses United explained the charges in an email to the NH Labor News.
The National Labor Relations Board contacted the Union and indicated that the Tampa Regional Office found merit to many of the Union’s allegations that Orlando Health hospitals have been violating federal labor law during the nurses’ Union organizing campaign. The NLRB informed the Union that the hospitals will be allowed a chance to settle these allegations but that if they don’t, the NLRB’s General Counsel will prosecute the hospitals before a federal administrative law judge, alleging:
• at Winnie Palmer Hospital : the employer created the impression that employees are under surveillance because of their union activity; interrogated employees about their Union activity; made threats of unspecified reprisals to employees because of their Union activity; and discriminatorily denied access to off-duty nurses to hospital property because of nurses’ Union activity.
• at Dr. Phillips Hospital : interrogated employees about their Union activity; and discriminatorily denied access to off-duty nurses to hospital property because of their Union activity.
• and at South Seminole Hospital also discriminatorily denied access to off-duty nurses to hospital property because of their Union activity.
The NH Labor News reported on these anti-union tactics back in September before charges were officially filed. What Orlando Health did not expect is that by pushing back against the organizing efforts it would solidify the workers and their strengthen their resolve to form a new union.
“We hope the hospitals do the right thing and settle these charges against them and allow nurses their federally protected right to organize a union without their interference,” said Jennifer Lemmon. “But if it comes to a trial and the Judge finds in favor of the NLRB’s General Counsel, the Judge will make recommended findings to the NLRB’s 5-member Board, who are appointed by the president, and will order the hospitals to refrain from their unlawful actions.”
Organizing efforts began as Orlando Health arbitrarily cut workers pay and laid off hundreds of workers which began taking effect just this week.
“We’ve expressed our concerns many times to OH administration, but it has fallen on deaf ears,” said Sarah Collins, RN, who works in the critical care nursery. “Now Orlando Health wants to worsen the blow with the second round of shift differential cuts. These cuts directly impact patient care. That’s why we’re holding a candle light vigil to mourn the loss of our experienced nurses and the loss of community health.”
In a recent interview with Channel 9 WFTV in Orlando, the spokeswomen for Orlando Health, Kena Lewis, stated: “We haven’t done anything wrong and we’ll see what happens, but we don’t believe we’ve done anything wrong.”
If you have done nothing wrong why are you in resolution discussions with the NLRB?