Caregivers picket O’Connor Hospital for arresting union reps and shutting down democratic vote

NewsMarch 10, 2009

“They’ve made it like a police state,” says one worker

San Jose, Calif.—Healthcare workers picketed outside O’Connor Hospital today to protest the actions of hospital management, who suspended an Emergency Room tech and had union representatives arrested while they were helping workers conduct a union election.

“They’ve made it like a police state in our hospital,” said Lisa Godoy, a lead pharmacy tech at O’Connor Hospital. “All we want is the right to vote and make our own decisions about our union.”

On February 2, a majority of SEIU-represented workers at O’Connor Hospital filed a petition with the labor board to quit the scandal-plagued union and join the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) instead. Since then, the hospital has colluded with SEIU to threaten and discipline workers who support NUHW.

After hospital administration had an NUHW union representative arrested and removed from the facility, workers called for a vote on whether to picket the hospital in protest.

During the vote, security guards stormed into the cafeteria and arrested both NUHW representatives who were helping workers conduct the vote. In a separate incident, Emergency Room tech Brian Del Bono was suspended for insisting that NUHW union reps be allowed to stay in the facility to support workers.

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The National Union of Healthcare Workers is an independent, member-led union, dedicated to improving the lives of healthcare workers and the people they care for. NUHW is building a national movement of caregivers to hold healthcare corporations accountable to the public interest and win affordable, quality healthcare for all.