News of the Month — October

October 29th, 2018

An all-Republican panel of President Trump’s National Labor Relation Board issued a far-reaching ruling that could make it harder for unions to stage pickets when their members are employed by subcontracting firms, In These Times reports. The panel ruled that janitors in San Francisco violated the law when they picketed in front of their workplace to win higher wages, better working conditions and freedom from sexual harassment in their workplace.  The NLRB reached its conclusion by using the complex and convoluted employment structure created by the janitors’ employers. The janitors were technically employed by one company, Ortiz Janitorial Services, which was subcontracted by another company, Preferred Building Services, to work in the building of a third company.

The hospital industry has partnered with a major Democratic consulting firm in an unusual alliance against Massachusetts nurses to defeat a ballot measure that would mandate safe staffing for nurses, The Intercept reports. In the story, NUHW President Sal Rosselli was quoted: “Fourteen years ago, when our RN safe patient limits law was being passed here in California, many hospital executives were spouting the same line of doom and gloom as they are today in Massachusetts,” he wrote in a statement. “Our union represents mostly non-RN hospital workers. The truth is there were no layoffs of non-RN caregivers and no hospital closures as a result of California’s law. The only outcome was that it made care much better for patients.”

The San Mateo Daily Journal reported on the public forum held earlier this month about how to save Seton Medical Center, whose operator filed for bankruptcy in August. NUHW organizer and former San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos was quoted: “I just want a plan and I want the public to be apprised of what it is,” he said. “I want people in both counties to be able to say these are facilities … that are so vital to the region that we’re going to do all that we can to keep them open.”

NUHW’s campaign for USC hospital workers was noted in this opinion piece published in the Los Angeles Times:
A registered nurse accuses the administration at St. Joseph Hospital, Eureka of failing to meet the needs of patients and laying off workers to compensate for the failed merger between Providence Health and Services and St. Joseph Health. The commentary appeared in the Eureka Times-Standard.