News of the Week: Pressure mounts to safeguard Verity hospitals including Seton Medical Center

NewsJuly 26, 2018

Each week we share articles on subjects that are important to NUHW and its members. Here are several must-read stories over the past seven days:

The Eureka Times-Standard wrote about the letter we sent to Attorney General Xavier Becerra asking him to make Providence St. Joseph honor its charity care obligations. The conglomerate fell $20 million short last year:

With Verity looking to sell its hospitals including Seton Medical Center, the Mercury News warns that the Bay Area is at risk of losing even more hospitals.

The Trump administration continues its attack on workers and unions, The Hill reports. Its latest volley is a Department of Health and Human Services proposal, announced on Thursday, that would impose a difficult and time-consuming burden on these workers’ exercise of their bargaining rights. The administration proposes to forbid certain home care workers whose services are funded by Medicaid from choosing to pay their union dues directly from their paychecks, as hundreds of thousands are doing now.

The fall in the percentage of economic growth flowing to workers is “very troubling,” a worrisome sign in an otherwise bright U.S. economy, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell told a Senate panel Tuesday. According to the Washington Post, Powell expressed concern that the share of the national income going to American labor had fallen “precipitously” for more than a decade and was not reversing course.

The Labor Department is wiping an Obama-era rule off the books that sought to give labor unions and workers more insight into talks employers have with legal counsel about thwarting union organizing campaigns, according to the Wall Street Journal.

When labor organizer Dan Schlademan told his peers he was launching an activist group of Walmart workers in 2011, some of them asked him if he was looking to retire. They were only half-joking ― Walmart is famous for keeping organized labor at bay, going so far as to shutter departments and stores where unions gained footholds. But eight years later, OUR Walmart, the flagship project of Organization United for Respect, has claimed a number of victories, including substantially better corporate-wide pay and leave policies. HuffPost reports that the key to this success has been the organization’s use of online platforms to foster activism, including a mobile app called WorkIt, Schlademan said. The app uses artificial intelligence to provide answers to Walmart employees about their workplace rights while serving as an organizing tool for OUR Walmart.

Amazon workers are now using Prime Day as a chance to call for better working conditions, Vox reports. The strike from European employees officially started last week, with a European workers’ union, the Transnational Social Strike Platform, announcing that workers in Spain, Poland, Germany, Italy, and France would participate. The workers want “health and decent jobs for all Amazon workers,” and their specific reasons for striking depends on their location. In Poland, for example, it’s because of “miserable salaries”; in France, it’s due to “the very demanding measures to control times and efficiency.”