(Pontiac, MI) – Yesterday evening a group of nurses at Beaumont Hospital – Royal Oak spoke before the Oakland County Commission to raise concerns about the hospital’s anti-union campaign and its impact on working conditions and patient care. Nurses who are seeking to form a union with the Michigan Nurses Association asked the Commissioners to call on Beaumont’s administration to stop pulling nurses away from patients to attend union busting meetings and to remain neutral to allow for a free and fair union election.
Nurses described these mandatory meetings to the commissioners as run by outside “union busters” — consultants whose intent is to disrupt and prevent nurses from exercising their rights to form a union. Documents from the Department of Labor show that some of the consultants have a history of being paid thousands of dollars a day by previous clients. Nurses also reported instances of their colleagues being taken away from patient care in order to attend what they refer to as “captive audience meetings.”
Liz Martinez, RN, says: “Beaumont can’t keep pulling RNs away from the work we love – looking after our patients – to spread their anti-union propaganda. It’s bad for nurses, it’s bad for our community, and, it’s bad for our patients.”
Mary Beth Boeson, certified registered nurse anesthetist, says: “This shameful conduct has real consequences. I want to ask you, as fellow residents of Oakland County and my elected representatives to send a clear message to Beaumont’s administration that our community will not tolerate shameful and anti-democratic union busting tactics.”
Oakland County Commissioners, including Chairman David Woodward, have introduced a resolution to call on Beaumont to cease holding these “labor consultant” meetings during work hours and to remain neutral. Nurses publicly announced their organizing campaign to form a union with the Michigan Nurses Association at the end of April and have seen an outpouring of support since that time.
“I have worked for Beaumont for 15 years and been a nurse for 12,” said Jacob Blaszyk, RN. “In that time, I have seen our hospital become increasingly corporate. I decided to join with my co-workers and organize to form our union with the Michigan Nurses Association because I want a voice in our workplace.”
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Contact: Dawn Kettinger, 517.721.9688