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Coercion + Caregivers = Bad Healthcare

marching-in-longwood.jpgThe Boston city counselors voted unanimously today to approve a resolution to encourage hospital CEO’s to engage in good faith practices when negotiating with the SEIU:

“The time for this basic act of fairness has come,” said Councilor Michael Flaherty.

The city council resolution passed today calls on Boston hospital CEOs to sign “free and fair election agreements” pledging they will not intimidate hospital staff seeking to form unions or spend patient care dollars on campaigns to interfere with secret ballot union elections. The resolution also calls on the hospital chiefs to pledge they will not take caregivers away from the bedside or patient care duties to coerce their vote.

SEIU President Andy Stern:

There is not a politician in America who would be willing to live by the imbalanced, unfair rules workers confront under rules established by the NLRB 75 years ago, and ignored by the Bush appointees.

Management should not be able to use its excessive power and resources to intimidate worker’s choice, fire workers and make threats that can be made true. America’s election laws at work are closer to Haitian or Burmese practices than American ideals.

In anticipation of the vote, overly-excitable Beth Israel CEO Paul Levy called all his managers in over the weekend for emergency meetings on “the labor issue.” (I’m frankly a bit worried about him, I think he needed the rest he was getting on the Palm Beach social scene.)

Anyway, on Monday his senior staff began running so-called “town hall meetings” where healthcare workers were required to listen to anti-union presentations and not allowed to ask questions.

In the People’s Republic of China, I think they were referred to as “reeducation sessions.”

(h/t Toby W.) 

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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