I work in a long-term care facility and just recently have learned that the CNA's, dietary are trying to get a union in. It won't directly apply to nursing, but our administrator has been holding meetings with all employees regarding this. It doesn't bother me that they may get a union in as I have no deep feelings either way, but what does bother me, is the meetings with administration. We are told that there are 3 employees(fairly new, about 6 months in)who are "plants" for the union. We are told that they are most likely being paid and/or getting some kind of percs for getting signatures. Maybe, maybe not? Then they go on to "bash" the unions, saying how they only take the employees money, invade their privacy, keep fighting for employees who should be fired etc.... We are then told that we should be encouraging the aides/dietary to not sign, and tell them how "bad" and how "deceiving" unions are. Well, I don't feel that it is my business for one, and number two, I find it against a persons right to do this. I mean, who are they, or for that matter who I am, to tell somebody that they should not sign for a union???? I think that it is unfair to ask any of us to do this. Before any of us could speak up, they went on to tell us that in a round-about way, that those who associate with these 3 individuals are all in cahoots(sp). This is very judgemental and I am offended by all of this. I was sitting there getting angrier by the minute and that is why I chose to "bite my tongue" for the moment. LOL, especially since, I have on occasion talked to quickly and let my emotions speak. I like to think that I have learned to "sit back and think about things before I talk".
What I did ask, is "did you meet with the employees involved and ask them, "what is it that they think a union can do for them, that they are not getting right now?" No real answer to that. I feel that if management meets with their employees and discusses issues and works on them, then that would avoid something like this from happening. My main gripe is, I think that it is wrong to bash and attack, in this case the unions and it's not right to ask us to "try and divert our coworkers from making their own decisions".
Anyone been in this predictiment before? What do you all think?
Thanks for listening,
Mar 13, '03
Better yet, subscribe to Revolution. Some good articles, some bad -always thought provoking.
Mar 13, '03
This post by Jude really opened my eyes. I once worked at a facility where the non professional employees called in union for a vote. Never once did the managment people ever "hit below the belt". No body ever tried to recruit the professional staff as unoffical union busters. There was a lot of anti union literature around and the people who were trying to organize were called into pep talks. However NONE of the nurses were ever called into the meetings or even approached by managment about their opinions. I think for the most part the managment at that facility stayed within the confines of the law. I find Judes description of what is going on quite shocking................ I have read the link Karen posted on this thread in the past. It was disturbing, however not so disturbing as a first person account. ........To Karen, the facility of which I write is the one of which we have coresponded recently.
Mar 13, '03
Which union is it? Many unions now cross job lines when it comes to organizing. That is, both non-professional staff (housekeeping, food service) and professional staff (RN's, PT's) can be members. SEIU is famous for starting with the non-professional employee and then moving on to the professional staff. If that's the case with this union, the hospital administration might be educating you early so when it's your turn to organize you wont want to (or maybe you will).
Mar 13, '03
Of course, you could get in touch with an official of the proposed union and let them know what is going on, in case they want to pursue this as an unfair action on the part of your employer. (You can only expect more of the same if you nurses ever decide to organize.)
Mar 13, '03
<We are told that they are most likely being paid and/or getting some kind of percs for getting signatures. Maybe, maybe not? Then they go on to "bash" the unions, saying how they only take the employees money, invade their privacy, keep fighting for employees who should be fired etc...We are then told that we should be encouraging the aides/dietary to not sign, and tell them how "bad" and how "deceiving" unions are.>
Youre right to feel offended. Those meetings are illegal. Its called "unfair labor practice". The union should be informed that the management is doing this so they can take the appropriate legal steps to stop it. You can make an anonymous tip to them.
Your employer is asking you to do something that is illegal. The workers have a federal right to join a union if they want to & to join any union they want to join. They dont have to even explain why they want a union. Its not your employers place to have any input. Legally it must stay out of it. You are not involved and your employer has no business involving you to help do its illegal union-busting for them. Report it & have it stopped, or be prepared for being further offended by the tactics to come.
BTW, remember the hospitals tactics such as this one when morale falls into the pits & stress hits an all time high & the hospital tries to blame all of it on the workers who want to be a union.
Mar 13, '03
"Methinks Thou Dost Protest Too Much"
...makes you wonder what it is they are scared of...??