Organizing campaigns waged at DMC hospitals
An aggressive effort to unionize registered nurses is under way in Metro Detroit, a region steeped in union traditions that have, by and large, seldom extended to these bedside caregivers.
The Lansing-based Michigan Nurses Association's campaign at two Detroit Medical Center hospitals comes at a time when unions nationwide are adding health workers in droves, seeking to offset the fall in traditional blue collar jobs and cuts in other unionized industries like transportation and communications.
According to the United American Nurses, of which the Michigan association is a part, the number of registered nurses in all unions grew by more than 80 percent over the past two decades. In 2003, the last year for which the organization said data is available, 19.5 percent of the 2.4 million registered nurses in the U.S. were represented by unions. The United American Nurses, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, sees substantial growth potential in the non-organized nurses, even though not all of them are eligible to join unions.
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The Detroit News