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Walker Methodist workers win union after four-year struggle

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by HM2VikingRN HM2VikingRN, RN (Member)

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Walker Methodist workers win union after four-year struggle

8 May 2007 MINNEAPOLIS - After four long years, workers are celebrating recognition of their union at Walker Methodist Health Center.The hard-fought victory came when the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C., rejected appeals by the care center's management. Last week, Walker Methodist CEO Lynn Starkovich phoned AFSCME Council 5 Executive Director Eliot Seide to recognize AFSCME as the representative of the health center's nursing assistants, LPNs, housekeepers, maintenance, laundry and dietary workers.


Walker Methodist workers voted to join AFSCME on May 30, 2003. A separate election for licensed practical nurses was held on July 30, 2003, but the LPN ballots were impounded for nearly four years while the company made appeal after appeal to the NLRB. At each level, the workers' right to a union was upheld.

Last Thursday, the ballots in the LPN election were finally counted and the vote was 35-6 in favor of union representation.


The Walker Methodist campaign has become a case study for why federal labor law needs to be changed. AFSCME and other unions are backing the Employee Free Choice Act, which would require employers to immediately recognize a union if a majority of workers sign representation cards.



The NLRB found that Walker Methodist management illegally disciplined Tracy Plante because of her union activism. With the four-year struggle over, she has reason to celebrate.

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