Features, Health and Safety, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

1199 Rallies Against ‘Intimidation’ at W. Va. Hospital

August 27, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

HUNTINGTON, W. Va.—About 200 people in purple Service Employees International Union Local 1199 T-shirts marched past St. Mary’s Medical Center Aug. 13, where management has resisted its campaign to organize workers. “These workers are being harassed, they’re being intimidated,” Joyce Gibson, SEIU division director for West Virginia, southern Ohio, and Kentucky, told the Huntington Herald-Dispatch. She said management is “pulling workers off the floor for sometimes up to five times a day to tell them all the reasons why they don’t need a union.” “We think most of the people at today’s rally were not St. Mary’s Medical Center employees,” a hospital executive responded. St. Mary’s was recently acquired by nearby Cabell Huntington Hospital, and Gibson said workers there, who have been represented by the SEIU for 44 years, can make $4 to $7 per hour more than those doing the same jobs at St. Mary’s. St. Mary’s maintenance mechanic Dwayne Garner said he’d previously opposed the union, but seven years without a raise had changed his mind. “We’ve lost thousands of union jobs, and that mirrors Huntington’s decline,” he added. “I believe the only way we’re ever going to bring this town back is to organize.” Read more

August 27, 2018

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