April 13, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Minneapolis, MN – The union representing workers at Hennepin County Medical Center filed a lawsuit Apr. 5 seeking a temporary injunction to reverse the Minneapolis hospital’s decision to lay off or demote 200 workers.
Jennifer Munt, a spokesperson for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that a disproportionate share of the displaced workers were racial minorities, women, or over 50. Marlon Gaston, 62, a union steward, said in an affidavit that his union status and age may have figured in the decision to eliminate his lead custodial position, in which he had some supervisory roles, and reassign him to cleaning floors and toilets, at a lower salary. AFSCME officials and displaced workers also delivered a petition to the hospital’s CEO, Dr. Jon Pryor, on Apr. 5, but Pryor cut off the meeting when he found out it was being streamed live on Facebook, and a security guard escorted the workers out. A hearing on the suit is scheduled for April 18 in Hennepin County District Court. Read more