Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Federal Complaints Filed Against Daughters of Charity Over Campaign of Intimidation, Harassment

Daughters of Charity Health System (DCHS) workers have filed federal charges with the National Labor Relations Board charging the hospital chain and its CEO, Robert Issai, with violating federal law that prohibits employers from using threats and intimidation to coerce employees.

"Daughters has run a major campaign inside and outside all its hospitals, including television and radio ads, to bully workers into supporting the sale of DCHS to Prime Healthcare by threatening that the hospitals will close or go bankrupt and we will lose our jobs, said Marc Quarles, an ultrasound technician at Saint Louise Medical Center in Gilroy, Calif.
The complaints, filed by members of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, allege:
  • "This campaign of coercion includes, but is not limited to, threatening the closure of DCHS hospitals and threatening bankruptcy of the DCHS. These threats are designed to create an atmosphere of fear for thousands of workers who do not support Prime Healthcare's bid to acquire DCHS."
  • "The chief proponent of these coercive tactics is DCHS President and CEO, Robert Issai, who routinely and publicly warns workers that because of the union's opposition to Prime's acquisition, DCHS is in 'very real danger of closing or filing for bankruptcy' if Prime does not acquire DCHS."
Daughters of Charity workers have reported being routinely told by management in one-on-one discussions and group meetings that if Prime Healthcare is rejected the hospitals will close and workers will lose their jobs, a clear violation of Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act designed to protect workers from coercive behavior by their employers.

There is strong opposition to the sale of Daughters to Prime. Opponents include:
  • State Controller John Chiang;
  • 18 members of the California Congressional delegation;
  • 61 current or former state legislators;
  • Kaiser Permanente;
  • The California Endowment;
  • Health Access;
  • Four of the five members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors;
  • A majority of the five members of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors;
  • San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee;
  • Labor organizations representing two million workers; and
  • Numerous city elected officials, doctors, nurses, and community organizations.
Daughters of Charity owns Seton Medical Center, Daly City; Seton Coastside, Moss Beach; O'Connor Hospital, San Jose; Saint Louise Regional Hospital, Gilroy; St. Vincent Medical Center, Los Angeles; and St. Francis Medical Center, Lynwood.

SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is the largest hospital and healthcare union in the western United States with more than 150,000 members. We unite every type of healthcare worker with a mission to achieve high-quality healthcare for all. SEIU-UHW is part of the two million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the nation's fastest-growing union. 

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