For Immediate Release
Charles Idelson, 510-273-2246
NLRB Moves Forward with Another Massive Complaint Against Mega Hospital Chain CHS
Charges Also Issued for the First Time Against CHS Spin-off, Quorum Health Corporation
Registered nurses across the nation welcome the National Labor Relations Board Office of General Counsel's decision to move forward with yet another massive consolidated complaint against healthcare giant Community Health Systems, and for the first time, Quorum Health Corporation, for numerous alleged labor violations, National Nurses United announced today.
"We welcome this new complaint and are particularly glad that the NLRB will be holding Quorum Health Corporation accountable for labor violations at the hospitals that it now owns," said Amy Pulley, an RN at Affinity Medical Center in Massillon, Ohio. "CHS has repeatedly demonstrated that it has no respect for the law. With this complaint the NLRB is sending the message that the parent company of these hospitals will be held accountable, even if they are a new owner. The RNs in these hospitals strive to provide safe quality care no matter who owns them, but to do that it is imperative that our rights be protected."
The complaint, issued by the NLRB earlier this week, consolidates 11 charges, covering 50 unfair labor practices, filed against CHS, and five hospitals staffed by RNs affiliated with National Nurses United. The hospitals are: Affinity Medical Center, Massillon, Oh, Bluefield Regional Medical Center, Bluefield, W. Va., Greenbrier Valley Medical Center, Ronceverte, W.Va., Barstow Community Hospital, Barstow, Ca., and Watsonville Community Hospital, Watsonville, Ca.
This is the second national complaint against CHS issued by the NLRB in less than a year for numerous labor violations at the five hospitals and the first time the NLRB is also naming Quorum as the successor to CHS. The hospitals in Ohio and California were sold earlier this year to Quorum Health Corporation, a spinoff created by CHS.
The NLRB trial for the earlier complaint began in February and is currently underway in hearings being held and planned across the country, including in Nashville, Tennessee, near where the headquarters of CHS are located. The NLRB has not scheduled the trial or hearings for this newest complaint but they are expected to take place after the current trial is complete.
Nurses widespread concerns about patient safety were the driving force that galvanized RNs from CHS's hospitals in Ohio, West Virginia and California to organize and win representation through NNU-affiliated unions, California Nurses Association and National Nurses Organizing Committee. CHS has engaged in rampant and serious unfair labor practices at all of these locations, including terminating RN leaders in a wide-scale attempt to weaken support for the union and forestall reaching initial collective bargaining agreements.
The NLRB has upheld numerous unfair labor practice charges filed against the hospitals by the union, and three US District Courts issued injunctions in response to the employer's unlawful conduct early in contract negotiations with RNs.
In September, the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles issued a fourth federal injunction against one of the hospitals named in this week's complaint, Barstow Community Hospital, ordering it to cease and desist its flagrant violations of the collective bargaining rights of its registered nurses.
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National Nurses United, with close to 185,000 members in every state, is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in US history.