Workers say that the decision to outsource the jobs of laundry workers is an “unfair labor practice” in direct violation of their collective bargaining agreement and that they have already filed a dispute with the National Labor Relations Board. Meanwhile, hospital executives are moving forward with spending $10.5M to acquire the Huntington Internal Medicine Group, which may further imperil local health care jobs.
For Release: Monday, July 13th, 2020.
Press Contact: Joyce Gibson at (877) 419-7348.
Huntington, West Virginia – Today, workers with Cabell Huntington Hospital were outraged to learn that hospital executives would eliminate 63 local jobs. Though the exact positions impacted still remains unknown, the hospital announced that the jobs of 10 unionized polysomnographer techs would be eliminated. Additionally, it was announced that the jobs of 13 laundry workers would be outsourced to an unknown entity, in violation of the hospital’s collective bargaining agreement with SEIU District 1199.
“This is a difficult time for a lot people. Slashing the jobs of sleep lab workers in a pandemic runs contrary to the needs of this area at this critical time. Outsourcing the jobs of laundry workers, in violation of their Collective Bargaining agreement, we believe this is a gross contract violation and an unfair labor practice. Even worse, while eliminating jobs, the Cabell Huntington Hospital system is moving forward with spending $10.5M amid a pandemic to acquire the Huntington Internal Medicine Group (HIMG).”
Union officials say that they were given no advanced notice of the layoffs and that the outsourcing of laundry jobs is a violation of a “no outsourcing” clause in the worker’s collective bargaining agreement. As a result, the union filed labor charges today with the National Labor Relations Board. Today, nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital also requested a meeting with the Chair of the Cabell Huntington Hospital Board of Directors, Beth Hammers, however, she quickly declined to meet with the workers citing “active negotiations.”
“We strongly believe that ultimately, the collective bargaining agreement will be upheld and these laundry workers will prevail,” continued Gibson. “It is difficult to understand the rationale for cutting jobs while the hospital moves forward with a costly new acquisition at a time when the area needs these jobs most. These events show more than ever why hospital workers with the Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center, which are operated by the Mountain Health Network, need a union – to protect good jobs in our community, to speak out on behalf of patients and quality care, and for these workers to stand together for themselves and their families.”
SEIU District 1199 has represented workers with Cabell Huntington Hospital for over 40 years. In the largest victory since West Virginia became a “right-to-work” state, nurses at Cabell Huntington Hospital joined SEIU District 1199 in November 2019. Technical workers with Cabell Huntington Hospital joined SEIU District 1199 in February 2020.