News Story

Union Intimidation List Back Up

Hurley Medical Center officials disavow responsibility for the list being reposted

A list of workers that was posted at Hurley Medical Center and named people who opted out of their union has been reposted at the hospital less than three weeks after it had been taken down.

And it has a fifth name on it now.

The list, which was posted by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1603 on a bulletin board in a public location near the cafeteria, was up for a day or two in February before being taken down after one of the workers whose name was on it complained. The workers whose names are on the list said they felt their names were posted as a bullying and intimidation tactic by the union.

An AFSCME executive told MLive In a story that the list was posted as a membership renewal reminder to other union members.

But the hospital workers whose names were listed did not buy that story. They said they think the hospital should do more to prevent the union from harassing them.

"I feel that Hurley should step in to protect its employees," said Kollin VanDenHeuvel, whose name appears on the list. "If the union isn't going to protect the employees as they should, then the employer should."

A hospital spokeswoman would not comment about why the list was reposted, except to reiterate a statement that the hospital doesn't get involved in internal union business.

But that doesn't appear to be the case. 

The Local 1603 contract that expired in June 2013 states that the hospital won't allow the union to post anything on the bulletin board that is "derogatory or detrimental" to the hospital. The contract also states that the hospital's labor relations office approves all bulletin board material.

What is posted on bulletin boards is negotiated with other unions at the Hurley Medical Center.

For example, the medical residents contract has a section regarding bulletin boards and states: "The Medical Center agrees to maintain the existing bulletin board in the Resident Physician's lounge. The Labor Relations Office will stamp all notices which may affect the image of the Medical Center and those which pertain to Association business."

Ilene Cantor, a spokeswoman for Hurley Medical Center, would only reiterate the medical center's original comment: "While Hurley Medical Center is always appropriately concerned with legal rights pertaining to workforce members and issues, the Administration of Hurley Medical Center does not get involved in internal union business."

Hurley Medical Center has a labor relations office that oversees the interaction unions have with administration.

Union officials didn't respond to a request for comment.

Here is the language from the local union contract: 


The Employer agrees to furnish and maintain suitable bulletin boards in mutually agreeable places in each building to be used by the Union. Notices approved by the President and/or Chairperson of the Grievance Committee shall be delivered by the Union to the Labor Relations Office of the Hospital. The Labor Relations office will stamp the notices approving them for posting. The Employer will not attempt in any way to censor or edit notices presented by the Union. However, the Union will not post anything that is derogatory or detrimental to the Hospital, and such material will be signed by the President or his or her designate.  


See also:

Hospital Union Resorts To Intimidation Tactics Against Workers Who Opt Out

Union Exec Claims Posting Names of Workers Who Opted Out Serves as Membership Reminder

Union Bullies Workers Exercising Their Rights

Union Tries To Shame Ex-Members

Who's the Freeloader? MEA Spends More On Benefits Than Bargaining

August Is 'Get Out of the Union Month' For Teachers

The Union 'Free Rider Problem' Myth In Right-to-Work Debate

Union Will Use 'Any Legal Means' To Combat Members Who Want To Leave