“The nurses, medical assistants, and healthcare workers at LMMG’s Howard Street facility more than two years ago came forward seeking support for a voice on the job. We made a commitment then that we never wavered from to stand by these hardworking women and men in their struggle to form a union.
“Their efforts were bolstered earlier this year when we entered into an agreement with the current leadership of Lawrence + Memorial Corporation (LMC), the parent that operates LMMG. In February we agreed to a roadmap for a new, more respectful labor-management relationship for the workforce we currently represent. It also established a set of core principles we understood would establish an atmosphere of ‘mutual respect’ for employees of any LMC entity seeking to join our union.
“That agreement was part of the settlement ending the dispute that led to last year’s protracted and costly lockout of over 800 caregivers at Lawrence + Memorial (L+M) Hospital. At the time, LMC’s chief executive officer said, ‘we respect and value all of our workers’ and that ‘we have come together in a renewed spirit of unity and cooperation.’
“But that is not how his management team has conducted themselves in the past two weeks. Instead, they have waged a campaign of coercion, intimidation and harassment against LMMG’s caregivers, in direct violation of the agreed-upon core principles.
“Today LMMG’s Howard Street facility employees rejected the union that less than a month ago a clear majority favored. Given this outcome, we will be closely reviewing the tactics employed by LMC management during that time.
“Regardless of our next steps, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to trust Mr. Cummings or LMC’s current leadership team in the future.”
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AFT Connecticut represents approximately 10,000 health professionals in the state, including 1,600 nurses, technicians, and healthcare workers at L+M Hospital in New London. Follow the labor federation on Twitter at @AFTCT and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aftct.