Fw: CLN Our Lady of the Resurrection
- From: Fr. Sinclair Oubre, J.C.L.
Sent: Friday, July 01, 2011 1:31 PM
To: Robert Waldrop
Subject: CLN Our Lady of the Resurrection
I just received this sad note from one of the employees at Resurrection in Chicago. I am sharing it with you with her permission.
Blessings on the Fourth,
Fr. Sinclair Oubre, J.C.L.
Dear Fr. Oubre,
My name is Gilda Valentino. I am a current employee with AFSCME Council 31, in Chicago and a former employee of the Archdiocese of Chicago. As you may know, AFSCME is the nation’s largest public service employees union. I am a neophyte in world of labor, but thanks be to God, a strong Catholic education and a rich network of socially responsible family and friends, I know the difference between right and wrong. And something is very wrong.
After a lengthy organizing drive, we lost an important election last night, but it wasn’t a fair fight. Please see the news release below:
Subject: NEWS: Nurses' election at Resurrection hospital tainted by illegal tactics
Contact: Anders Lindall, 312-415-0403 (cell)
NURSES' ELECTION AT RESURRECTION HOSPITAL TAINTED BY ILLEGAL TACTICS
Nurses seeking to form a union with AFSCME Council 31 say a campaign of intimidation and other illegal interference by Resurrection Health Care management should invalidate a union representation vote held yesterday and today at Our Lady of the Resurrection Hospital on Chicago’s Northwest Side.
The nurses’ organizing committee, HEART/AFSCME, plans to immediately file objections to the conduct of the election as well as a number of unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board.
“Resurrection management ran a systematic campaign of fear and intimidation meant to prevent nurses from freely exercising their right to form a union,” AFSCME organizing director Tracey Abman said.
“Nurses who supported the union were interrogated, coerced, threatened with cuts to their pay and vacation time, told the hospital would close, and otherwise illegally harassed and retaliated against,” Abman said. “This was nobody’s idea of a free and fair election, and we will ask the NLRB to invalidate it.”
Despite Resurrection’s relentless barrage of anti-union tactics, nearly 40 percent of nurses casting ballots voted for union representation. In all, some 290 nurses were eligible to vote.
“Nurses wanted to come together to improve conditions better for their patients, but they faced a divisive campaign waged by the leadership of the region’s largest Catholic health care chain,” Abman said. “Those nurses who faced down management’s threats showed great courage to vote for a voice in the vital decisions affecting patient care.
“But this is America. Workers shouldn’t have to face down fear and intimidation just to exercise their basic rights and freedoms,” she said. “AFSCME will pursue all available legal remedies to protect those rights.”
For more than seven years, nurses at OLR and other Resurrection hospitals urged management to agree to a code of conduct regarding the decision to form a union consistent with guidelines issued by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, but Resurrection Health Care leadership refused to do so.
I receive The Catholic Labor Network Newsletter, whose tagline is “Joining Our Work with Our Catholic Faith”. But there is no confluence here, no joining of hearts, minds, hands or voices. And as a result, the disparity between our work and our faith grows larger.
How I wish we could have added Our Lady of the Resurrection to the A-list of Catholic institutions that have contracts with labor unions. Sadly, Resurrection management needs to stay on the D-list of Catholic institutions of that uses the excuse that having a union contract threatens Catholic identity.
I continue to pray for you and every apostle whose life and work is devoted to peace and justice. On this, the feast of The Sacred Heart of Jesus, I ask Mother Cabrini, friend to all workers, especially heath care workers, to pray for us all.
Executive Assistant to the Director
205 North Michigan Ave., Suite 2100
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 641-6060 ext. 4307
(312) 861-0979 fax
From: Fr. Sinclair Oubre, J.C.L. [mailto:froubre@...]
Sent: Friday, July 01, 2011 12:05 PM
To: Gilda Valentino
Subject: Re: Our Lady of the Resurrection
I forgot to ask, would it be OK if I shared your email with the 300+ members of the Catholic Labor Network email list?
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