FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2019
Ahead of Labor Day Weekend, Truman Medical Center Techs, Lab Workers File Unfair Labor Practice Charge Against Hospital for Escalated Anti-Union Retaliation
Kansas City – Lab workers and techs organizing their union at Truman Medical Center have responded to management’s increased anti-union retaliation following their public rally on August 13, by filing an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board.
The unfair labor practice charge can be viewed here.
Despite publicly calling out Truman CEO Charlie Shields and other members of the TMC leadership team earlier this month, it appears management is escalating their harassment and intimidation of workers as they engage in their federally protected right to organize a union.
The week after workers held their rally, one leader of the organizing efforts who spoke out and was featured in media stories was called into a one-on-one meeting with her manager and then disciplined.
“It was very intimidating and made me fear I’ll lose my job,” explained Sheltta “Shay” Ross, a Specimen Receiver in the Lab at Truman Hospital Hill. “I’ve never done anything less than meet or exceed expectations in my performance reviews in my 13 years here, but once I start advocating for a union so we can improve our jobs and patient care, I am targeted? I feel this is direct retaliation.”
The workforce of more than 200 remains committed to winning union recognition and are rallying around their coworker who was targeted.
“We cannot allow management to continue to violate our rights as we organize for a voice in decision making and a seat at the table,” said Emiliegh Myers, a Patient Care Tech in the Emergency Room at Truman Medical Center Lakewood. “We are going to continue to support each other and will not let this illegal behavior deter our efforts. Our futures depend on our success.”
Truman Medical Center is heavily supported by taxpayers in Kansas City and wider Jackson County through $36.2 million in annual subsides. These funds flow from local voters who strongly opposed efforts to diminish the rights and power of Missouri workers with 75% rejecting Proposition A in August 2018.
“The behavior on display at Truman is unacceptable. As a union, we’re prepared to use all resources available to us to hold management accountable and ensure workers can win their union free from retaliation,” said Lenny Jones, State Director with SEIU Healthcare Missouri. “The fact that Truman is waging their anti-union campaign on the dime of taxpayers who we know overwhelmingly support a worker’s right to organize is shameful.”
The Labor Board is expected to begin their investigation into the unfair labor practice charge this week, as workers are circulating petitions to denounce management’s actions and again demand a fair and open process to win union recognition. Workers plan to use Labor Day weekend activities to alert the wider community about what is happening at Truman by participating in “Labor in the Pulpit” events at places of worship.