New York Hospital Union Protest Planned

Published: February 28, 2006

HUDSON, N.Y. – Columbia Memorial Hospital’s unionized employees will conduct a march on March 1 to protest their working without a contract since Dec. 31.

The union claims the medical center is doing very little to reach a compromise, but a spokesperson for the hospital says the union, which wasn’t willing to negotiate until November, is responsible for the delays.

Workers also claim the hospital hired a security firm to intimidate union members and counter union activities during contract negotiations.

Hospital officials disagree, saying the firm, which is no longer working for the medical center, was hired to install surveillance cameras and card access equipment, as well as implement baby abduction prevention programs.

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The union is also objecting to the hospital instructing nurses not to come into work when patient demand is low. A hospital spokesperson says, however, such conduct is allowed under the previous contract.

Workers are hoping for an increase in wages, saying that some of them only receive poverty-level pay. Others can’t afford to buy insurance.

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