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Apple Valley SMMC Workers Choose USW

Union Adds Another 450 Southern California Healthcare Employees

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., March 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that over 450 service workers at St. Mary Medical Center (SMMC) in Apple Valley have voted in a secret ballot election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to join the union, uniting them with about 160 technical workers at the hospital who had already voted to join the USW.

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"I support our union because we need improved working conditions, better wages and benefits and the protection of a just cause contract," said Brandi Licon, a 12-year hospital employee in the dietary department. "I believe our union will reflect the core values of SMMC while improving our patient's care and the working environment of all employees."

The newly organized hospital workers join over 8,000 other healthcare employees in Southern California who already belong to the USW at major hospitals in Riverside, Fontana and Long Beach.

"With our union and the equality it will bring to the workplace, we can begin to function as a true team and improve the care we provide our community," said Rhonda Leav, who has worked in SMMC's surgical unit for the last 19 years.

The union also said today that the NLRB has overruled an objection to the August 16, 2007 election in which 160 technical employees, which include respiratory therapist, radiology techs and licensed vocational nurses, chose to be represented by the union, clearing the way for negotiations between the USW and SMMC for a collective bargaining agreement to cover over 600 workers to begin.

USW International Vice President Fred Redmond, who coordinates bargaining for the union's Health Care Workers Council, called the election results and the NLRB's decision victories for all Southern California healthcare employees.

"We are absolutely committed to the fight for justice in all of our workplaces," Redmond said, "and our union is looking forward to the challenges ahead as our membership in the health care industry continues to grow."

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
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