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Labor Board Issues Complaint Against Resurrection Health Care

Hospital chain attempted to silence union activist

CHICAGO, Jan. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Region 13 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued an unfair labor practice complaint against Resurrection Health Care (RHC) for attempting to silence a union supporter at West Suburban Medical Center, an RHC-affiliated hospital. The NLRB charge stems from an October incident when a supervisor told a union activist that he could no longer speak to his coworkers in the Food Service department. The supervisor's order came a week after the employee spoke at a union event. A hearing on the complaint has been scheduled for March 12, 2008.

The NLRB complaint contends that West Suburban used an "overly broad rule which prohibits employees from speaking to co-workers about concerns affecting conditions of employment and which discriminatorily singles out union supporters." The complaint also charges that Resurrection "has been interfering with, restraining, and coercing employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in... [the National Labor Relations] Act."

"I spoke out and Resurrection tried to silence me," said Torrence Shorter, the

complainant and an employee in the Food Service department at West Suburban Hospital. "This kind of intimidation can scare many employees. I'm glad the labor board is taking action and hope that something like this never happens to another Resurrection employee."

Since 2003, Resurrection has settled 14 unfair labor practice charges alleging interrogation, harassment, interference in organizing activities, and the prohibition of the distribution of union literature. By settling the charges, Resurrection prevented further NLRB actions.

"Time and again, Resurrection employees have faced harassment and intimidation just for exercising their right to organize," said Henry Bayer, Executive Director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31, which is working with RHC employees to form a union. "It's past time for this employer to respect the rights of its employees."

Resurrection Health Care is the second-largest health care system in the Chicago metropolitan area and the largest Catholic health care system in Illinois.

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