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Faced With Federal Prosecution, MountainView Agrees to Stop Harassment of RNs in Settlement With Labor Board
Date:10/5/2009

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- In a settlement that is essentially a plea bargain with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which conducted a two-month investigation into massive illegal conduct, MountainView Hospital in Las Vegas, and its parent company, the giant HCA chain, have pledged to end their surveillance, interrogation, bribery, threats, and other unfair treatment of registered nurses.

The settlement stems from a series of unfair practices filed with the NLRB in mid July, one week before MountainView RNs were poised to elect NNOC/CNA as their bargaining representatives. The NLRB investigates and remedies unfair labor practices by employers and conducts secret ballot elections to determine whether employees want union representation.

The NLRB put the election on hold so they could investigate whether the illegal conduct tainted the election at the hospital. Faced with pending trial and penalties, management agreed to cease its illegal conduct, post notices throughout the hospital, and send its commitment electronically to every RN.

Evelyn Baker, an RN in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit at MountainView who was one of many nurses who provided testimony to the board said of the outcome, "The Labor Board heard evidence from both sides and I am so glad that they determined that MountainView had to remedy its violations. It means we should be able to campaign freely without fear of retaliation."

Marissa Guiterrez, an ICU RN at MountainView agreed. "Now there can be no doubt that the election last July would have been tainted - the federal government was going to issue an indictment but MountainView choose to acknowledge their violations and settle. We prevailed and RNs will soon be able to decide for ourselves, this time without fear and intimidation."

"MountainView RNs called us this past spring because they wanted their rights, and their patients' interests better protected by having a collective voice and union representation," said Zenei Cortez, RN, co-president of NNOC/CNA.

MountainView's "campaign of harassment against RNs this summer proved what most nurses there were already saying: that the administration did not respect its RNs, and without a strong RN organization, HCA would trample on the rights of nurses and patients," said Cortez.

"Pulling RNs away from patient care assignments to bombard them with anti-CNA propaganda and sequestering them for two-hour interrogations only served to remind the RNs why they need representation to protect their democratic rights," she said.

"The considerable efforts and hard work expended by the NLRB on this case reinforces our message that no employer should be allowed to get away with subjecting its workers to the level of pressure and retaliation experienced here, especially those who devote their lives to creating an atmosphere of healing," said Cortez.

The fight of MountainView RNs to protect those rights, and their ability to decide about representation in an environment devoid of coercion is a reminder of the importance of passing the Employee Free Choice Act, Cortez added. "We need a level playing field that can only be assured by passing this basic rights law."

NNOC/CNA is the voice of the national nurses movement, representing 86,000 RNs in all 50 states, and is a founding member of National Nurses United, a 150,000-member RN organization that will hold its inaugural convention December 7-8 in Arizona. Learn more at www.nnoc.net.

SOURCE National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association


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SOURCE National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association
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