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Despite delay nursing home workers still vote for AFSCME


JULY 2013, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Despite delay nursing home workers still vote for AFSCME


REGION, July 1st- Despite the spending of tens of thousands of dollars on anti-union attorney’s and employment consulting firms the operators of a local nursing were unsuccessful in convincing their employees from voting for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union District Council 87 as their representative for the purpose of collective bargaining.

In the previous edition of the newspaper it was “exclusively” reported that AFSCME Council 87 in Dunmore filed a representation petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia on March 18th, 2013 requesting the agency conduct a election to determine if full-time and regular part-time Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN’s) and other professional employees of the Manor and Pavilion at St. Luke’s Village nursing home on Stacie Drive in Hazleton want to be represented by the union. District Council 87 represents other St. Luke’s employees including aids and food service workers.

The operators of the Hazleton nursing home hired a lawfirm to represented them that specializes in attempting to delay representation elections.

The petition was filed by Robin Calabria, a union organizer for AFSCME Council 13 in Harrisburg, which District Council 87 is affiliated.

It was reported that AFSCME withdrew the petition on April 1st, 2013 but refiled it on the same day. However, the employer challenged the right of whether the LPN’s have the right to become union members claiming they are supervisors and under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct) are ineligible from joining unions, something AFSCME disputed. The employer’s legal representation objected to the attempt by the union to represent the LPN’s and challenged the right of the workers to participate in the election.

The NLRB ruled in favor of AFSCME and scheduled a election for June 13th, 2013.

Often employers fearing they would lose an election will challenge the right of workers from participating in elections or make other challenges to delay a election hoping to be able to influence workers not to vote for unionization.

The fourty-three workers eligible to participate in the election voted in the NLRB conducted election to be represented by AFSCME, 26 to 12.

A labor organization must receive 50 percent plus one of the participating employees to become their bargaining representative.