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Hearing set for Memorial dispute

Federal labor relations officials will hold a hearing Feb. 22 on allegations raised by Memorial Hospital administrators who questioned union tactics during a unionization vote in December.

On Friday, the regional director's office of the National Labor Relations Board issued a report that concluded four objections filed by Memorial Hospital appeared serious enough to warrant a hearing before an administrative law judge. The NLRB rejected six other objections lodged by Memorial Hospital officials.

The hospital administration is challenging the results of an election in which the National Union of Healthcare Workers appears to have narrowly defeated an alternative proposal for no union representation.

The federal labor board decided that further investigation was necessary of Memorial Hospital claims that union representatives used coercive tactics such as electioneering near polling locations and engaging in improper surveillance of employees, such as videotaping them as they entered meetings on the unionization vote. Hospital officials also alleged that NLRB agents failed to prevent improper conduct at polling places and had created a ballot that was confusing to employees.

The Dec. 17-18 vote affected almost 700 employees at Memorial Hospital, including radiology and respiratory technicians, nurses aides, housekeepers and dietary workers.

— Bleys Rose


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