Sunday, December 1, 2013

LOCKED OUT! (An open letter to my members)

5149 members,
Last night the nurses and technologists of L+M Hospital attempted to report for work at 11pm as scheduled and planned and were denied access.
They were LOCKED OUT.

Many of the L+M faces I see when down there are faces that I know from Backus, because many of them also work with us, or have worked with us, just as many of us have worked or still work at L+M.
They truly are our brothers and sisters. and their battle truly is ours.  
Don't for a minute think that Backus will not try to get away with anything that L+M gets away with.

I am so very proud of the many Backus nurses who I have seen on the line.  Many others, I have missed because of the size of the crowds but I have been told by others of your presence.
I am so proud of you.
We have had a presence each and every day, and that must continue until this is resolved. The picket line will continue 24/7.
In fact, I have moved our Executive Board meeting scheduled for this Wednesday evening to the sidewalk outside L+M, I invite you to join us, assuming this lockout is not resolved.

The issue is simple.
L+M is moving work out of the hospital, and plans to move more, to outside buildings, much as Backus did with the main hospital blood drawing station. 
However, instead of moving the employees with the work as Backus did, L+M fired those workers, replaced them with workers making less and having poorer benefits, and then said, these new workers have no rights under the contract. 
They have said they will continue this practice.

The U S government (NLRB) v L+M Hospital trial on this issue is scheduled for December 12.
L+M has said it it will appeal when they lose, tying it up for years.
One of the many proposals we have offered is that both sides accept the decision without appeal and that we move foreward.  They declined this and many other reasonable solutions.
The Hospital's motive seems to be to break up the union.

800 L+M brothers and sisters are standing strong and united.  So far, 6 out of 800 have crossed the picket line, and now, even they, are locked out.
Because they are no longer on strike, but Locked Out, they are all now eligible for unemployment.

Our national president has pledged "whatever it takes", our Governor, US Senators and Representatives, state senators and representatives, New London Mayor, and leaders and members of all of Connecticut and many of Rhode Island's unions have been to New London in support and are applying pressure on the hospital.

Please continue what you have been doing, walk the line,sign the petition, talk to your neighbors, and stand strong with our remarkable brothers and sisters.

In service and solidarity,

Backus Federation of Nurses
AFT Local 5149
John Brady RN, President, 
Melissa Hunter RN, Vice President

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