Prince George Nursing Home Workers Vote Overwhelmingly to Join USW
GEORGETOWN, S.C., Dec. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Workers at Prince George Health Care Center in Georgetown, S.C., have voted by a more than three-to-one margin to become members of the United Steelworkers (USW).
The 88 new USW members at Prince George will join Local 7898, an amalgamated local union that includes hospital workers as well as steelworkers at ArcelorMittal's Georgetown plant, among others. The nursing home's secretaries and certified nursing assistants will join the union, as well as workers in the housekeeping, laundry, dietary and maintenance departments.
"South Carolina does not make it easy for people to become union members, but these workers were determined to make positive changes for their patients, their coworkers, and their families," said James Sanderson, president of USW Local 7898. "They put themselves on the line and won."
Management at the nursing home held one-on-one meetings with workers, including anti-union videos and other materials to try to derail the campaign, Sanderson said.
"The company fought us every step of the way. But we won because we put the facts out, while they just put spin out," Sanderson said.
Throughout their campaign, the workers used the theme "breaking the chains" to counteract the negative spin and intimidation from their employer and earn themselves a voice in their workplace.
"This important victory should be a signal to all workers in South Carolina and elsewhere that the facts beat fear," said Daniel Flippo, USW District 9 director. "These brave workers had a clear choice between the status quo and progress, and they chose progress."
The USW is the largest industrial union in North America, representing workers in a range of industries including metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, oil refining, health care, security, hotels, and municipal governments and agencies.
James Sanderson, (843) 461-6818
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)