Michigan AFSCME 25 Helps Workers Organize at Muskegon Medical Center After Company Hit With Fine for Discrimination

Mar 10, 2014, 12:48 ET from Michigan AFSCME Council 25, AFL-CIO

LANSING, Mich., March 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Michigan AFSCME Council 25 is organizing workers at the Muskegon Family Care, in an effort to offer them a choice as to whether or not to join a union. Workers contacted the union indicating frustration at the current working conditions of the facility and the impact on the facility's patients.  They seek an opportunity to decide whether to join a union, hoping to have the union make their work environment more healthy, safe and fair, thereby improving their service to the Muskegon community.

The workers' desire to improve their service to the Center's patients; however, that has been met with contempt from the Center's leadership.  The center has faced allegations of substandard treatment of its employees in the past.  In 2009 the Center was fined nearly $90,000 for discrimination against its employees by the Federal Government.  Today, workers charge the Center with intimidation, harassment, and illegal termination due to their efforts to talk to a union. Within one week of the employees arranging a meeting with the AFSCME union, three employees have been fired for suspicious reasons.

"The actions of this company are deplorable," said Ed McNeil, Special Assistant to the President of Michigan AFSCME Council 25.  "The main concern of these workers is to serve the patients of the Center under safe and fair working conditions.  Instead, their rights under federal law are being ignored.  We intend to do everything we can to help these workers to maintain their rights under the National Labor Relations Act." 

McNeil continued, referencing the intimidation, harassment and termination being faced by the workers, "These kinds of actions are exactly the reasons why people need to band together, work together and fight together as part of Michigan AFSCME Council 25 so that others will not have to suffer unjustly at the hands of bad bosses.  Most good employers recognize a healthy work environment starts with a strong labor organization.  Workers at the facility care about the people they serve in the community, but need the opportunity to be a part of a workplace that respects and values the contributions of the workers.

The National Labor Relations Act gives workers the right to organize and join a union to negotiate with the Employer concerning wages, hours, and conditions of employment.

McNeil issued the following plea: Workers should not be afraid to come to work.  Workers should not have to endure threats while trying to provide a service to the people in the community.  We want every worker to know that federal law protects you, and we will as well.

SOURCE Michigan AFSCME Council 25, AFL-CIO