The Service Employees International Union has been trying to organize some two thousand employees at Communities downtown hospital, along with their other facilities for the past two years. Organizers claim the hospital management has interfered. A charge the hospital denies.
Helen Villa, hospital employee, says "The hospital is not playing fair, they are putting obstacles in our way, besides calling people into the office, intimidation, hiring an outside agency to come in and have mandatory meetings to speak to this person… there's a lot of things that they are doing."
John Zelezny, Community hospitals, says "The relationship between employers and employees and unions is all government by federal labor law during unionizing efforts and we intend to play by those rules and if we do anything wrong that's for the national labor relations board to decide."
The union filed unfair labor practice charges against Community last October. A decision hasn't been made.
Community has faced unfair labor practice charges from another union, the California Nurses Association and they have been dragging on for a dozen years. That's why the SEIU is taking this approach, trying to bring public and political pressure on the hospital to allow a union vote.