President Obama’s National Labor Relations Board asked a judge this week to force a Connecticut nursing home to re-hire employees involved in a labor dispute, including the workers who sabotaged patient homes as they went on strike.
The Service Employees International Union members who worked at HealthBridge went on strike after rejecting the company’s final offer in contract negotiations. HealthBridge cut benefits, pensions, and raises wages 2.2 percent.
“The [NLRB] says those unilateral changes were illegal, and wants the judge to reset the clock so that the union members can continue to work under the terms of the expired contract and continue to negotiate for a new agreement,” The Hartford Courant reports.
That includes the union members who committed acts of sabotage on the way out the door which exploited the weakness of the Alzheimer’s patients in the nursing home in order to make it more difficult for those patients to receive care from the replacement workers. As The Washington Examiner previously noted:
The director of the facility in Newington, Conn., told police that “the name tags on the patients’ doors for the Alzheimer’s ward were mixed up. The photos attached to the medical records for these patients were removed, further complicating, but not making impossible, the identification of the patients. Also, dietary blue stickers affixed to the door name tags were removed.” Some medical equipment also went missing.
NLRB lawyer Thomas Quigley, noting that this only happened at two of five facilities, argues that to make all of the workers stay out of the nursing home until “until we sort out who the evildoers are is unfair. It’s collective punishment at its worst.”
Is the NLRB doing anything to catch the “evildoers”? No, according to the company. “Both the Board and Union oppose providing Respondents with any type of discovery that would help [the nursing home] identify the participants in the sabotage and the extent to which Union officers and other members may have encouraged it or were otherwise complicit in it,” HealthBridge told the judge in a court filing.