The 65 workers, who are employed as nurses aides, medical secretaries, and patient transporters, joined UFCW Local 21 because they wanted the same benefits as their unionized colleagues at the medical center, including quality raises and cost of living increases; a just process for discipline; a fair paid time off and sick leave system; safe staffing levels; and respect and transparency from management. The workers voted to join UFCW Local 21, which represents over 18,000 members in the health care industry, via a mail-ballot election administered by the National Labor Relations Board.
During the organizing campaign, members of UFCW Local 21 who are registered nurses at Lourdes Medical Center reached out to their coworkers to share the value of being a member of our union family.
“I have been a UFCW 21 member at Lourdes for about five years now,” said Nicole Worley. “Being a part of the union makes your voice stronger–it protects your job and your coworkers’ jobs. In health care today, when we all risk just becoming a number, the union has our backs. Join us nurses so we can fight together to keep Lourdes a place we want to work!”
The new members are looking forward to having a voice in the workplace and negotiating their first union contract.
“I walk almost 15 miles every day moving patients and get paid barely over the minimum wage,” said Isaac Avalos, a patient transporter. “I know that while other hospitals in the area have better protections than us, we are at the mercy of our management. Our job is to take care of people, but we need to take care of each other, too. I enjoy working with my coworkers. They are really good people! Together, I truly believe that we can protect our jobs and fight to get fair wages.”