NLRB Denies Health Care Workers' Rights (Again)

First, the facts: Nursing home workers at a geriatric center in Kansas City engaged in 2 one-day strikes. The Union gave a proper 10-day notice for each strike. The employer disciplined striking employees who did follow the absenteeism policy by calling in to the employer to report they were not coming to work on the days of the strike. The Union filed a ulp charge alleging that the discpline was illegal because it punished the workers for engaging in protected activity, properly noticed one-day strikes.

Now, the Board decision: The Union did not explicitly tell the employer that it would engage in two, and no more than two, one-day strikes. The employer had no way of knowing if there would be another. Therefore, even though there was not another, the first two nevertheless amounted to an illegal, unprotected "intermittent" strike. Therefore, it was okay for the employer to discipline the workers.

The moral of the story: The Bush Board does not even try to be rational any more. It just makes up ways to attack workers and Unions. This time, although two one-day strikes have never been held to be illegal intermittent activity , the Board has nevertheless gone out of its way to find a way to punish workers for engaging in concerted activities.

Action notes for healthcare workers: first, if you engage in two one-day strikes, you should expressly, in writing, tell the employer there will be two and only two; and second, until the NLRB is changed or abolished, think two or three times before filing a ULP that this NLRB can use to warp the Act any more than has happened already.

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