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HCA Healthcare Is Using Coronavirus to Union Bust Nurses


Source: The Intercept

Since being absorbed into HCA, Mission has been plagued by complaints over cuts in staff and lack of access to basic supplies and PPE.

Photo by Postmodern Studio/Shutterstock.com

 

The largest hospital corporation in America, HCA Healthcare, is using the coronavirus pandemic to delay and undermine a union election for 1,600 nurses in North Carolina.

After nurses filed in March to hold an election, HCA Healthcare petitioned the National Labor Relations Board, or the NLRB, to delay the vote because of the pandemic. In the meantime, it hired professional union busters costing $400 an hour to conduct meetings inside Mission Hospital in Asheville, urging nurses to oppose joining a union.

And while the corporation stands to rake in $4.7 billion in CARES Act benefits, the number of coronavirus cases in North Carolina is steadily growing, and nurses say they had to fight for basic personal protective equipment, or PPE.

“Instead of HCA using those resources and money and effort to prepare for Covid-19 and have proper PPE, they chose to put it into union busting instead,” said Sarah Kuhl, a registered nurse with Mission’s oncology research department.

“I feel like that put us significantly behind to being adequately prepared for Covid-19,” Kuhl said.

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