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1,600 Nurses In North Carolina Move To Unionize

Published Wednesday, June 3, 2020
by Jonathan Michels/
1,600 Nurses In North Carolina Move To Unionize

(ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA) - Nurses in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina have filed a petition to form a Union with National Nurses United.  Roughly 1,600 Nurses are expected to be eligible to vote.

Despite the challenges of the Coronavirus Pandemic and a relentless Union-Busting Campaign that has delayed the election, Nurses at Mission Hospital in Asheville say they are on the brink of a historic Labor victory in the country’s second least Unionized state.

“If it happens in North Carolina, ‘it can happen anywhere,’” said Trish Stevenson, an Emergency Room Nurse.

The union drive pits Workers against HCA Healthcare, the Nation’s largest hospital corporation with 184 hospitals in the United States and the United Kingdom.

In February 2019, HCA paid $1.5 billion for Mission and six other non-profit hospitals in the Bucolic Mountains of Western North Carolina.

NNU currently represents about 10,000 Nurses at 19 HCA facilities across the country.

The Union drive at Mission is NNU’s largest campaign ever undertaken in North Carolina.

In the wake of the takeover by the multi-national corporation, Nurses saw patient care standards and working conditions quickly deteriorate.

Four Nurses initiated the Union drive in May 2019 over cuts in staff, poor communication and lack of access to basic supplies and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

“I am ‘one of the older people’ on the unit,” said Kelley Tyler, a Trauma Care Nurse. “A lot of the Nurses at Mission ‘are younger and new.’  They were taking it as this is ‘how the job is supposed to work and this is how nursing is.’”

She said Unionizing would enable her and her colleagues to get back to being Nurses instead of scrambling to put out fires all day.

It’s all she can do to respond to emergencies, let alone give baths or brush teeth.

“We ‘don't have the time or energy for that anymore,’” Tyler lamented. “We're ‘failing the patients.’”

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is expected to determine the election date and whether it will be an in-person or mail-in vote sometime in June.

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