Union for New London hospital workers responds to lockout - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Union for New London hospital workers responds to lockout

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NEW LONDON, CT (WFSB) -

The union for the more than 750 registered and licensed practical nurses at the New London-based Lawrence and Memorial Hospital responded Sunday after the hospital workers were locked out.

Workers told Eyewitness News that they were told if they go on hospital property after 11 p.m. on Saturday, they would be arrested.

"We want a resolution, not a lockout," said L&M Hospital registered nurse and AFT Local 5049 President Lisa D'Abrosca in a statement Sunday. "The corporation is reacting in a reckless and irresponsible way to our lawful efforts to hold them accountable. Even our state's political leaders urged them not to lock us out from treating our patients."

Union officials said they have filed a "complaint seeking injunctive relief" with the National Labor Relations Board in the event of a lockout.

"The people of this community deserve the truth from the hospital's administration," said L&M Hospital sleep lab technician and AFT Local 5051 President Stephanie Johnson in a statement Sunday. "Instead, the corporation is trying to fool our community into thinking they locked us out over wages and benefits."

Hospital officials explained the reasoning for the lockout.

"The reason for the lockout is the union's treat to have intermittent strikes and we can't afford that," said Michael O'Farrell, the hospital's spokesman, in a statement Saturday. "We want our employees back and with an agreeable contract."

O'Farrell said the union wants 100 percent job security, something the hospital can't offer in the current economy. According to the deal the hospital gave, 90 percent would be given to nurses, while 50 percent job security would go to the techs. The deal was rejected.

Nurses from other areas have been bused to the hospital to work the shifts, and hospital officials told Eyewitness News that patient care is not being affected.

At this point, the union is set to meet with the hospital again on Tuesday. If a deal is reached, the workers could be back to work by the end of next week.

A petition was started in support of the registered and licensed practical nurses at the New London-based Lawrence and Memorial Hospital. As of Sunday night, more than 4,800 people have signed the petition.

To sign the petition, click the following link.

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