SEIU local accuses Tufts Medical Center of discouraging unionization

A labor union is accusing Boston-based Tufts Medical Center of using aggressive means to discourage hospital employees from unionizing, according to a report from The Boston Globe.

The Service Employees International Union, Local 1199, which represents 52,000 healthcare workers in Massachusetts, contend hospital administrators at times threatened to replace workers who show interest in joining the union, which would be unlawful, according to the report. However, Tufts disputes the claims.

Union officials recently outlined their complaints in a letter to Tufts CEO Michael Wagner, MD. In the letter, they have asked hospital officials to sign a document agreeing not to interfere with workers' attempts to join the union, but hospital officials have declined to sign such an agreement, according to The Boston Globe.

Tufts officials said they are simply engaging their employees, as they do on various issues, according to the report.

"At Tufts Medical Center we are committed to a collaborative and informed workforce, and we regularly engage in discussion with our employees about many topics related to healthcare and their jobs," Tufts spokeswoman Julie Jette said, according to The Boston Globe. "Our approach to talking about employees' rights under the law is no different. When the SEIU began passing out leaflets in front of our hospital, our employees had questions and we addressed them openly and honestly."

The Service Employees International Union, Local 1199, began a campaign to organize about 1,000 service, clerical and technical workers at Tufts earlier this year, when Tufts was discussing a potential merger with Boston Medical Center. Those talks have since broken down


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