Union files 2 claims against Stanford Health Care with NLRB

A union seeking to bargain on behalf of security guards at Stanford (Calif.) Health Care is accusing the health system of threatening staff's jobs and retaliating against an activist for organizing, Bloomberg reported Aug. 4.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 853 has filed multiple claims against Stanford with the National Labor Relations Board. One filing is from Aug. 2 and another from July 8.

In the August filing, the union alleges Stanford "threatened, coerced and retaliated against" an employee for exercising rights protected under law, according to Bloomberg. The July complaint alleges the health system made threats "that forming a union will cause a staff reduction" and would result in "losing benefits," the publication reported.

Stanford emailed a statement to Bloomberg saying, "Stanford Health Care respects the rights of all our employees and believes it is every employee's own choice to join or not to join a union."

The claims from the Teamsters union come after resident and fellow physicians at Stanford voted in May in favor of representation by the Committee of Interns and Residents. That vote came after resident physicians led a protest in December 2020 against Stanford's COVID-19 vaccination plan that excluded house staff from the initial round of shots. The health system immediately revised the plan to prioritize resident physicians.

Now, the Teamsters union is seeking to unionize about 130 security staff, according to Bloomberg. The publication reported that the union has asked Stanford for voluntary union recognition and to begin bargaining, but the health system has not done so, saying the workers should instead organize through a labor board election.

The Teamsters union cannot pursue that option, however, "because of a law preventing unions that represent other sorts of workers from being on security guards' unionization election ballots," Bloomberg reported.

According to the publication, an associate vice president for Stanford University and Stanford Health Care said management strives "to have a constructive relationship with any union who may represent employees through a secret ballot election conducted by the NLRB."

Read the Bloomberg article here

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