California hospital wins order from court telling strikers to quiet down

Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, Calif., has won a legal request to limit noise and disturbance they say is caused by striking workers, according to the Marin Independent Journal.

Marin Superior Court Judge Stephen Freccero granted the hospital a preliminary injunction on Feb. 8 in response to a complaint filed Feb. 4. The injunction reportedly limits noise striking workers may make and bars union members from interfering with people visiting the hospital.

About 20 engineers, represented by International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 39, revealed strike plans in January. They walked off the job Feb. 1 and have been picketing since.

The hospital's complaint, obtained by the Journal, states, "While defendant has every legal right to publicize its labor dispute with plaintiff, it has no right to lay siege to plaintiff's hospital with an array of illegal tactics, including blocking egress and ingress, committing acts of property damage and generating abusive and raucous noise levels outside hospital buildings where patients are being treated."

Marin General reportedly wants a permanent injunction, along with unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

The union expressed disagreement with the judge's ruling.

District representative Shane Mortensen told the Journal workers were "using instruments to draw attention to the labor dispute that is going on. Whether the noise was excessive, I think that is a subjective term."

He also said union members are "using crosswalks legally" and continue to picket in compliance with noise limits set forth in the judge's ruling.

The engineers are striking over employee health plan coverage. Their contract expired Jan. 31.

 

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