Wednesday, August 18, 1999

Straub vote for
union is upheld

An NLRB recount settles
an eligibility dispute and
clears the way for certification

By Peter Wagner


Workers at Straub Hospital & Clinic have won representation by the International Longshore & Warehouse Union following a disputed election July 30.

The National Labor Relations Board yesterday recounted ballots, finding 78 in favor and 71 against the union.

The NLRB is expected to certify the results by the end of this week, allowing contract negotiations between the union and Straub to begin.

Seeking the union's help were nonprofessional medical workers, including nurses' aides, medical assistants, ward clerks, file clerks and others.

While some employees have argued in favor of Straub's management, others have complained of long hours, low morale and poor job security. The hospital last year laid off 152 workers and cut wages 3 percent.

The original tally about two weeks ago showed 73 ballots for and 63 against union representation.

But with 31 unopened ballots challenged, the NLRB was asked to determine which were legitimately cast.

Tom Cestare, officer in charge at the NLRB, yesterday said opposing parties reached agreement that 13 of the 31 ballots could be counted.

Straub had submitted a list of 201 workers it believed to be eligible under labor regulations.

Last year, 180 registered nurses won representation by the Hawaii Nurses Association and are currently negotiating for a contract.

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