Press Release: Life Link III Employees Score Important Victory

9 Mar

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: John Nemo, MNA, 651-414-2863 or e-mail

MINNEAPOLIS (March 9, 2011) – Scoring a decisive victory for MNA workers in their dispute with Minnesota-based medical transportation provider Life Link III, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently found merit to six Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges brought against the employer from workers represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA).

“It has been a long and hard-fought battle, but we knew in the end the NLRB would side with the workers,” said Life Link III Communication Specialist Mike Jacobson. “It’s easy to stand firm when you have the truth on your side.”

Approximately 65 MNA members employed by Life Link III filed a half-dozen ULP charges during the course of contract bargaining during the fall of 2010 and into the winter months of 2011. Earlier this month, the NLRB found merit to the charges and issued a consolidated complaint against Life Link III.

It’s noteworthy that the NLRB issued a complaint on the charges, according to Jacobson, because in general the NLRB issues charges in less than 10 percent of cases. Most of the time, it defers the charges to arbitration or dismisses them outright.

“That makes our victory all the more important,” Jacobson said. “It sends a message loud and clear to our employer that violations of our rights as workers will not be tolerated.”

Unless a previous settlement agreement can be reached, a trial before a federal administrative law judge is scheduled to begin on April 5, 2011 inside the National Labor Relations Board chambers in Minneapolis. The trial is open to the public, and the NLRB essentially serves as a representative acting on behalf of the Life Link III employees, Jacobson said.

Among the ULP charges filed by MNA members and upheld by the NLRB were the following:

  • Life Link III prohibited employees from engaging in union activities during “down time” working hours, during which time they were allowed to engage in other non-work related activities.
  • Life Link III threatened discipline against workers for wearing MNA lanyards in support of their union.
  • Life Link III counseled a Union Steward for participating in a disciplinary meeting during “down time.”
  • Life Link III failed to bargain in good faith by refusing to show up to two scheduled session of bargaining.
  • Life Link III outright refused to provide vital information and further delayed providing information necessary to bargain and represent the MNA members.

Life Link III and MNA Members have been bargaining since the fall of 2010 and still have not reached a contract settlement. A Federal Mediator has called both sides back to the table for sessions on March 14 and April 11, 2011.

Life Link III is a non-profit consortium of nine healthcare organizations that provides critical care, advanced life support and basic life support transportation for patients in Minnesota via ground ambulance, helicopter and airplane ambulance.

Formed in 1905, the Minnesota Nurses Association represents more than 20,000 nurses in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

4 Responses to “Press Release: Life Link III Employees Score Important Victory”

  1. Naomi English MPH, RN March 10, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    Terrific news! We will continue to fight this type of bad corporate behavior and the employers will likely continue to try to act as if they are above the law. This shows how poorly thought out this plan of theirs is!

  2. Sick of Unions March 10, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    As usual alot of grandstanding and halftruths from the union. Why dont they tell the whole story on the ULPs and really take the high road that they want to make us believe they are on.

    • mnnurses March 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

      Can you give us any specific example(s) of half-truths or the whole story not being told?

      • Tom April 12, 2011 at 11:24 am #

        I agree with you “Sick of Unions” I am in it. Every little small piece was taken and they ran off and filed a ULP. Too bad the hospitals couldn’t do that, the lies where everywhere and thick. Only some nurses that started their own site got it.
        So sad that it had to get dirty. MNA forgot their role and what they are elected and paid for- “for the nurses”- not for another organization.

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