Deaton hospital staff to picket to support union

Maryland Watch

May 09, 1998

Workers at Deaton Specialty Hospital and Home in Baltimore plan to picket the facility today in support of their efforts to be represented by District 1199E-DC of the Service Employees International Union.

The union says 70 percent of Deaton's service and maintenance employees and licensed practical nurses have signed cards seeking a union election to cover about 240 employees. But at a National Labor Relations Board hearing, University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), which owns Deaton, argued that the system is a state agency, not a private employer. If the labor board agrees with UMMS, it would not have the authority to order a union certification election.

Robert Moore, president of Local 1199E-DC, said, "UMMS wants to deny its workers the right to organize. These workers just want a chance to have a fair and open election. But, unfortunately, UMMS can use [its] high-powered lawyers to impede justice."

In a statement, UMMS said its position has been supported in five other labor board cases. It also said it has improved the employees' pay and benefits since it acquired Deaton in 1996.

Pub Date: 5/09/98

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