Jillian Kay Melchior, National Review Online, writes about the union intimidation tactics union bosses used to further their goals when they do not get what they want in negotiations. An excellent reason to abolish monopoly bargaining and exclusive representation.
The trouble in Connecticut began last year, when Healthbridge Management tried to negotiate a new contract with employees at five of their nursing homes, where all workers are members of the Service Employees International Union.
After months of negotiations, Healthbridge gave its best, last, and final offer, but the union decided to go on strike regardless on July 3, 2012. What happened next was appalling. Janowski summarized the attitude of the union members: “We want something from this company, and these elderly people are less important than the things we want. Therefore, we’re going to put people in danger for the sake of trying to get more money and benefits.”
Union members wreaked havoc as they left. Some reportedly scrambled or removed the identification of elderly residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s, even though patients could have died from receiving the wrong drugs, food, or medical procedures. Reports to the Connecticut Department of Health indicate that someone had tampered with mechanical lifts by dismantling and hiding a critical structural component. Elderly patients could easily have fallen off the lifts to their death.
The initial police report on the sabotage at Healthbridge stated that “there are no suspects [but] the persons involved are presumed to be employees who are part of a protest.” No one has been caught or punished yet. Meanwhile, the striking SEIU members have reportedly continued to make trouble. One man whose wife lives in the home talked to National Review Online, but he refused to give his name because union members have threatened his wife.
“They said, ‘If you care about the well-being of your wife . . . ’” he recounts. “You can read into that as you want to. I read into that a threat. I don’t want to get involved. My wife is helpless.” He adds: “Some of the people who work there just weren’t the kind of people that I’d want to be associated with, period. There were some good ones, but a lot of bad ones.”
Despite proven threats to the well-being of elderly nursing home residents, on December 11:
Judge Robert Chatigny ruled in favor of the unions, ignoring the plight of the defenseless elderly and the new hires. Healthbridge is appealing the decision and was granted a temporary stay on December 17, but if it loses, it will have to fire all 600 replacement workers to make room for the SEIU walk-outs. Meanwhile, many residents and their families say the new workers are far superior to the old, unionized ones.