LawFuel.com – 5 October 2011 – The strike by Bay Area hospital nurses has resulted in a complaint for alleged violations of federal labor laws.
The nurses filed the complaint against Sutter Health claiming that they were locked out for several days following the end of the strike.
The lockout controversy increased after a patient at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in the Bay Area died following what reports claim was a medical error.
Mercury News reports that Sutter argued that the nurses should not have walked out and has said it needed to sign five- to eight-day contracts with firms that brought in hundreds of replacement nurses from around the country.
But the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United challenged that statement in a complaint filed this week with the National Labor Relations Board.
The union noted that Kaiser Permanente brought in enough replacement workers for its nurses who held a one-day sympathy strike, and Kaiser did not lock out its nurses after the strike ended.
CNA represents 17,000 nurses at the affected Kaiser hospitals, many more than it does at Sutter, said CNA spokesman Charles Idelson.
“Sutter’s lockout was not only unwarranted, unnecessary and unconscionable, it was also unlawful,” CNA Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro said in a news release.
Sutter spokeswoman Stacey Wells said she could not comment on how Kaiser handled the strike, but she said Sutter needed to bring in enough replacements to ensure patient safety. She noted that the strike
involved more than 23,000 registered nurses at Sutter and Kaiser hospitals and Children’s Hospital Oakland.