Nurses cheer ruling finding labor law-breaking at big Maryland hospital
Holy Cross nurses | National Nurses United

SILVER SPRING, Md. (PAI) — Members of National Nurses United, campaigning to organize the big Holy Cross Hospital in the D.C. suburb of Silver Spring, Md., are cheering a National Labor Relations Board ruling of rampant labor law-breaking by hospital managers.

Not only that, but the nurses also used their late-July rally to honor oncology nurse Edith Saffra, whom Holy Cross illegally fired earlier in 2017 for her pro-union advocacy.

After holding a two-day trial in mid-May, NLRB Administrative Law Judge Michael Ross ruled in late July that Holy Cross used a wide range of illegal tactics to try to stop NNU’s organizing drive among the hospital’s registered nurses.

They included “at least eight instances of unlawful threats, coercion, and interrogation in violation” of federal law. The hospital was also found to have maintained unlawful policies prohibiting nurses from discussing union representation,” the union said.

Specifically, Ross said Holy Cross, run by a big Catholic hospital and health care chain, broke labor law by, among other things:

  • “Threats of more onerous working conditions and/or loss of benefits” for pro-worker RNs.
  • “Coercive interference with protected, concerted activities,” such as using security guards to intimidate nurses –outside the hospital – who wanted to talk union with their colleagues.
  • Illegal “interrogation (by hospital managers to RNs) about protected, concerted activities” to “harass and discourage employees from demonstrating union sympathies.”
  • “Surveillance and impression of surveillance of union activity” including photographing RNs participating in union activity. That spying breaks labor law, too.

“We’re thrilled with this ruling. It proves Holy Cross Hospital management interfered with our right to advocate for patient safety,” Nina Scott, an intensive care unit RN at the hospital, told NNU. “Now we can move forward to organize without fear and freely talk with nurses,” she predicted.

The hospital has not said if it will appeal Ross’ ruling.




Press Associates Union News Service provides national coverage of news affecting workers, including activism, politics, economics, legislation in Congress and actions by the White House, federal agencies and the courts that affect working people. Mark Gruenberg is Editor in chief and owner of Press Associates Union News Service, Washington, D.C.