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with the problem of management not agreeing to it because of the
union's refusal to come through on the give-backs.
I don't know if I should comment on that strategy. It was really crazy.
On Turner's part.
Yes. The strategy was absolutely ridiculous, in the sense that
the give-backs were mounting every month. Because as long as the
five percent was not being paid, that meant that the hospitals were
saving money on the minimums, they were saving money on the
employer contributions to the benefit and pension fund -- they were
based on the rate before the five percent, on the old rates -- they
were withholding one percent contributions to the training fund, they
had held up the every other weekend offer eight months. If you added
up what that all meant, it virtually meant that most of the give-backs
were already in place, but Turner, looking over her shoulder all the
time, refused to sign a piece of paper saying that “We approve these
give-backs” for fear that it would create problems for her, she having
said to the members “There are no give-backs.” So life was sort of
passing her by.
The second five percent the hospitals gave on their own, because they
all had this huge amount of money. It was becoming embarrassing to
them, so they gave the five percent and they held the first five percent
as a hostage with the union. They also gave the first five percent to all
the non-union personnel. They gave it to the nurses, even to the
nurses in 1199! Because they had trouble getting nurses, the nurses in
1199 got the five percent. But they didn't give it to the 1199
members. Now, the non-union personnel is 43.7% of the employees of
the hospital, so they were giving it out to a huge number of workers,
except for union members.
To come back to the polls. The other issues that began to play into this
thing was the question of corruption. Largely, this is something that
we were able to, through subpoena and going to courts we were able
to get records of the union, the financial records -- not in full, because
they withheld that. But enough for us to look into it and to find very,
very, very compromising kind of material that we began to put out. In
putting it out we began to reach the press with it. Generally speaking,
it began to affect members. Members reading about this union that
they had always regarded as the acme of cleanliness and rank and
filers, and this is one union where the officers would not feather their
nest, were suddenly finding all kinds of charges of corruption, of
stealing, of grand jury investigations, etcetera. This had an impact.
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