Mayo Clinic Health System petitions to remove union in Austin

Austin Mayo Clinic Health System Union Disputes

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(ABC 6 News) – A majority of healthcare workers at Austin’s Mayo Clinic Health System (MCHS) have petitioned the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to remove their union from power.

The United Steelworkers Union (USW) represents various industries, from education to healthcare, including workers at MCHS.

“The workers got together and decided they didn’t want their representation anymore,” said Mark Mix, President of National Right to Work Foundation, the right-wing anti-union non-profit providing free legal aid to the workers at MCHS.

The National Right to Work Foundation has historically been funded by Walton Family Foundation, Castle Rock Foundation and the Kochs’ Freedom Partners.

Healthcare practitioners at MCHS have long wanted USW removed from power. Last December, 49 out of 66 employees voted to end the union’s authority to force workers to pay union membership fees to avoid termination.

“The only reason they didn’t take this action, this decertification election, was because there was what’s called a contract bar in place, that says you can’t have a vote to decertify a union for at least three years after the union’s certified,” said Mix.

With the contract between USW and MCHS coming to an end this month, workers are taking their chance to decertify the union completely.

USW District 11 Director Cathy Drummond provided a statement saying:

“The anti-union effort in at Mayo’s Austin Clinic is yet another example of an outside organization inserting itself in an attempt to strip workers of their power. This group has a clear agenda: to turn workers against each other and ultimately deprive them of their ability to bargain strong contracts. Our union remains committed to empowering all workers in their fight for fair wages and safe working conditions.”

A date for the vote has not been scheduled yet, but it is expected to be soon, as the NLRB released a new rule on Friday declaring union decertification votes must take place within ten days of a petition being filed.

Healthcare workers from MCHS stated they were not allowed to comment on the union vote at this time.