Dwight Hall passes resolution supporting union in Y-NH dispute

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Dwight Hall’s executive committee overwhelmingly passed two resolutions yesterday calling for an end to “violations” of workers’ rights at Yale-New Haven Hospital and demanding a card-check unionization process there.

The first resolution passed by a vote of 45-3. The second passed 42-6. The resolutions targeted an ongoing dispute between the hospital and the union trying to organize workers at Y-NH; in recent months, an independent arbitrator has ruled that the hospital violated an elections principles agreement signed last March that was meant to ensure a fair unionization election.

“Dwight Hall condemns the ongoing violations of workers’ rights by Yale-New Haven Hospital in its attempt to block the unionization of Hospital employees,” part of the resolution reads.

The resolution also calls for hospital Chief Executive Officer Marna Borgstrom EPH ’79 to commit following an upcoming ruling from the National Labor Relations Board.

Jessica Bialecki ’08 said the executive committee held a spirited discussion before voting.

“This is a complex issue,” she said. “There are a lot of parts to it, and it’s hard to know everything unless you’ve been following it.”

She said Dwight Hall members raised concerns about the fairness of the card-check system as well as the benefits of unionization, but stressed that the resolution merely calls for a fair process, not unionization.

“We’re not just coming in and giving this a rubber stamp,” she said. “We had some good dialogue.”

In a card check, a union forms when a majority of eligible workers sign union cards.

The resolution is being sent to the members of the hospital board, including University President Richard Levin. Bialecki said she hopes the voice of Dwight Hall will spur people to further action.

“This is meant to energize and inspire student volunteers and activists,” she said. “You can have a resolution, but it takes followup.”

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