Management at the Menoreh Medical Center in Kansas City will now have to deal with a union. The hospital’s nurses have voted to join a union. 57% of those voting agreed to go along with the union. Menorah nurse Judy Kaptelzinsky says patients won’t have to worry about the quality of care dropping in any way. She says nurses would never abandon their patients at bedside. “That’s not where our hearts are,” she said.
Assistant prosecutors in Jackson County have voted to join a union. More than 90% of about 70 assistants who work in Kansas City have voted to join Local 42 of the International Association of Fire Fighters. A spokesman for the group says it chose the firefighters’ union because it has the political clout to get its members more pay. Assistants in the Jackson County prosecutor’s office start at $32,000 dollars. Some take second jobs to earn more money.
The rejection of a union by workers at the Lazy Boy furniture company in southwest Missouri has brought a complaint to the National Labor Relations Board. A September 11th hearing is scheduled in Neosho. The Paper Allied Industrial Chemical and Energy Workers International Union says the vote wasn’t above board. Union officials say the company assisted employee opposition to organizing and threatened a plant shutdown if the union succeeded. It was the 9th time employees at Lazy Boy have rejected a union.
You can expect organized labor to play an important role in efforts to elect the Gore-Lieberman ticket in November. That’s the word from John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO. He says his organization will be very active in Missouri. It is one of the so-called battleground states. And Sweeney says the union will also help to try to elect Mel Carnahan in his Senate race with incumbent John Ashcroft.
The head of the Kansas City teachers union says the school district might not have such a big teacher shortage if it treated teachers better. The district is short 250 teachers, with the opening of schools only 24 days away. Kansas City is setting up an “associate teacher” program that would let people without teaching certificates teach. They would have to demonstrate they’re trying to achieve certification.
The Missouri State Teachers Association has raised some concerns about claims used by one of the candidates in the race for the Democratic Party’s nomination for Lieutenant Governor. It says state senator Joe Maxwell’s claims that he has endorsements of some education groups might be misleading, because the MSTA does not endorse candidates. Maxwell defended his ads. He says they don’t advertise the endorsement of the MSTA, only the backing of many state educators. His opponent, state representative Gracia Backer calls the ads untrue.
The more than 1,200 Associated Wholesale Grocers workers in Kansas City and Springfield who lost their jobs in April when the company outsourced its warehouse and transportation work will likely soon be back on the job — some as early as tomorrow. The company has reached a tentative agreement with the Teamsters union to end the dispute and the rank and file will vote on it today. The National Labor Relations Board had earlier ruled the company bargained with the union in bad faith.
A federal labor board has asked Associated Wholesale Grocers to return to the bargaining table with the Teamsters Union. The regional National Labor Relations Board found in favor of the union’s complaints that Associated Grocers didn’t bargain in good faith and improperly outsourced jobs. That action sparked a bitter strike by the Teamsters, acting on behalf of 1,200 workers in Kansas City and Springfield. The regional board is seeking permission from Washington to pursue a federal court injunction to return union workers to their jobs.
More than 12-hundred union workers in Springfield and Kansas City are out of work today after talks between the union and Associated Wholesale Grocers broke down last night. Teamsters leader Jim Kabell says the grocery store distributor has negotiated in bad faith since February…while AWG’s Doug Carolan says the union never took the company’s concerns about lowering costs seriously. The company has beefed up security at its warehouse operations in Springfield and Kansas City in anticipation of a strike. AWG is outsourcing its warehouse and trucking divisions…and many replacement workers already have arrived to begin work.
Maybe there won’t be a strike after all…union leaders say they’ve reached a tentative agreement with the Ford Motor Company that could avert a looming walkout at the company’s Claycomo plant. Union president Jerry Kline says the compromise is fair. Kline says the nearly five thousand hourly workers at the plant wanted concessions on health and safety issues. However, he’s not willing to discuss the specifics of the proposed contract until the union workers have a chance to vote on it Sunday.