Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Board Issues Order against Beverly Enterprises

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Board Issues Order against Beverly Enterprises

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Citing a widespread pattern of unfair labor practices, the National Labor Relations Board has ordered a national nursing home operator to stop intimidating workers who seek to join unions.

The company called the decision "fundamentally flawed."

In a decision consolidating more than 100 cases against Beverly Enterprises, the NLRB found that the extent and severity of the violations of workers' rights called for a corporate-wide order against the company.

"The procession of violations in facility after facility of the respondent's operations and the continuing involvement of officials above the facility level in labor relations... warrants a remedial approach that is something other than business as usual," the board wrote in a decision dated Aug. 21 and received by the parties Monday afternoon.

The charges were brought by locals from several unions, including the United Food and Commercial Workers and the Service Employees International Union, involving actions at 26 different facilities in 15 states.

By issuing a corporate-wide order and ordering Beverly to post a notice of the board's finding at its workplaces nationwide, the board sent the company a strong signal. In the future, similar violations could bring federal contempt charges.

"It's a substantial victory for workers at Beverly facilities and everywhere else in the nation," SEIU President Andy Stern said through a spokeswoman. "The labor board is serious about enforcing their right to organize."

Jim Griffith, a senior vice president at Beverly, said the ruling was "fundamentally flawed and obviously biased."

"We have complete confidence that Beverly again will prevail when the cases are appealed to federal court," Griffith said Monday.

He noted that the violations involved events that occurred between 1988-93, when the company operated some 1,000 facilities. Today Beverly operates 576 nursing homes that employee about 70,000 workers.

Griffith said Beverly has about 100 union contracts with locals nationwide, and simply strives to ensure that workers hear both sides of the issue during organizing drives. …

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