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Five Considerations for Hospitals Facing Union Organization

5.27.11

Kevin Troutman, a partner in the Houston office and chair of the firm's Healthcare Practice Group, contributed to the May 27 Becker's Hospital Review article "Five Considerations for Hospitals Facing Union Organization." The article noted that some workers find union membership more attractive when they are concerned about job security or working conditions, two issues that emerged in the recent economic downturn when hospitals had to deal with tightened budgets. Kevin said unions remain focused on organizing healthcare workers, but most hospitals prefer to remain non-unionized. "In the absence of some compelling reason to be the contrary, most hospitals prefer to maintain union-free status." Employers cannot decide whether employees unionize or not, but they can point out disadvantages to unionization and take certain steps to reduce the disruption caused by organizing activities. He added, "One of the most effective steps hospitals can take is to ensure effective, responsive communication programs showing that unionization is unnecessary."

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