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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Planned Parenthood activists want unions in 5 Midwest states

DES MOINES, Iowa ( Associated Press) — Nearly 400 workers at Planned Parenthood offices in five states said Thursday they plan to unionize as their employer deals with a potential loss of business in states where abortion may be illegal. If the US Supreme Court is overturned Historic 1973 Roe v. Wade Reign.

Workers in Planned Parenthood North Central states in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota said they had signed cards showing majority support for unionization, and on Thursday they formally unionized with the National Labor Relations Board. Filed for election, said Ashley Schmidt, a training and development specialist for Nebraska and western Iowa.

They plan to join SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and Iowa, which is affiliated with the Service Employees International Union, which has nearly 1 million members in 29 states, including doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians. SEIU locals represent Planned Parenthood workers in other areas, including those serving Oregon and Washington, New York, and Washington, DC.

Organization of Sangh in various fields has gained momentum recently. The Biden administration has been supportive after decades of decline in US union membership Unions have worked to expand efforts, and organizers have worked to establish unions at companies including Amazon, Starbucks, Outdoor Retailer REI, and Google’s parent company Alphabet.

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Planned Parenthood workers willing to join the union in the Midwest include nurses, education outreach workers, community organizers and other non-management workers at 28 clinics in five states. They provide services such as fertility care, cancer screening and abortion.

On a call with journalists on Thursday, employees discussed unequal pay for similar positions in different locations, lower pay than other health care providers, high turnover due to exhaustion and burnout, and the feeling that management is always going to work for workers. does not listen to concerns.

“Unfortunately, I have seen many of these people move on after their ideas and concerns have gone unheeded by the working team for too long. Our associates have both clinical and administrative staff, overworked, underpaid and It’s not evaluated,” said Sadie Brewer, a registered nurse who provides abortion services at a St. Paul, Minnesota, clinic.

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Planned Parenthood North Central States Vice President of Human Resources Molly Gage said the organization prioritizes autonomy and choice in people’s personal lives and respects the same rights for workers.

“We support our employees, and it is up to them to decide whether they want to be represented by a union. We look forward to continuing conversations with staff about how we can help patients at this critical moment for abortion. How can we best serve you,” Gage said in a statement.

April Clark, a registered nurse and a senior training specialist at an Eastern Iowa clinic, said workers began discussing unionization last year, before a draft Supreme Court opinion came out, indicating that the courts would be asking the states. may permit or strictly limit the availability of abortion.

Clark said changes to abortion law likely make it more important for workers to join the union.

“We know this means we’re going to face stress not only for patients but for staff in the months ahead if the row turns around,” she said.

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