National Labor Relations Board Decision is a Victory for Workers, Amidst Trump Administration’s Anti-Labor Appointments

September 12, 2019

For immediate release

Contact: Yvonne Slosarski | | 443.970.9722

1199SEIU applauds the ruling as a win for workers and a cautionary lesson in union-busting tactics

Washington, DC (September 12, 2019) - We applaud the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for ruling that Universal Health Services, Inc. (UHS) at George Washington University Hospital violated labor law. We also fully support the decision’s remedies, particularly the rare order to report bargaining progress to the Court.

The decision is a victory for 1199SEIU’s members, a lesson in union-busting tactics, and a warning about unfair hospital operators. It is particularly welcome at a time when the Trump Administration appoints NLRB members hostile to organized labor. It is also particularly important in the District because UHS is in negotiations to operate a new hospital being built in Ward 8. We cannot hand over such important healthcare to a company that has violated labor law.

The Court found that UHS refused to negotiate with the Union in good faith, illegally removed Union recognition, and introduced unlawful changes to the contract. Lisa Brown, Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU Maryland/DC Division, noted that the Court “confirmed what our members experienced: that for two years, UHS never intended to reach a contract and instead used failed negotiations as a tactic to undermine workers’ relationship with the union.” UHS’s prolonged refusal to bargain led to a petition to remove the Union. The Court found that most of the employees who signed the petition did so because the Union was unable to get an improved contract.

This ruling highlights tactics that employers may use to coerce workers and undermine unions. It detailed how management prolonged negotiations and instituted changes around discipline, health insurance, and benefits. The ruling also showed that some workers signed the petition to remove the Union only after hearing they would get a raise if they signed.

The Court rightfully ordered remedies, most notably the rare move to require regular progress reports to the Court as part of the mandated bargaining schedule. The Court also reinstated the Union and ordered UHS to pay the bargaining committee wages lost during bad-faith negotiations. This ruling is a significant victory for the 1199SEIU workers at UHS and all healthcare workers who are organizing for decent working conditions.


With over 450,000 caregivers, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. The 1199SEIU Maryland/DC Division represents over 10,000 members who work in major academic medical centers and other hospitals and dozens of long-term care facilities in Baltimore, Washington, DC, and throughout Maryland.