FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2023
Contact: Jenna Thompson, 949.246.1620, email@example.com
“We Want Our Union, and We Want it Now!”
Orange County Planned Parenthood Workers Unanimously Vote to Join a Union in Their Own Free and Democratic Election
Buena Park, CA – Yesterday evening, workers at Planned Parenthood clinics across Orange County, California, announced that they have unanimously voted 32-0 to form a union with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 324 in their own Free and Democratic Election. Orange County Supervisor Vicente Sarmiento monitored the vote count and declared the result.
“After this free and democratic election confirmed by a neutral party, Planned Parenthood Orange and San Bernardino County (PPOSBC) CEO Jon Dunn can no longer hide behind the fact that he doesn’t know his employees want the opportunity to join a union,” said Alex Marin, a Float Administrative Medical Assistant at Planned Parenthood Orange and San Bernardino Counties. “I have spent the last year fighting to show that my voice – as well as the voices of my co-workers – deserves attention, but we are met with opposition at every turn. I hope with this vote of all of the Administrative Medical Assistants in Orange County that Jon Dunn will stop his stall tactics and allow us to vote in our official National Labor Relations Board election swiftly.”
The Administrative Medical Assistants (AMAs) at Planned Parenthood clinics in Orange County became the first at the organization in California to file for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board on May 12, 2023, but since then, Planned Parenthood Orange and San Bernardino County CEO Jon Dunn has continually defied their choice to unionize. He has prolonged the election process by attempting to add other classifications and other clinics to their vote with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The AMAs are still waiting for the NLRB to rule on their petition and are not able, in the meantime, to vote through the NLRB process.
“As a proud ally and supporter of Planned Parenthood’s mission, I know they fight day in and day out for patients’ right to choose free from intimidation,” said Vicente Sarmiento, Orange County Supervisor. “With these free and fair election results, it’s clear that the workers providing services also want the right to choose to join a union without coercion from their employer. It’s time for Planned Parenthood to respect their workers’ decision to join a union.”
Planned Parenthood has always been a fierce advocate for patients’ right to choose, but as an employer, Planned Parenthood has engaged in unfair labor practices and delay, which has suppressed the voices of workers. The National Labor Relations Board found merit to an unfair labor practice charge by UFCW Local 324 alleging that PPOSBC terminated an employee for her union activity, engaged in surveillance of employees, and improperly removed employees’ union literature from the employee break room.
“Coming together with a union is critical to protect these workers’ rights, whose workloads have increased exponentially since Planned Parenthood has opened their doors to out-of-state patients needing health care, and to ensure patients receive quality care,” said Andrea Zinder, president, UFCW Local 324. “They cannot continue to provide patients with the health care they deserve when they walk in those doors unless they have a say in their own working conditions. Planned Parenthood must respect the rights of their workers who provide fundamental care to patients and ensure all their workers have the opportunity to have their voices heard in a fair election free from intimidation. Harassment of workers, intimidation, retaliation and any unnecessary delays in this election are unacceptable from an organization that fights for justice and equality.”
The UFCW represents over 55,000 healthcare professionals across the country, helping them win safe staffing levels for workers, respect and transparency from management and contracts that emphasize public health. In Orange County, UFCW Local 324 represents several thousand health care professionals in retail pharmacies, labs and at Kaiser Permanente.
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