Mission Hospital, owned by HCA, and National Nurses United are now expected to enter into collective bargaining.

Jill Rabideau a nurse at Mission Hospital in Asheville and Bruce Nissen, a labor law expert talked with host Stephanie Carson about the recent landslide victory for nurses at the health care system in their vote to unionize with National Nurses United.

The union process at Mission Hospital in Asheville has been contentious from the start. Earlier this month, 965 nurses, or 70%, approved of the move to unionize.

The union effort began more than a year ago, after HCA made a successful bid for then-nonprofit Mission Health and its suite of hospitals and clinics across Western North Carolina for $1.5 billion.

Shortly thereafter, the new parent company started issuing cuts, which fueled the desire for a union among nurses at the company’s Asheville hospital even more. Nurses accused the company of poor working conditions, with HCA rejecting those complaints, according to correspondence with the state Attorney General’s Office.

The unprecedented vote in an anti-labor state like North Carolina has received national attention, even attracting the attention of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, who congratulated the nurses for their historic vote via Twitter.

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Stephanie Carson

Stephanie Carson is the news and community partnerships manager with Carolina Public Press. Contact her at scarson@carolinapublicpress.org.

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