By Ed Diokno
Two Asian American nurses got their jobs back after being fired by a California hospital allegedly for their union organizing.
Rather than proceed with a hearing with the National Labor Relations Board, Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, Calif. opted to settle with the nurses, Allysha Almada Shin and Vicki Lin, who were represented by the California Nurses Association.
“This settlement is such a milestone — not just for me and Vicki as we receive our full back pay and have our terminations rescinded — but also for all the RNs who work at Huntington to feel empowered moving forward, knowing their voices cannot be silenced,” said Almada Shin, who has since found a job with a different hospital.
Part of the settlement negates a 2015 election in which the hospital’s nurses voted against unionization and mandates that a new election be held within 60 days.
The Huntington nurses began their union organizing in May of 2014 after hospital management allegedly rejected the nurses’ attempts to engage them on patient care, staffing and other health issues.
The labor board issued a formal complaint against the hospital in early March for multiple and repeated labor violations, including the termination of employment for Lin and Almada Shin. The complaint alleged the hospital blocked off-duty employees and union representatives access to the hospital, interrogated employees about their efforts to unionize, barred workers from talking about misconduct and used “surveillance” to monitor employees pushing for unionization.
RELATED: NLRB sides with nurses vs. hospital
The situation drew national attention and an invitation last year to the White House for Almada Shin to take part in the White House Summit on Worker Voice.
The NLRB entered the labor dispute last January and sided with the nurses.