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Kindred workers in San Diego gain voluntary union recognition

For years, pharmacists, pharmacy techs, and clinical lab scientists struggled to secure fair wages from Kindred San Diego while their unionized colleagues, including nurses, housekeepers and medical technicians, organized to win strong wages and have a voice in the operation of their hospital.

So when they decided to join their colleagues as NUHW members, the support was so overwhelming that Kindred earlier this month opted to recognize their union rather than go through the formalities of a National Labor Relations Board election.

The decision by Kindred to voluntarily recognize the union is part of a growing trend of employers, according to the Center for American Progress.

For the 21 clinical lab scientists, pharmacists and pharmacy techs that have now joined their 98 colleagues at Kindred San Diego, voluntary recognition means they have more time to prepare for a contract campaign to bring wages up to industry standards as well as improve benefits and ensure that their jobs are secure.

Low wages, they said, have resulted in understaffing and unfilled positions. Pharmacists are often pulled away from patients to help with technician work in Kindred’s understaffed pharmacy.

“We’ve seen firsthand what our colleagues can accomplish when they’re united,” the workers said in a collective statement. “We’re excited to now be NUHW members ourselves, and we’re ready to get organized and advocate for each other and the patients we serve.”

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