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NUHW further expands presence at Keck-USC healthcare system

The NUHW family within the Keck-USC healthcare system continues to grow after workers at the Pasadena Lab voted unanimously to join over 1,700 of their USC colleagues as members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers. The unit consists of lab assistants and lab techs.

The election is the latest organizing victory for NUHW in the Keck-USC healthcare system, which in the last year expanded to workers at USC’s Alfred E. Mann School of Pharmacy, USC Downtown Clinic, and engineers from Norris Cancer Center.

Lab Assistant Renee Reyes is excited about the road ahead.

What prompted you guys to organize into a union?
We realized that we want the same job security as the other lab employees at Norris and Keck, as well as the same benefits.

Is this your first time as a union member?
Yes, but I come from a family of union members. I’m pro-union, regardless. My father comes from motion pictures and was part of the painters’ union. My mother is part of the teachers’ union and my stepfather is part of the carpenters’ union.

Did the employer try to dissuade you guys from organizing?
They pulled us all aside individually to answer any questions we may have and provide their truth, which was that the union may not be the best decision. But we had already made up our minds. We’re a rock-solid team.

How are people feeling after the election?
Excited, happy. There was a lot of cheering and hugging, and we’re excited about it.

Has there been any reaction from management?
We didn’t see any reaction coming from them whatsoever. They kind of knew where we were in regard to our decision.

What comes next for you?
We’re going to get a bargaining survey. We’re trying to get our team together and see what our wish list would be. We know there’s a possibility we may need to create our own contract, so we’re patient about it. But we’re relieved that it’s over. We’re excited about all the next steps coming up.

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