Pinoy nurses in Albany, NY rally to form union
ALBANY, NY — These nurses want to exercise their right to organize and form a union.
“Gusto naming magkaroon ng union dahil gusto naming para magkaroon kami ng boses upang umangat ang aming standard of living, ang health insurance naming at hindi naman ganun kalaki ang sweldo ng mga nurses dito,” says Cheryll Gumabay.
But local news reports say, the nurses claim that hospital management is using coercive tactics to discourage their efforts.
A union could serve an estimated 2000 registered nurses – about 300 of them are Filipinos.
In a statement, New York governor Andrew Cuomo said, “He has directed the state department of labor to launch an immediate investigation into the allegations of threatening and coercive behavior at Albany Medical Center.”
Cuomo also said that “New York State is a union state that believes in the fundamental right to organize. The right to organize is paramount, and New York state will not stand for any attempts to intimidate, illegally prevent, or dissuade workers from unionizing.”
A secret ballot voting was held Thursday, April 12 and Friday the 13th, to determine whether Albany Medical Center nurses would vote for a union.
While these Filipino nurse are voting yes to organize a union, the hospital’s YouTube channel has videos of employees who are voting no.
Michelle Tubi-Corrales is one of the first Filipinos to be promoted as assistant manager at Albany med.
“That’s what Albany med makes me proud of, because they don’t look at you whoever you are, they don’t look at you how young you are, they don’t look at you where you come from, they don’t look at you how long you have been here, they look at your potentials,” said Tubi-Corrales.
“Voting no is the only way to go, we like what we have, we don’t wanna see it disrupted,” said Veronica McCollum. “I have an open door policy as well as my peers; we don’t need a third party to speak for us.”
BA reached out to Albany Medical Center but it has not responded at this time.