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Internet Is Powerful Union Tool for Communicating with Health Care Employees

By Roger P. Gilson Jr.
  • July 9, 2001

Health care settings traditionally have posed challenges for union organizers when communicating with employees because of the special rules restricting access to patient care areas and because of 24-hour shifts and rotational schedules. All of that has changed dramatically with the advent of the Internet through union web sites, online discussion areas, and email list serves.

Internet communications have supplied the union's arsenal with a powerful tool, providing easy and inexpensive access to hard to reach employees. However, management also can benefit by the information that unions are posting on their web sites and in other public online areas.

Among the richest sources of Internet information on union activities for health care employers are the following web sites:

The National Labor Relations Board, which has taken the position that a policy restricting the use of employer provided computers "for company business only" violates the National Labor Relations Act. The Board's general counsel has issued complaints against employers where employees have been disciplined for using company computers for union activity, such as announcing an upcoming union election.

Health care employers must be vigilant about what unions are doing on the new frontier of online communications. The Health Care Employer will assist your efforts by regular monitoring of union web sites and will report the results in "Union Activity Online."

©2001 Jackson Lewis P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Reproduction of this material in whole or in part is prohibited without the express prior written consent of Jackson Lewis P.C., a law firm that built its reputation on providing workplace law representation to management. Founded in 1958, the firm has grown to more than 900 attorneys in major cities nationwide serving clients across a wide range of practices and industries including government relations, healthcare and sports law. More information about Jackson Lewis can be found at www.jacksonlewis.com.

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