MARQUETTE, Mich.—The Michigan Nurses Association filed unfair labor-practices charges against UP Health System-
Marquette and Duke LifePoint with the National Labor Relations Board Oct. 18, accusing the hospital of locking them out after they went on strike for 48 hours from Oct. 5-7. The key issue is that the Upper Peninsula hospital refused to let the strikers return to work for three days after the walkout ended, saying that to get qualified temporary nurses, it had to hire them for at least five days. The about 400 registered nurses at the hospital have been working without a contract since July, and are demanding safer staffing levels. The union’s eight allegations, filed with the NLRB’s Minneapolis regional office, include refusal to bargain/bad-faith bargaining, the lockout, threats, surveillance, and retaliation. UP Health System-Marquette said the charges were “a common pressure tactic unions use in conjunction with a strike.” Three negotiating sessions are scheduled for November.