Catholic Hospitals vs. Labor Unions

Daughters of Charity Health System sues for damages

This story comes from a February 26 article in the Sacramento Bee.

SAN JOSE, California — The owners of six nonprofit Catholic hospitals filed a lawsuit accusing a labor union of trying to sabotage their attempt to sell the hospitals to a for-profit corporation.

LA Times

(LA Times)

Daughters of Charity Health System claims in its suit that the Service Employees International Union and its United Healthcare Workers West affiliate have cost their hospitals tens of millions of dollars, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.

The lawsuit says the workers at the hospitals in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas have delayed the sale by pressuring potential bidders to drop out, driving the price down.

The hospital chain filed the suit Monday in Santa Clara County Superior Court, seeking unspecified damages for its losses and punitive damages.

Last week, Attorney General Kamala Harris approved the sale of the hospitals to Prime Healthcare Services Inc., while imposing conditions that could unravel the deal.

Kamala Harris LA Times photo

Kamala Harris (LA Times photo)

The hospitals are struggling financially, and a union representing workers is concerned Prime will shut some or all of them. Under its purchase agreement, Prime promised to keep them operating at least five years.

But Harris’ decision requires Prime to operate five of the six for at least 10 years, and imposes other conditions to ensure continued community access to essential healthcare services, her office said.


  1. Anonymous says:

    I hope the Sisters win their lawsuit against evil/immoral SEIU, and UHW-W.

    Or that all the Union members who are so selfish, lose their jobs and cushy benefits when these hospitals go out of business completely due to debts.

    Let the buildings stand vacant for a year or two, and then sell the property. 🙂

    Kamala Harris apparently is a mouthpiece for the communist Unions.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sisters need to send out a public letter of intent that they will be closing each hospital by a date certain – due to severe debt load.
    And that they tried to sell the Hospitals so that many people could still be served and some jobs would be saved, but due to Kamala Harris and the SEIU, the sale deal was killed.
    Put the blame for all closings and all job losses directly on Kamala Harris and the SEIU – where it belongs.

    CCC: ” 2411 Contracts are subject to commutative justice which regulates exchanges between persons and between institutions in accordance with a strict respect for their rights.
    Commutative justice obliges strictly;
    it requires safeguarding property rights,
    and fulfilling obligations freely contracted.
    Without commutative justice, no other form of justice is possible. ….”

    • Anon, let’s keep in mind that any labor contract that exist at the hospitals were/are obligations freely contracted. The Catholic Church is very specific in its teaching that employees must have the unfettered right to join a union and negotiate for pay, benefits and working conditions. It is also the right of any group of employees to form a union here in the U.S. The Fair Labor Standards Act governs labor relations in this country. The law provides that members of any union can petition to have their union decertified by majority vote. Because a labor union fights hard for its employees’ pay, benefits and working conditions does not make it a communist organization. Communist worker groups would never have been allowed to negotiate with or pressure their employer. Catholic social teaching encourages employees to form unions.

      • Bob One, the Sisters tried to sell the Hospitals to keep them afloat to serve the community and preserve as many jobs as possible.
        But Kamala Harris and the SEIU, killed the deal with their unreasonable requirements.

        Catholic social teaching does NOT teach that individual employees must be FORCED to join a Union in order to work. If fact this lack of freedom violates Church teaching.
        And FORCED UNION membership is the case in most instances in the USA .

        So let the hospitals go out of business with date certain. There is nothing the government can do to stop it. 🙂
        Let the buildings stand vacant for a year or two – and then sell them for other uses.

        Btw – in case you do not remember: SEIU, UAW, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, and some other Unions support same sex marriage.
        And they support the Democratic Party which has INTRINSIC EVILS in its platform such as Abortion, etc. They financially and physically support Democrats who support Intrinsic Evils and who want everyone to pay for the evils.
        They also all supported FORCED Obamacare on everyone else and then promptly applied for an exemption for themselves so they would not have to give up their “Cadillac health care benefits”.

        Unions in the USA were needed many years ago. Today for the most part they have become Communist arm twisting organizations who are joining the Democrats in trying to Control the rest of Society.

      • Bob One, you are wrong again. Catholic social teaching does NOT ENCOURAGE employees to form unions.
        It does not encourage unions or prohibit unions.
        You are thinking of Cardinal Mahony’s personal teaching which has nothing to do with the Catholic Faith – as was his normal behavior. (The USCCB had some wayward Bishops who pushed false teaching a few years ago as well.)

        This is accurate “Doctrine of the Faith” regarding UNIONS.

        CCC: ” 2430 Economic life brings into play different interests, often opposed to one another.
        This explains why the conflicts that characterize it arise.
        Efforts should be made to reduce these conflicts by negotiation that respects the rights and duties of each social partner: those responsible for business enterprises, representatives of wage- earners (for example, trade unions), and public authorities when appropriate. “

        • Bob ONe says:

          Pete, I don’t understand your comment. You quote the part of the CCC that encourages negotiations between labor and management; efforts should be made to reduce these conflicts by negotiation … In the United States the National Labor Relations Act defines how those negotiations will take place, and between whom. It provides for processes for creating trade unions, decertifying trade unions, and negotiating for wages, benefits and working conditions. As I read CCC 2430, the Church encourages an active participation in trade unions when workers feel the need, as does the laws of our country.

      • DAVID V. says:

        Bob One, don’t drink the kool-aid prepared by some Bishops who merely push their own political agenda (and pretend it is the Catholic Faith to get ignorant Catholics to follow them).

        Once a union takes over a specific area of employment they FORCE ALL employees to join.
        Each employee should have the freedom to join or not, and still be employed, and they are not permitted this freedom.
        This FORCING of membership and dues paying upon all employees in a given situation, is NOT Church teaching.
        UNIONS in the USA today take away individual freedom.
        CCC: ” 2431 The responsibility of the state. “Economic activity, especially the activity of a market economy, cannot be conducted in an institutional, juridical, or political vacuum.
        On the contrary, it presupposes sure GUARANTEES of INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM and PRIVATE PROPERTY, as well as a stable currency and efficient public services.
        Hence the principal task of the state is to guarantee this security, so that those who work and produce can enjoy the fruits of their labors and thus feel encouraged to work efficiently and honestly. . . . Another task of the state is that of overseeing and directing the exercise of human rights in the economic sector. However, PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY in this area belongs NOT to the STATE but to INDIVIDUALS and to the various groups and associations which make up society.”

        • Bob One says:

          David, you don’t understand the law. We have many states that are “right to work States, where employees do not have to join established unions where they work. If a State is not a right to work state it is because the representatives of the people have voted not to be. In many segments of our society, the individual has little, if any power, and therefore joins organizations of like minded people to negotiate for them. How far do you think one person would get negotiating with General Motors? By the way, I have been responsible for labor relations in companies for years. I can tell you that, with few exceptions, no company gets a union it does not deserve. Membership in unions is down to an all time low, except in government, because companies now treat their employees better than they did 50 years ago. Government has a lot of union members because they furnish the money needed to get elected.

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