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Union sues DMC, claims bargaining violation

Lauren Abdel-Razzaq
The Detroit News

A local labor union has sued the Detroit Medical Center and its affiliates for what they claim is a violation of collective bargaining agreement rights when they announced plans to contract out custodial services.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees filed the lawsuit Tuesday in the U.S. District Court on behalf of about 300 employees in the Council 25 locals 140, 180 and 3695. The lawsuit alleges that the DMC intends to get around having to bargain with the union and is asking a judge to stop them from contracting with the third party custodial service company.

“They want to send this stuff out to a third party and under our collective bargaining agreement it is binding on successors,” said Bruce Miller of the Miller Cohen law firm, which handles litigation for AFSCME. “We have to take action before the agreement is made.”

DMC spokeswoman Sarah Collica did not respond to a request for comment.

According to the suit, the DMC is actively seeking a new vendor to begin providing services as of Dec. 1, but has not signed a contract as of yet.

The union says it was informed of the hospital network’s intentions to contract our housekeeping aid services on Aug. 22.

According to the lawsuit, the union and the DMC have an agreement that “subcontracting may not be undertaken for the sole purpose of depleting bargaining unit positions.” The two sides have been meeting since Sept. 5, but no assurances have been made that they are bargaining in good faith, the suit says.

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