By Kimberley Donoghue
PBN Web Editor
(Updated, 3:30 p.m.)
LINCOLN - Fellowship Health Resources Inc., a nonprofit mental health and substance abuse treatment agency, said Tuesday that the union trying to organize its employees has withdrawn its petition with the National Labor Relations Board.
SEIU Local 509 in Massachusetts was trying to organize FHR’s more than 200 workers in the state.
FHR filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB against the union last week, claiming the representatives used deceptive tactics to obtain signatures on union authorization cards at its locations in Fall River, New Bedford and Cape Cod. The nonprofit said the NLRB is investigating those charges.
Aaron Donovan, spokesman for SEIU, said the union has filed its own charges with the NLRB.
“The workers at Fellowship Health Resources have decided to pull their petition and postpone the election because the agency has committed violations of the National Labor Relations Act that have made it impossible to conduct a free and fair election.”
“Fellowship’s decision to use state funds - that are meant for client care - for the purpose of union busting has created a hostile atmosphere in which employees are afraid to support the union for fear of their jobs.”
“Over the course of the campaign, management at the agency has, among other violations, accused employees of being union informants and asking them if they are the reason that employees are signing union representation cards and engaged in unlawful surveillance and intimidation by telling them that they need to document and notify them when the union contacts them,” Donovan said.
The State of Massachusetts’ Operational Service Division wrote a letter to FHR in response to union allegations that the company misused state funds.
The division underlined that FHR must report the time spent by management, outside consultants and staff attendance at meetings and all other expenses related to activities supporting or opposing a union as non-reimbursable costs.
It told FHR that its audit department will be “closely monitoring your organization’s Uniform Financial Statement filings to ensure that the proper reporting procedures were followed.”