Workers at Women and Infants vote no confidence in hospital’s leadership

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Union workers at Women and Infants voted no confidence in the hospital’s leadership Tuesday because they say they’re “sick and tired of working short day in and day out and having our concerns brushed to the side.”

The union, SEIU 1199NE, claims that for months, Women and Infants has ignored workers’ requests to use the American Rescue Plan Act funding to help with staffing shortages — a problem they say “threatens to compromise the level of care that can be provided to mothers and their babies.”

They also said that for the last year, management refused to investigate allegations of disrespect, harassments, and racialized language.

“A fair amount of our EVS or housekeeping staff are Portuguese,” said Nancy Chandley Adams, a nurse lactation consultant. “I have heard that one particular supervisor refers to them as the Portuguese mafia.”

Workers are now asking Women and Infants to “stop anti-union behavior and engage with workers to solve the hospital’s deepening healthcare crisis.”

In a statement to ABC 6 News Tuesday, Care New England said that Women and Infants’ leadership is committed to “creating a welcoming, safe, collaborative and respectful environment for all team members.”

“We do not tolerate acts of aggression, threats or abuse in any form. We all have a common mission of providing superior patient care in a supportive, compassionate environment,” said Raina Smith, a spokesperson for Care New England.

Smith said Care New England encourages employees to seek help if they feel unsafe or uncomfortable and report any concerns.

Care New England runs Women and Infants, Kent, and Butler hospitals.

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