We are delighted to announce that 82 nurses, medical assistants, receptionists, and clerical workers at Cape Regional Physicians Associates in thirteen locations in Cape May County have voted “union yes,” agreeing to representation by UFCW Local 152!
Currently, UFCW Local 152 represents approximately 500 members at Cape Regional Medical Center, the county’s only hospital, which has had collective bargaining agreements for more than 40 years.
In late May 2022, workers at Cape Regional Physicians Associates (CRPA) reached out to Mike Thompson, Director of Organizing, to better understand how union representation could make positive changes in the workplace.
Many of the workers at CRPA have remained loyal to the company for close to a decade despite deteriorating working conditions. Add on the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the workers were rightfully frustrated, tired of not having their voices heard, and more than anything, ready for change. They understood that a union contract would help them better care for the community they call home.
Their unity under these circumstances must be commended. Despite having a daunting thirteen offices, the need for change was strong enough for these workers to band together, even though some had never physically met.
UFCW Local 152 filed the petition for union election on June 30. Due to rising COVID-19 cases, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) determined a mail-in election was the safest way to conduct the union election.
After 69 days, on September 7th an agent from the NLRB held a meeting via Zoom to tally the ballots. During the two-hour process, it was revealed that a large majority of workers stood united and voted to unionize!
“We’re extremely happy with these results, as are the workers at these facilities,” said Brian String, president of UFCW Local 152, which represents workers in a wide variety of industries in New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and eastern Pennsylvania. “Our staff did a great job in helping them through the process of organizing their workplaces.”
Congratulations to these 82 workers, especially those who were on the Organizing Committee. It was not easy to unite 82 workers across 13 offices; truly, you should be proud! Finally, congratulations to Director of Organizing Mike Thompson, Organizers Alley Snow, Pete White, Bryan String, and Will Pitts for helping these members walk through the process of organizing.
“Our next step will be to reach out to Cape Regional to begin work on negotiating a contract,” String said. “Our goal will be to bring these new members to a level playing field with dignity and respect at work.”