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May 18, 2022

Fueled by Roe leak, Planned Parenthood workers in Worcester, Marlborough to unionize

PHOTO | Courtesy of Google Maps The Planned Parenthood building in Worcester.

Workers at the Planned Parenthood facilities in Worcester and Marlborough, along with workers at two other sites across the state, announced Wednesday their intention to unionize and join 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East, part of the Service Employees International Union.

Cara Callahan, a patient navigator at Planned Parenthood’s Springfield location, said in a press release the unionization effort was driven in part by the recent leak of a Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, criminalizing abortion in many parts of the country and seeing an influx of patients to Massachusetts, where abortion would remain legal if the ruling is overturned. 

“As healthcare access is restricted across the country, Massachusetts will see an influx of patients from other states, and we need to be ready,” said Callahan. “To get ready, those of us who are on the ground doing the work, need to be supported on every level - to be seen and heard.”

Workers at the facilities included in the unionization are healthcare assistants, registered nurses, patient navigators, educators, telehealth workers, and nurse-midwives. The effort includes around 200 workers in total from Planned Parenthood locations in Boston, Worcester, Marlborough, and Springfield. 

Tim Foley, vice president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO and the executive vice president of 1199SEIU, said in the same press release statement he welcomed the addition of Planned Parenthood workers into the union. 

“Planned Parenthood workers have been on the frontlines of the pandemic and the fight to ensure access for reproductive freedom in Massachusetts and across this country,” said Foley. “This is a critical moment in our country for reproductive health, and Planned Parenthood workers are leading the way and they deserve to have a seat at the table.” 

The date for the union election will be determined at a later date and will be set by the National Labor Relations Board.

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May 18, 2022

I have read this article several times and came to the conclusion is not very well written. The action was spurred by Roe v Wade potentially being overturned in addition to an influx of out-of-state patients. I fail to see definitive reasons how unionization will help these workers based upon the premises given. I am not for it or against it, just attempting to understand.

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