MINNEAPOLIS – As part of the continued push to get unjustly fired Planned Parenthood North Central States (PPNCS) nurse Grace Larson her job back, Planned Parenthood workers and supporters announced today that they have set a deadline for next Monday for action on the union workers’ demands or they will head to the Capitol to demand action from PPNCS CEO Ruth Richardson, who is also a State Representative.
Grace Larson, a Licensed Practical Nurse at PPNCS, who was elected by her coworkers to serve on the union’s first bargaining committee and has served in that leadership role for the last several months, was fired by PPNCS in March.
As the group announced this next step, Grace shared her commitment to continuing to stand up for what is right:
“We all care about our mission, and despite the challenges we’ve faced, we’ve been willing to keep pushing through our daily work to provide care to patients while also leading our union. We don't want to pit abortion rights and workers’ rights against each other, especially with abortion being dangerously under attack right now,” said Larson. “It's imperative to remember that abortion rights are workers’ rights; we cannot have one without the other. We need to unite these causes because we cannot afford to be divisive at this historical moment. I'm so appreciative of all the support I've gotten and want those in power to know that I won't give up this fight!”
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa has filed an unfair labor practice (ULP) charge with the National Labor Relations Board against PPNCS. In the charge, SEIU Healthcare MN&IA alleges that Grace was fired in retaliation for her leadership role in the union, that PPNCS has sought to intimidate the entire elected union bargaining team through extreme and unjustified discipline, and that PPNCS unlawfully surveilled private, non-work communications among elected union bargaining team members.
SEIU Healthcare MN&IA represents approximately 450 PPNCS employees across a five-state region who voted overwhelmingly to unionize last year. Grace and the other members of the elected union bargaining team have been negotiating a first contract with management since October.
There was a rally last week at the U of M, where students, State Senator Erin Murphy, MN AFL-CIO President Bernie Burnham and others spoke out in support of Grace and other PPNCS workers standing up for what is right.
Grace, other PPNCS workers and union leaders spoke out the prior week about what happened and next steps in this fight. You can watch that event HERE.