CWA Local 1133 History

Due to job dissatisfaction and deteriorating working conditions a concerned group of Registered Nurses from Mercy Hospital of Buffalo came together in August of 1989 to consider organizing a union. After speaking to several labor unions they decided to organize with Communications Workers of America (CWA).

They felt that this union afforded them with “a voice in their workplace”. In October of 1989 their efforts became public with leaflets that were distributed throughout the hospital. As expected, the Hospital management responded with an anti-union campaign.

The first attempt to gain representation by a union was on January 18, 1990, but it was a failed attempt. Feeling defeated and disappointed at first, this group challenged the election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) due to the anti-union tactics that were used by the hospital administration during their campaign. The NLRB found merit in the objections and recommended a new election be held. A new election was held on February 28, 1991 resulting in 268 yes votes to 70 no votes. That said it all.

While the RN’s were fighting for their first contract, a group of Service, Technical, and Clerical (STC) workers, who had been helping the RNs for several months, headed the effort to organize the STC employees in the hospital. On June 4, 1992, both RN and STC Bargaining Units signed their first contracts.

In 2001 Kenmore Mercy RNs joined CWA. They had been an independent coalition for 13 years and made the decision to merge with CWA Local 1133. This brought our membership up to 2,200 members representing a variety of healthcare workers.

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