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US bishops, Catholic hospitals sign accord with labor unions

CWN - June 23, 2009

Representatives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, and other unions have signed an accord meant to defuse hosilities between Catholic hospitals and unions. The document is intended to serve

as a common alternative and way forward in carrying out the principles of Catholic social teaching … It is a product of extensive dialogue, candid discussion and differing experiences that we put forth for wide sharing, discussion, consideration, adaptation and use at the local level. Recognizing that other approaches are possible, we recommend that unions and employers use the principles of the document as a guide for developing Local Agreements that are tailored to local issues and existing circumstances to insure that workers in Catholic Health Care have the right to choose to join or not join a union through a process which is free, fair and respectful of the roles and missions of Catholic Health Care and the labor movement.

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