Letter: KGH negotiations show importance of unions

September 1, 2013 

It was disturbing to read in the Herald that Kennewick General Hospital is contesting the collective bargaining agreement it entered into with a union on the specious argument that "they've moved." Who, but an unscrupulous businessman would tell creditors and contractors that they weren't responsible for an obligation because they changed their business address?

The collective bargaining agreement was signed just a few years ago, with the full understanding of all parties that the agreement applied to the future (and certainly long anticipated) hospital campus.

Arguing that the union has no standing at the new hospital campus appears to be more the application of political will, to gain prestige for local Republicans. "We win over unions, so vote for us!" The concern isn't over the health of the hospital, despite their protestations. Unions are not given enough credit for making businesses a better place to work. They assure that safety concerns get heard without retribution, and establish provably fair hearing processes that protect companies, such as KGH, from wrongful termination suits. Unions are win-win for the business and the community.

IVAR HUSA, Richland

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