To the Editor:
I am proud to serve our community as an employee at Appalachian Regional Healthcare’s Whitesburg location. My co-workers and I strive to deliver excellent patient care day in and day out.
I am also proud to serve as president of the United Steelworkers Union at USW Local 14568. Our local represents more than 200 hourly workers at ARH, and we are currently negotiating a new master contract agreement on behalf of all 2,400 USW-represented ARH workers at nine facilities in Kentucky and West Virginia.
Our most important goal is to provide our patients with the highest standard of care possible. In order to do that, we must have the necessary resources. For that reason, the outcome of these negotiations will have a significant impact on our entire community.
Our families are the ones who use these facilities – not the corporate bosses in Lexington. At the same time, we recognize how important ARH is to our towns as a viable, stable employer. After all, we have a proud tradition, from our coal miners to our steelworkers, where generations of union workers have sacrificed to build a better life for all of us.
We hope to resolve this contract before it expires on March 31. Our families built these communities. We cannot and will not allow ARH to hold hostage our jobs, our communities and our families in an attempt to break our union’s solidarity. If they try, we will be counting on your support.
We are counting on the continuing support that we have received in the past from you, our patients, our friends and our families.