Since employees voted to join the International Association of EMTs and Paramedics (IAEP) in May of 2016, union members have experienced an increasing struggle to work with Prompt management.
“They haven’t been willing to work with us over the past year,” said Phil Petit, national director for the IAEP. “At this point, these dedicated EMS professionals are being hung out to dry.”
The IAEP was not only in the middle of contract negotiations when news broke of the closure, but also had filed more than seven outstanding unfair labor practices (ULP) against the company, including wrongful terminations and failure to bargain.
The charges were found to have merit by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and the union is awaiting a trial in August, 2017. The union is concerned that the decision to close Lake County operations is related to employees voting to join the IAEP in May of 2016. Prompt employees in the Lake County area are the only EMS professionals currently unionized.
“Management’s actions don’t align with their message to the public,” said Phil Petit, national director for the IAEP. “Shutting down the shops that are in the middle of negotiations gives Prompt management an easy escape from the multiple and costly allegations against them, and unfairly targets our members.”
Employees report that the announcement letter CEO Gary Miller claimed to have distributed to EMS professionals on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, was never actually sent. Union leaders will continue their efforts to work with management and reach a fair agreement for the first responders.
“We just want to reach a solution,” said Petit, “the IAEP will continue our efforts to get these men and women, who dedicate their lives to keeping their communities safe, a fighting chance for fair treatment in the workplace and during this transition.”