Unions say Lawrence + Memorial Hospital layoffs unnecessary

New London - The three unions that represent nursing, technical and support staff at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital has asserted that the layoffs of 33 workers and program cuts announced last week were unnecessary.

In a news release, the three unions, which are part of AFT Connecticut, said the hospital is "putting its profit margin first" and engaging in "reckless behavior." The union said an L+M official said just seven months ago, before the purchase of The Westerly Hospital was approved, that the hospital corporation had more than $200 million in unrestricted investments.

Eleven hospital workers from the three local unions were notified last week that their jobs would be eliminated effective Oct. 6, the union said. Three of these 11 workers are still employed at L+M but with reduced hours. The affected workers include registered nurses, mammography and nuclear medicine technicians, food service workers, and secretaries. The hospital put the number of union layoffs at nine, plus an additional two union members with reduced hours. Hospital spokesman Mike O'Farrell declined to comment.

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