Detroit VA Workers Protest Hospital Run ‘Like a Third World Country’

Workers at Detroit’s John D. Dingell Veterans Administration Medical Center say that working conditions are so bad they feel like the hospital is being run “like a third world country.”

About 100 workers picketed in front of the hospital on Wednesday, claiming that they feel unsafe in jobs where firings seem to happen on a whim and where workers that turn whistleblower will be met with instant retaliation.

At the protest, Benjamin Mahan, president of American Federation of Government Employees, Local 933, said, “You have managers who are very hostile towards employees of the union. We have a situation where we went to management several times; it’s not been abated.”

One fired whistleblower told the media that she had reported patient abuse on a regular basis but was fired instead of asked to help improve conditions.

“The type of neglect would be they weren’t changing the briefs, leaving them in dirty, soiled briefs, causing bed sores…not helping patients into their bed when needed because they’re amputees, their legs,” LPN Darlene Nolan said. “They can’t get into bed so we have to help them to get into bed.”

“Wherever there is whistleblower retaliation and management intimidation the care our nation’s heroes receive is compromised,” Mahan said on the AFGE website. “We must stand in solidarity with workers who are delivering world-class care to America’s veterans and show agency leaders that these actions and behaviors are unacceptable. The time for change is now. Medical center leaders must do everything in their power to change the toxic culture at this facility.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com


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