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Former Medical Center Employees Claim They Lost Their Jobs Because They Supported Union

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

Former Kentucky River Medical Center employees in Breathitt County say hospital officials got rid of them because they supported a labor union.

The case was set to go to trial Tuesday morning, but the two sides agreed to settle out of court.

Nurses Shirley White, Louise Gross and Frances Lynn Combs worked a combined total of 25 years at Kentucky River Medical Center in Jackson.

They believe hospital officials recently fired White and Gross and suspended Combs because of their involvement with the United Steel Workers Union.

“I determined that there was sufficient evidence to issue a complaint against Kentucky River alleging that the discharges violated the national labor relation act.”

Both sides met at the Breathitt County Courthouse Tuesday.

The nurses say hospital officials agreed to pay them six figures in lost wages, benefits and travel expenses to jobs at out-of-town hospitals.

Hospital CEO Donnie Rentfro did not want to go on camera, but says he's unable to provide any information about the employees or the case.

A fourth former employee is also named in the complaint against the hospital.

James Fields was not at the meeting.


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