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Most union-busting charges dropped against Orlando Health

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando Health officials said they have proof that claims of union-busting inside the hospital are false.

In November, Channel 9 first reported that nurses working to form a union filed a series of complaints with the National Labor Relations Board.

Most of those charges, however, were dropped, but Channel 9's Karla Ray found the claims that were upheld could force big changes within the hospital system.

Most of the complaints that were dropped accused Orlando Health administrators of interrogating, monitoring, interfering, restraining and coercing employees.

"The unions made a lot of noise when they filed those charges originally and we said at the time we did nothing wrong and we believe this latest action supports our position," said hospital spokesperson Kena Lewis.

But Orlando Health administrators are still working with the NLRB on the remaining charges, most of which stemmed from Winnie Palmer Hospital, including complaints that employees were watched and interrogated because of union activity.

Union representatives said there were eight charges remaining, but a hospital representative said that only four charges remain.

There were other complaints that employees were denied access to their workplace outside of work hours because of union ties.

Nurses Sarah Lasher and Sarah Collins are leading the effort to unionize. They said they plan to refile the paperwork with more documentation of harassment and intimidation.

"They continue to put pressure on us," said Collins. "They're utilizing anti-union firms to combat our efforts."

If Orlando Health doesn't resolve the remaining complaints, administrators could wind up in federal court.

"Nothing we've done is improper," said Lewis. "We haven't done anything wrong and we'll see what happens, but we don't believe we've done anything wrong."

A second round of changes to shift differential pay went into effect in January. The nurses trying to form a union hope to prevent more cuts like that in the future.