Press Release

Duggan Campaign Rewrites His Anti-Union History

Radio appearance contains falsehoods about treatment of nurses at DMC

Potential Detroit mayoral candidate MikeDuggan’s campaign responded to concerns about the Detroit Medical Center CEO’s reputation as a union buster today with an astonishing string of falsehoods.

In an interview on “First Shift With Tony Trupiano,” Duggan’s committee chairman Conrad Mallett Jr. made misstatements about multiple aspects of an organizing drive initiated by DMC nurses in 2007. The drive was supported by the Michigan Nurses Association, other unions and a broad coalition of community members and organizations, faith leaders, and local and state elected officials.

An audio clip of Mallett’s statement on Tony Trupiano’s show and a sampling of some of the many supporting documents from MNA are posted at  Mallett is DMC’s chief administrative officer.

“It is just outrageous to hear this rewriting of history about what Mike Duggan put the DMC nurses through whenthey dared to stand up for themselves and their patients,” said John Karebian, Michigan Nurses Association Executive Director. “Michigan Nurses Association was in the trenches with DMC nurses month after month, helping them fight the dirty tactics Duggan used to bully them. Duggan is not only a union-buster, he’s one of Michigan’s finest.”

Here are some of the inaccuracies that Mallett, who is currently a chief administrative officer at DMC, made on the Tony Trupiano show today:

Duggan campaign falsehood: “There was a major effort by the nurses’ union out of California to organize the nurses on the DMC campus”

Truth: DMC nurses approached the Michigan Nurses Association, the most effective union for registered nurses in the state, which responded to their request for help to stand up against terrible conditions and unsafe patient care at the facilities.  The organizing effort that took place in 2007 and 2008 was initiated by DMC nurses and supported by MNA.

Duggan campaign falsehood: DMC was “not resistant” to the DMC nurses’ efforts to organize

Truth: DMC administration, led by Duggan, waged a sustained campaign of intimidation, threats and misinformation against DMC nurses, leading to Unfair Labor Practice charges and involvement of the National Labor Relations Board. Hostile administration actions against nurses included surveillance, retaliation, interrogations and banning pro-union literature while sending excessive amounts of anti-union propaganda to nurses’ homes.

Duggan campaign falsehood: “The employees turned the nurses’ union down”

Truth: DMC administration, led by Duggan, suppressed the organizing effort and dragged its feet through interminable labor board proceedings and insisted on packing the voting group with supervisors and managers. DMC nurses chose not to hold anelection under these hostile circumstances.

Duggan campaign falsehood: There was no “inter-union cooperation or support” for the organizing effort
Truth: The organizing drive initiated by DMC nurses had broad support, including from the SEIU and AFSCME members employed there, as well as other unions; multiple local faith and community leaders; local and state elected leaders such as Coleman Young III, Fred Miller and Gov. Jennifer Granholm; and respected organizations such as Sugar Law Center for Social and Economic Justice.

Sources: Tony Trupiano interview with Conrad Mallett Jr., Sept. 27, 2012; MNA research and documentation; the clip and a sampling of documentation is available at