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Tallahassee Memorial Hospital responds to cyber attack by attacking workers

By Regina Joseph

Tallahassee, FL – Due to a recent cyber-attack, Tallahassee Memorial Hospital is forcing its employees to use their PTO, take unpaid leave, or to come to job site where bosses will tell them what they will work on. Considering Tallahassee Memorial Hospital is a multi-million dollar organization, this is a major problem for the nonunion, low-wage workers.

According to an article in WCTV, an anonymous employee of Tallahassee Memorial Hospital said that their team was told not to log in on February 3 and haven't been allowed to log in since. This situation was especially difficult for those without any PTO left, who feared they would be in financial trouble without earning pay.

It's appalling that a multi-million dollar hospital would be willing to sacrifice their employees' financial well-being.

It's clear from the numbers that Tallahassee Memorial Hospital (TMH) is well-off company. According to CauseIq, in 2020, the hospital had revenue of $704,494,918, and President and CEO G Mark O'Bryant earned $1,225,694.

However, their non-union, low-wage workers make significantly less than the national average. For example, service technicians at TMH make $9.47 an hour, switchboard operators make $9.25 an hour, and data center technicians make $12.46 an hour. This is 44% lower than the national average.

What's more, TMH pays the city of Tallahassee just one dollar a year for leasing buildings and land owned by the city. Despite this enormous wealth, TMH is rated a D hospital by Leapfrog Group's Hospital Safety Grade. According to their report, for every 1000 people treated at TMH, 172.29 have died from treatable serious complications.

For TMH to force workers to use their PTO for something that is not their fault is wrong. Workers need sick and vacation time PTO. According to the United States Department of Labor, the U.S. already ranks second worst for paid time off, behind only Micronesia. In comparison to other developed countries, we are far behind in terms of providing our workers with paid time off.

Companies like TMH prioritize their bottom line over their employees' well-being. Companies like TMH should be forced to provide their employees with adequate paid sick leave. The Economic Policy Institute found that only 33% of workers in the United States are provided with paid sick leave, which can lead to people working sick or even forgoing needed medical care.

It is unclear when the cybersecurity attack on Tallahassee Memorial Hospital will end, but something certainly needs to be done to protect the workers. If the hospital had a union, the workers would have protection and could fight for their rights.

Unions empower workers to negotiate with employers in an organized fashion. This increases their chances of success and ensures that their concerns are heard. Furthermore, unions can provide legal support in the event of any disputes between workers and employers.

The workers at TMH have the power to make a difference – by uniting and forming a union, they can fight for their rights and ensure their voices are heard.

#TallahasseeFL #Healthcare