On December 5, 2021, Journal staff writer Stephen Hamway wrote an article about nurses fighting to unionize at UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center (SRMC) in Rio Rancho.

Almost two years later, not only nurses but employees across every department in the hospital are still fighting to unionize. Employees are losing pay and losing jobs fighting an anti-union employer. An employer who is ran by former nurses who had the opportunity to be represented by a union themselves. SRMC is in financial trouble brought on by an administration who does not invest in the employees and the county it services.

SRMC is a bus that is being driven by extremely bad drivers; some of the occupants of that bus have jumped out before the crash. The bus is still crashing, while the bus crashes the drivers of the bus are put on a pedestal and praised. As the bus crashes, occupants that couldn’t get off the bus are hurt bad by the lack of professionalism and driving skills of the drivers, known as administrators of the hospital. A crashing hospital is not good for the community of Sandoval County. A crashing hospital is not good for the employees.

On January 1st, SRMC administrators are going to be saved by the airbag called UNM Main Hospital. All while the front-line staff of SRMC have been hurt or even tossed out by the crash. These employees I talk about are the front-line staff of a hospital on the front line of the COVID pandemic. They deserve so much better than this employer.

In the union world, there is a saying, “Happy employees don’t unionize.” SRMC refuses to acknowledge the hack job of managing a hospital they did. So far, no one wants to make this front-page news or five o’clock news. I wonder if some are afraid of the big bad red UNM.

I understand this isn’t thousands of auto workers or thousands of writers for the stars, but this is front-line workers who help take care of the residents of so many counties in New Mexico. I write to you all as an employee of the hospital before the doors even opened, 11 years and 2 months of services at the hospital. Unfortunately, I was one of many that got thrown from the bus during the crash. Hurt and crushed by an employer who I gave it all to. I’m thankful for the opportunity I’ve been given by my union so that I may continue to make sure the employees of SRMC get the representation they deserve.

Thank you for your time.

Tony Molina

IAMAW associate organizer