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NEW YORK CITY JOINS FISHER SCIENTIFIC BOYCOTT

 Council Resolution Asks City Agencies to Seek Other Sources
 for Medical & Lab Supplies
 Company's Attempt to Muzzle City Council Debate Fails
 NEW YORK, Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Brotherhood of Teamsters issued the following:
 New York City has joined Boston, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Dade County, Fla., in condemning the actions of Fisher Scientific, the nation's largest medical supplier, toward workers who tried to protect their health care. On Monday afternoon, the City Council passed a resolution calling on city agencies that purchase medical and lab supplies to seek other vendors than Fisher.
 The resolution, which strongly condemns the company's actions in locking out and replacing the 77 workers at its Springfield, N.J., warehouse, was passed unanimously by the six-member Committee on Civil Service and Labor chaired by Rafael Castaneira-Colon. It was then adopted by the full council with no dissenting votes and only one abstention.
 Council hearings on the resolution, originally scheduled for early December, were delayed by legal maneuvering on the part of the company. Fisher filed a federal court action against the City Council in an attempt to prevent the council from holding public hearings on its treatment of its workers.
 On Jan. 29, Federal District Judge Sonia Sotomayor turned down Fisher's attempt to quash the hearings, which went forward on Feb. 1.
 The Fisher Scientific boycott stems from the company's lock-out and replacement of 77 warehouse employees, who are members of Teamsters local 810, over the workers' protest of company actions stripping them of their health insurance.
 The company's proposed changes in health care would have raised costs to workers by 450 percent, effectively cutting off their health care benefits. The company refused to consider a lower cost proposal from the workers and hired replacement workers.
 The lock-out has cut off wages and health care for the 77 workers. For several of these workers who are fighting life- threatening diseases, the cut-off of medical coverage and hiring of replacements by a medical supply company is not just ironic -- it's tragic.
 "The company's treatment of its workers is the worst kind of hypocrisy," said Teamster President Ron Carey. "Fisher Scientific makes millions of dollars each year selling its products to doctors and hospitals -- but it has cut off the health care of the people who package and ship those orders."
 The boycott against Fisher Scientific is being supported by a growing number of physicians and scientists. Among those who testified before the New York City Council on behalf of the Fisher workers were Dr. Barry Liebowitz, president of the Doctors' Council, and Dr. Faidherbe Ceus, first vice president of the Committee of Interns and Residents.
 Supporters of the Fisher workers within the medical community have formed the Physicians and Scientists for Justice for Fisher Employees, whose roster now includes well over 100 members who are working with legislative bodies in other cities to secure resolutions similar to the one passed in New York City.
 -0- 2/24/93
 /CONTACT: Nancy Stella or Matt Witt of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 202-624-6911/


CO: International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Fisher Scientific ST: New York IN: SU:

KD -- DC015 -- 9989 02/24/93 14:43 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 24, 1993
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