AFL-CIO Opposes Lifespan Merger (posted February 12, 2000)

The Rhode Island AFL-CIO announced in a press release this week that it opposes the proposed merger between Lifespan and Care New England hospital systems. AFL-CIO President Frank Montanaro stated, "The Executive Board of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO has voted unanimously to oppose the merger of Lifespan and Care New England. This proposed merger of Lifespan and Care New England will create a virtual monopoly in the health care provider community. A monopoly that will place working people directly in harm's way. It is anti-patient, anti-worker, and will ultimately lead to a deterioration of quality health care. We have agreed to mobilize union households in the state in opposition to this proposed merger to preserve accessibility and affordability within our health care system."

The proposed merger between Lifespan and Care New England is presently being reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission and the Rhode Island Attorney General's office. Union officials cited a series of potential problems the proposed merger could cause for Rhode Island's working families:

President Montanaro concluded, "While we are fully cognizant that a heath care crisis exists in Rhode Island, creating a monopoly in our hospital system is counterproductive to finding a permanent solution. The approval of this monopolistic merger would just place patients' and health care workers' interests in a more precarious position."