Twenty-nine employes of Lebanon Hospital and an “unknown number” at Beth Israel, both affiliated with the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies, have been discharged for participation in a protest walkout Tuesday against low wages, according to a statement yesterday from the Association of Federation Workers, an organization claiming a membership of 800 among the workers in Federation institutions.
Louis J. Frank, superintendent of Beth Israel Hospital, denied that any workers were discharged and L. Victor Weil, president of Lebanon, admitting that twenty-nine workers were discharged, declared that the action was taken because the walkout had endangered the safety of the hospital’s patients.
If a statement to the Jewish Daily Bulletin, Mr. Weil charged that many workers were intimidated into walking out and decried the “agitation of a few employes interested in building up an organization which is quite apart from hospital activity.”
No one could be reached at the office of the association with authority to answer these charges, but it was revealed that an executive meeting had been called for last night at the Central Jewish Institute where the situation was to be discussed.
Solomon Loewenstein, executive vice-president of the Federation, to whom the Association announced it had appealed for aid in gaining the reinstatement of the discharged workers, refused to comment.
Meanwhile, it was understood that all other employes who had walked out were back at work yesterday. The walkout, which was called Tuesday in an effort to gain recognition of the Association and its demands for wage adjustments, involved Lebanon, Montefiore and Beth Israel Hospitals.
HITS LACK OF NOTICE
Mr. Weil’s statement follows:
“Twenty-nine employes of Lebanon Hospital walked out without giving the hospital an opportunity to make provision for the care of the patients. The walkout endangered the safety and welfare of the patients and was due entirely to the agitation of a few employes who were interested chiefly in building up an organization which is quite apart from hospital activity.
“Lebanon is assured that a number of those who walked out did so through fear of bodily harm. The hospital is now equipped with additional help and is functioning as usual. The trustees of Lebanon Hospital will use every means so that the sick and needy will be given proper attention as heretofore and that the loyal employes who placed their responsibility to sick patients above any other consideration are properly protected.”
At a mass-meeting Tuesday of the employes who had walked out it was announced that 300 workers remained in their jobs to act as skeleton staffs so that patients would not be endangered.