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California nurses' union reaches out

February 20, 2009 |  6:03 pm

An aggressive California nurses union will join with two others across the country to create what they say will be the largest registered nurses union in the nation.

The new group, the United American Nurses-National Nurses Organizing Committee, will merge United American Nurses, the Massachusetts Nurses Assn. and California Nurses Assn./National Nurses Organizing Committee, which together represent 150,000 nurses.

Rose Ann Demoro, president of the 85,000-member California Nurses Assn., said the move is meant to capitalize on labor’s longed-for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, which will revamp labor laws to make union membership easier.

She said a minority of nurses have union representation and that those who do are served by a patchwork of groups. The new group’s focus will be on adding new members and trying to speak with a single voice for nurses.

“We’re really trying to build something pretty profound,” DeMoro said.

--Evelyn Larrubia