The Illinois Nurses Association has filed an unfair labor practice complaint over the planned closing of seven medical clinics at Walgreens stores, including one in Joliet.
The INA represents 13 nurses affected by the closings.
The Joliet clinic is in the Walgreens at 1801 Ingalls Ave. That clinic and the others are scheduled to close Feb. 15.
The complaint was filed against Advocate Health Care, which operates the clinics through its Advocate Medical Group division.
The other clinics are in Naperville, Yorkville, Carol Stream, Oak Park, River Forest and Sycamore.
“The closure of these clinics are an attempt by Advocate Medical Group to increase profits by taking away health care services and jobs from the communities the nurse practitioners serve,” INA Executive Director Alice Johnson said in a written statement.
The complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board seeks a justification for the proposed closures. It also seeks Advocate communications related to the closings.
Advocate Medical Group issued a statement accusing the union of “an attempt to take advantage of this situation for the union’s personal gain.”
“We categorically deny the allegations and are, in fact, still waiting to hear back from the union on our offer to meet with them,” the Advocate statement said.
The union has been unable to negotiate a contract for nurses at the clinics at those stores and others since Advocate bought them from Walgreens in 2016, union spokesman Chris Martin said.
Advocate bought the clinics when the nurses already were in the union, according to an INA news release. The nurses joined the union in 2011.
The union has filed previous unfair labor practice complaints in 2016 over unsuccessful attempts to open negotiations with Advocate, the union said in the news release.