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WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, 2023
  IAM Healthcare, a part of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), is joining a growing chorus of healthcare worker and patient advocates opposing a proposed merger of Upper Midwest healthcare conglomerates Sanford Health and M Health Fairview.

The IAM, which represents more than 10,000 healthcare workers across the U.S. and Canada, including within the Sanford Health system, is committed to putting the interests of the communities affected over corporate interests. A large body of research shows that health care provider consolidation tends to raise patient costs without clear indication of quality improvements, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced that every community needs accessible and affordable healthcare available to them,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “We cannot continue to value the corporate bottom line over the healthcare needs of our families.”

South Dakota-based Sanford Health has a troubling track record of post-merger cuts and layoffs. After merging with Good Samaritan Society in 2018, Sanford closed at least nine nursing homes from November 2021 to June 2022.

“IAM Healthcare professionals and every doctor, nurse and other worker in the Sanford and Fairview Systems deserve a voice in this process,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “The IAM will stand with our members and these communities to ensure that patient care and working conditions are put first.”

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers is one of the largest and most diverse industrial trade unions in North America, representing approximately 600,000 active and retired members in the aerospace, defense, airlines, railroad, transit, healthcare, automotive, and other industries.