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General Laws

Section 1. The denial by employers of the right of employees to organize and the refusal by employers to accept the procedure of collective bargaining lead to strikes and other forms of industrial strife or unrest, which have the intent or the necessary effect of burdening or obstructing industry and trade by (a) impairing the efficiency, safety or operation of the instrumentalities of industry and trade; (b) occurring in the current of industry and trade; (c) materially affecting, restraining or controlling the flow of raw materials or manufactured or processed goods, or the prices of such materials or goods; or (d) causing diminution of employment and wages in such volume as substantially to impair or disrupt the market for such goods in industry or trade.

The inequality of bargaining power between employees who do not possess full freedom of association or actual liberty of contract, and employers who are organized in the corporate or other forms of ownership association substantially burdens and affects industry and trade, and tends to aggravate recurrent business depressions, by depressing wage rates and the purchasing power of wage earners in industry and by preventing the stabilization of competitive wage rates and working conditions within and between industries.

Experience has proved that protection by law of the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively safeguards industry and trade from injury, impairment or interruption, and promotes the flow of industry and trade by removing certain recognized sources of industrial strife and unrest, by encouraging practices fundamental to the friendly adjustment of industrial disputes arising out of differences as to wages, hours or other working conditions, and by restoring equality of bargaining power between employers and employees.

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the commonwealth to eliminate the causes of certain substantial obstructions to the free flow of industry and trade and to mitigate and eliminate these obstructions when they have occurred by encouraging the practice and procedure of collective bargaining and by protecting the exercise by workers of full freedom of association, self-organization, and designation of representatives of their own choosing, for the purpose of negotiating the terms and conditions of their employment or other mutual aid or protection.

It is further declared to be the policy of the commonwealth, in the interests of preserving the continuity and improving the quality of health care within the commonwealth: (a) to promote collective bargaining between health care facilities and their nurse employees and nonprofessional employees, except members of religious orders, irrespective of whether or not any such facility is operated for profit or as a public charity; (b) to protect the right of nurse employees and nonprofessional employees of health care facilities, except members of religious orders, to organize and select collective bargaining representatives of their own choosing; (c) to prevent lockouts, strikes, slowdowns or withholding of goods and services in health care facilities; and (d) to provide for arbitration of disputes or grievances arising between health care facilities and their nurse employees and nonprofessional employees if they cannot be adjusted through collective bargaining.

It is further declared to be the policy of the commonwealth, in the interest of allowing certain employees full freedom of associations and to eliminate strife and other obstructions: (a) to promote collective bargaining between nonprofit institutions and their nonprofessional employees, except members of religious orders, (b) to protect the right of nonprofessional employees of nonprofit institutions, except members of religious orders, to organize and select collective bargaining representatives of their own choosing, and (c) to prevent lockouts, strikes, slowdowns or withholding of goods or services in nonprofit institutions.

It is further declared to be the policy of the commonwealth, in the interest of allowing certain employees full freedom of association and to eliminate strife and other obstructions: (a) to promote collective bargaining between vendors who contract with or receive funds from the commonwealth or its political subdivisions, or both, to provide social, protective, legal, medical, custodial, rehabilitative, respite, nutritional, employment, educational, training, and other similar services to the commonwealth or its political subdivisions and their employees; (b) to protect the right of employees of such vendors to organize and select collective bargaining representatives of their own choosing; (c) to prevent lockouts, strikes, slowdowns or withholding of goods or services.

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