WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — The D.C. Council is getting involved in a dispute between nurses and George Washington University Hospital (GWUH) over a potential union.

The D.C. Nurses Association (DCNA) filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) at the end of March after, the DCNA said, a nurse was fired for supporting the union campaign.

DCNA filed a petition with the NLRB asking for an election to organize a union on March 15.

“We have clear majority support,” said Ed Smith, Executive Director of DCNA.

Smith said nurses at George Washington University Hospital (GWHU) are overworked and understaffed, and they want respect.

“For years, when nurses tried to raise complaints or tried to get management to help them do their jobs properly, either equipment issues or staffing issues, it fell on deaf ears,” Smith said.

About a month ago, Smith reached out to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson. Smith said it was because the hospital is not following federal law.

“We started hearing reports about management ripping down signs, spying people trying to see who was at union meetings, trying to see who (were) the union leaders from the nurses,” Smith said.

In turn, nine councilmembers signed a letter last week, calling on the hospital to reinstate the nurse whom it fired, refrain from illegal conduct that violates employees’ rights to organize and hold a fair and free election in a neutral location.

“To date, management continues to violate the law, but the charges are being investigated, and it’s just a matter of waiting for the NLRB to hopefully issue a complaint,” Smith said.

DC News Now reached out to GWHU and its parent company, Universal Health Services. They said they had no comment.

The NLRB held a hearing in mid-April. It’s not clear when a decision could come down, directing an election. Smith said he’s confident that out of the 750 nurses on staff, there will be a majority to win the vote.