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Two El Paso Hospitals Face Federal Prosecution for Violating Nurses' Rights

News Release

Two El Paso Hospitals Face Federal Prosecution for Violating Nurses' Rights

Union and hospital officials entered into underhanded agreement to foist union representation on nurses

El Paso, TX (December 19, 2012) – Two local hospitals are facing a federal prosecution for denying access to nurses opposed to unionization while giving union organizers preferential access in order to unionize the nurses.

In the wake of federal charges filed by two nurses with free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office in Phoenix issued formal complaints against Tenet Hospitals Ltd. and its two hospitals in El Paso, Providence Memorial Hospital and Sierra Medical Center.

California Nurses Association-affiliated National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC) union officials entered into a "neutrality agreement" with Tenet designed to grease the skids for the nurses' unionization. Tenet was applying that agreement when it took its illicit action to discriminate against nurses opposed to NNOC union representation.

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UPDATE: California union bosses meet resistance from nurses nationwide

Last week, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Workers West organizers in Orange County, California were booted out of a hospital for the second time this year.

SEIU officials have been trying to unionize workers at Chapman Medical Center through a backroom deal known as a "neutrality agreement" designed to grease the skids for workers to be forced into union ranks.

The agreement was anything but "neutral": Company officials granted union operatives access to company facilities to conduct a coercive "card check" organizing campaign in which union organizers pressure workers to fill out cards that count as votes for union control of the workplace. Meanwhile, Chapman waived the right to have a federally-supervised secret ballot election to determine whether employees really wish to be unionized.

SEIU organizers resorted to harassing late night phone calls, blocking workers' driveways while they were heading to work, bribing workers with food to sign "cards" that would later count as "votes," and stalking workers.  One time, workers even had to resort to calling the police to remove the unwanted SEIU militants from their workplace.

Even though Chapman workers won a settlement from the SEIU over the summer which forced the union to renounce the "recognition" it received from Chapman and forego the use of card check, union organizers managed to force a unionization election. The SEIU hierarchy lost again, 90 to 48.

Meanwhile, across the nation, the California-based National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC) union hierarchy is on a crusade to unionize "every nurse in the nation." As a result, NNOC union bosses have entered into "neutrality agreements" with nationwide healthcare providers Tenet Healthcare Corporation (NYSE: THC) and HCA Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HCA), among others. 

Nurses from across the country, from Texas to Pennsylvania and Florida are speaking out against the forced unionization of their workplaces.

One major flashpoint in this nationwide battle over nurses' workplaces recently occurred in multiple Tenet-own hospitals in El Paso, Texas. In just 10 days, three nurses from two El Paso hospitals filed federal charges against the NNOC union and Tenet for denying nurses who oppose unionization equal access to discuss the effects of unionization in their workplaces. The NLRB Regional Office in Phoenix has already found merit to some of the charges. 

Moreover, in July, nurses in McAllen, Texas successfully voted the NNOC union hierarchy out of their HCA-owned hospital. And Tenet is facing federal charges in Boca Raton, Florida for enforcing a discriminatory neutrality agreement between its facility there and SEIU organizers.

In El Paso, the NLRB held a unionization election in Sierra Medical Center. And despite all the odds, a tenacious group of nurses managed to hold off the forced unionization of their workplace by 10 votes.

Despite union bosses' crusade to unionize every nurse in the nation, nurses everywhere are fighting back against the forced unionization of their workplaces. 

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