Top Down Organizing (card check) 

News Release

SEIU and Hospital Officials Hit With Federal Charges for Rigging Union Card Check 'Vote'

Union organizers enter into corrupt agreement with hospital to force healthcare workers into union ranks using coercive card check tactics

Orange, California (February 13, 2012) – A healthcare worker has filed federal charges against a major healthcare union and hospital officials for illegally rigging a union organizing "vote" and then forcing workers to accept an unwanted union in the workplace.

With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, Marlene Felter of Costa Mesa filed the charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Workers West union officials and Chapman Medical Center management entered into a backroom deal known as a so-called "neutrality agreement" designed to grease the skids for workers to be forced into union ranks.

In the agreement, company officials granted union operatives access to company facilities to conduct a coercive "card check" organizing campaign, and waived the right to have a federally-supervised secret ballot election to determine whether employees wished to be unionized. Union organizers frequently use "card check" organizing tactics to bribe, browbeat, or cajole workers into forced-union-dues payments against their will.

In response to the union's coercive tactics, a majority of hospital workers signed cards, letters, and petitions stating that they did not want the SEIU union bosses' so-called "representation." Instead of respecting the employees' wishes, Chapman officials accepted SEIU union officials as the workers' monopoly bargaining agents after a rigged "card count" was held. Chapman and SEIU officials are now negotiating a contract, which almost certainly will include a provision to force the workers to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment because California does not have a Right to Work law that makes union membership and dues payment strictly voluntary.

The federal unfair labor practice charges ask for an injunction to stop hospital and SEIU officials from illegally negotiating a contract on the basis of the fraudulent "card check" union recognition because the union does not have majority support of the workforce.

"Chapman and SEIU officials have colluded to shove SEIU union bosses' 'representation' – and with it forced dues payments – down workers' throats," said Mark Mix, President of National Right to Work. "Schemes like this show that the ultimate goal of union officials is more forced dues collected from workers, even when rank-and-file employees want nothing to do with the union."

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Right to Work Foundation Announces New Addition to Legal Team

Regent-trained attorney dedicated to the cause of individual liberty for America's workers

Washington, DC (January 30, 2012) – The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation has hired Sarah Hartsfield of Austin, Texas, as an addition to its legal staff.

Hartsfield is a recently sworn in member of the Virginia State Bar and 2011 graduate of the Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

"Sarah brings to the Foundation a real commitment to defending and advancing individual liberty against the injustices of compulsory unionism," said Ray LaJeunesse, vice president and legal director of the National Right to Work Foundation.

"She will assist the Foundation's cutting-edge legal team in defending America's workers from Big Labor's growing influence in the public sector, enforcing individual employees' rights against compulsory unionism, and establishing new precedents to increase workplace freedom for America’s workers."

As the newest of the Foundation's 12 staff attorneys, Hartsfield will help build on the Foundation's litigation record for union-abused workers that includes 15 cases at the United States Supreme Court, seven of which were won in whole or in part, and one of which was argued earlier this month. Currently, National Right to Work Foundation attorneys represent thousands of workers in nearly 200 active cases nationwide.

Before joining the Foundation, Hartsfield served as an intern for the Singer Legal Group in Virginia Beach, Virginia and the Chesapeake Public Defender's Office in Chesapeake, Virginia. She was also an intern, and later an executive assistant, at the Ashcroft Group, L.L.C. in Washington, D.C.

While at Regent, Hartsfield participated in a variety of activities and clubs and was an Associate Member of Regent's Moot Court Board, competed in numerous moot court competitions, and was a member of the Student Ambassador program. She holds a bachelors degree in Government from the University of Texas, where she graduated in 2008.

Read more about the Foundation's legal team here.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Hotel Officials, Union Bosses Hit With Multiple Federal Labor Board Charges for Abusive Organizing Tactics

Union organizers verbally abuse Marriott employees and spy on workers in changing rooms after striking backroom deal with company officials

New York, NY (January 24, 2012) – A group of New York City Marriott (NYSE: MAR) employees – acting on behalf of their coworkers – have filed federal charges against the company and a local union for workplace intimidation and harassment.

The three SoHo Marriott employees filed the charges at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation attorneys.

New York Hotel & Motel Trades Council Local 6 union organizers entered into a backroom deal with company officials that allows union organizers unfettered access to the employees in order to install a union in the workplace.

Abusing this privilege, union organizers are attempting to browbeat the workers into supporting the union through a prolonged campaign of intimidation and harassment. Meanwhile, company officials deny workers' attempts to meet on company grounds.

Union officials have used video cameras in employee changing rooms, accessed employee lockers and handled employees' personal possessions, and have even resorted to verbal abuse. Union officials even took photographs of a female employee without her consent while she was changing her uniform in an employee changing room.

Moreover, company and union officials are retaliating against workers who dare to exercise their right to refrain from union affiliation. For example, at least three workers were illegally interrogated and disciplined by company officials at the behest of union bosses.

In response, the workers unanimously signed a petition showing that they do not support the union hierarchy's presence in the workplace.

"Union and company officials have colluded to force the union bosses' so-called 'representation' on these workers," said Mark Mix, President of National Right to Work. "Marriott workers are being subjected to a vicious campaign of intimidation – including sexual harassment – at the hands of forced-dues hungry union bosses and with the approval of weak-kneed company officials."

"New York desperately needs a Right to Work law to protect workers from forced unionism abuses like this in the future," added Mix.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Appeals Court OKs Worker’s Legal Challenge to Backroom Deal between Union, Casino

Court rules that union deal to receive valuable organizing assistance from a company may violate anti-bribery labor laws

Boca Raton, FL (January 19, 2012) – With the help of National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Mardi Gras Gaming employee Martin Mulhall has won the right to proceed with a case challenging a backroom organizing deal between the UNITE HERE Local 355 union and his employer. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s dismissal and remanded the case to Florida District Court for a decision on the merits.

In 2004, UNITE HERE Local 355 and Mardi Gras Gaming entered into an agreement in which union officials promised to spend over one hundred thousand dollars on a gambling ballot initiative and guaranteed not to picket, boycott, or strike against Mardi Gras facilities.

In return, Mardi Gras agreed to hand over employees’ personal contact information (including home addresses), grant union operatives access to company facilities during a coercive ‘card check’ organizing campaign, and refrain from requesting a federally-supervised secret ballot election to determine whether its employees unionized.

With the help of Foundation attorneys, Mulhall sued UNITE HERE in 2008. Mulhall argues that the company’s concessions to the union are of substantial monetary value because they made the union organizing process easier and less expensive.

To prevent backroom deals that undermine employee rights, Section 302 of the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) prohibits employers from giving “any money or other thing of value” to unions. Although a Florida District Court dismissed Mulhall’s case on the grounds that the company’s organizing assistance was not a thing of value, the Court of Appeals reversed that decision, noting that the company’s support could be of substantial value to a union.

So-called “neutrality agreements” like the one agreed to by UNITE HERE and Mardi Gras Gaming give union organizers license to browbeat and intimidate workers into acceding to unionization. Armed with employees’ home addresses and access to company facilities, union officials frequently harass and cajole workers on and off the job until they sign cards that are then counted as “votes” for unionization.

“We’re pleased that Martin Mulhall’s efforts to challenge this corrupt bargain – a clear violation of Section 302 of the LMRA – are moving forward,” said Patrick Semmens, legal information director for the National Right to Work Foundation. “Federal law is supposed to protect employees from exactly this type of backroom deal, in which union officials sell out worker interests for an agreement that pushes more employees into the union’s dues-paying ranks.”

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.

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