News Release

Federal Settlement Will Force SEIU to Leave Local Hospital Workers Alone

Union organizers conspired to force healthcare workers into union ranks using coercive “card check” tactics

Orange, CA (August 3, 2012) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, Chapman Medical Center workers have won federal settlements that will remove unwanted Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Workers West officials' representation from their workplace.

Chapman management and SEIU officials have signed National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) settlements after Marlene Felter of Costa Mesa filed charges with the agency in response to SEIU organizers colluding with Chapman management to illegally rig a union organizing "vote" to pave the way for the union to claim to "represent" the workers. Under the settlements, SEIU must give up its "exclusive representation" and Chapman will publicly withdraw recognition of the union.

SEIU and hospital officials entered into a backroom deal, known as a so-called "neutrality agreement," in which hospital management 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 union representation and 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 bosses' so-called "representation." Instead of respecting the employees' wishes, Chapman management accepted SEIU officials as the workers' monopoly bargaining agents after a rigged "card count" was held. Chapman and SEIU officials were in the process of negotiating a contract which almost certainly would 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 NLRB Regional Office subpoenaed records from SEIU and found that SEIU union bosses illegally claimed to represent the Chapman workers without majority support.

"Chapman and SEIU officials 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. This further makes the case that California desperately needs a Right to Work law on the books making union affiliation completely voluntary."

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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