Houston Nurses Derail Union Sham Election

In another egregious example of Top Down union organizing, California Nurse Association (CNA) union officials and Tenet Medical Corporation attempted to corral unwilling nurses into union ranks by agreeing to forgo federal supervision during unionization elections.

With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, several nurses filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Now we learn that the NLRB has decided to put the sham "elections" on hold pending an official investigation into the charges. Here's an excerpt from the Foundation's press release:

Federal labor prosecutors have blocked a so-called “consent election” sought by the Tenet Healthcare Corporation and the California Nurses Association (CNA) while the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) conducts an inquiry into the legality of a secret backroom deal entered into by Tenet and CNA officials.

The National Labor Relations Board’s Regional Director heeded the wishes of Houston-area nurses who filed unfair labor practice charges against Tenet and the CNA with assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation. The scheduled “consent election” would have determined whether the CNA became the monopoly bargaining agent of nurses at the Houston Northwest Medical Center.

Read the whole thing here.

For more on top-down organizing, check out the Foundation's webpage on the subject.


News Release

Right to Work Foundation Urges Department of Labor Not to Trash Union Disclosure Rules

Obama Administration seems primed to make it easier for union bosses to hide lucrative perks from rank-and-file workers

Washington, DC (March 9, 2009) – Prompted by a Rahm Emanuel directive on Inauguration Day, the U.S. Department of Labor seems ready to discard new union disclosure rules developed over two years by the previous administration.

In response, the National Right to Work Foundation has submitted comments urging the Department to maintain or strengthen rules aimed at curbing union boss corruption.

In late January, the Department of Labor announced that it was considering changes to recently revised LM-2 disclosure guidelines, which require unions to list the specific compensation – financial or otherwise – of individual union officers and to name all parties involved in any union-related transactions. Unions routinely spend millions of dollars on staff compensation, purchases unrelated to collective bargaining, and lavish perks for top union officials. The disclosure requirements are intended to ensure that dues-paying workers have some idea what they’re paying for.

Although Right to Work litigators have previously criticized LM-2 guidelines for not going far enough (the regulations still allow union officials to obscure questionable expenditures through a glaring secrecy loophole), the Foundation recognizes that some financial disclosure is better than none.

As Right to Work President Mark Mix noted in the Foundation’s formal comments, union members and workers forced to pay union dues have the right to know where their money is going:

“Does the Secretary believe that hardworking Americans would be better off if embezzlement and self-enrichment is made easier for men such as these? Isn’t it better to err on the side of a little more disclosure, than to allow crooks another place on the LM-2 to hide millions of hard-earned dollars?”

Moreover, the Department of Labor only solicited outside comments on the LM-2 revisions for an extremely short 30 day period. The Department also refused the Foundation’s request to extend the window for public comments from workers, unions, and other concerned organizations.

“The Administration is threatening to scrap two years of public comment, deliberation, and carefully crafted disclosure guidelines simply because Big Labor wants them to,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Such an action would betray Obama’s promise to increase transparency and only serves union bosses, not workers.”

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.

New Right to Work Podcast: Big Labor's Bailout

In this week's episode, Foundation VP Stefan Gleason sits down with Stanley Greer, Senior Research Director at the National Institute for Labor Relations Research, to discuss the proposed $25+ billion auto industry and UAW union bailout, and the close connection between compulsory unionism and Detroit's economic woes. Check it out:

Click here to download this episode

You can also listen to the Foundation's podcast via iTunes or manually subscribe to the feed.

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Practice What You Preach, You Hypocrite

Politico reports that House Dems are gearing up for a battle over the chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee between Representatives Waxman and Dingell:

The race itself remains a tough one to call. “I’m not even sure the candidates know,” said Washington Rep. Jay Inslee, a Waxman supporter.

And most lawmakers dread picking sides.

Asked who she would be supporting, Rules Chairwoman Louise McIntosh Slaughter of New York exclaimed, “Oh, it’s a secret ballot, thank the Lord.”

But while Slaughter literally praises God for the fact that she can vote in private, she also is a cosponsor of an effort to strip workers of their access to a secret-ballot vote for unionization. Does she even notice the rank hypocrisy?

New Right to Work Podcast: Obama Administration to Pack the NLRB

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the underlying law it enforces are major tools for union bosses to force workers into union collectives and force them to pay union dues. The incoming Obama administration is expected to help Big Labor use the NLRB even more aggressively in its war against employee free choice.

Today, Foundation VP Stefan Gleason is joined by former NLRB Member John Raudabaugh, who reveals some disturbing things American workers and businesses should expect from the Obama NLRB:

You can also listen to the Foundation's podcast via iTunes or manually subscribe to the feed.

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player above. To ensure the podcast plays correctly just click here to listen.]


Dear SEIU President Andrew Stern: What's the going rate for a U.S. Senator?

[For more on this scandal, see this post: SEIU Bosses Gave Gov. Blagojevich More Than $1.7 Million Already, Not Including Possible Payout for Senate Seat]

By now, many of you have already heard about the pay-for-play scandal enveloping Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Unsurprisingly, Blago's corrupt antics are intimately connected to Big Labor. In return for a cushy appointment at the SEIU's Change to Win coalition, he apparently offered to name SEIU's hand-picked candidate to Barack Obama's newly-vacant senate seat (from the federal complaint .pdf):

Defendants ROD BLAGOJEVICH and [his aide] JOHN HARRIS, together with others, attempted to use ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s authority to appoint a United States Senator for the purpose of obtaining personal benefits for ROD BLAGOJEVICH, including, among other things, appointment as Secretary of Health & Human Services in the President-elect’s administration, and alternatively, a lucrative job which they schemed to induce a union to provide to ROD BLAGOJEVICH in exchange for appointing as senator an individual whom ROD BLAGOJEVICH and JOHN HARRIS believed to be favored by union officials and their associates.


HARRIS said they could work out a three-way deal with SEIU and the President-elect where SEIU could help the President-elect with ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s appointment of Senate Candidate 1 to the vacant Senate seat, ROD BLAGOJEVICH would obtain a position as the National Director of the Change to Win campaign, and SEIU would get something favorable from the President-elect in the future.

The SEIU, of course, is denying any connection to the Blagojevich bribe, which is a bit hard to swallow given the circumstances. Here's another damning excerpt from the charges (emphasis mine):

On November 12, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH spoke with SEIU Official, who was in Washington, D.C. Prior intercepted phone conversations indicate that approximately a week before this call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH met with SEIU Official to discuss the vacant Senate seat, and ROD BLAGOJEVICH understood that SEIU Official was an emissary to discuss Senate Candidate 1’s interest in the Senate seat. During the conversation with SEIU Official on November 12, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH informed SEIU Official that he had heard the President-elect wanted persons other than Senate Candidate 1 to be considered for the Senate seat.

SEIU Official stated that he would find out if Senate Candidate 1 wanted SEIU Official to keep pushing her for Senator with ROD BLAGOJEVICH. ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that “one thing I’d be interested in” is a 501(c)(4) organization. ROD BLAGOJEVICH explained the 501(c)(4)idea to SEIU Official and said that the 501(c)(4) could help “our new Senator [Senate Candidate 1].” SEIU Official agreed to “put that flag up and see where it goes.”

For those of you wondering, "Senate Candidate 1" is Valerie Jarrett, the SEIU's once-favored choice for the Illinois senate vacancy. As the excerpted segment shows, the feds also have an anonymous SEIU official agreeing on tape to convey Blago's proposed bribe to his superiors.

BREAKING NEWS: Notwithstanding SEIU denials, Politico reports a Democrat source has revealed the unnamed SEIU official is none other than President Andrew Stern himself.

UPDATE: NPR now reports that the SEIU official was actually Tom Balanoff, the union's Illinois chief.

Blago's abortive bargain was a pretty sweet deal. The Illinois governor would have picked up a plum SEIU job funded by forced union dues, while Big Labor would have gotten another bought-and-paid-for senator.

The workers funding Blago's lavish new salary and the SEIU's vast political apparatus may have felt left out of the deal, but that's just the way Big Labor operates.

Just another example of the corruption that goes hand-in-hand with the injustice of forced unionism.

BlagoGate II - Podcast Edition

Foundation VP Stefan Gleason sits down with Hot Air's Ed Morrissey to discuss disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's connection to union corruption:

You can also listen to the Foundation's podcast via iTunes or manually subscribe to the feed. The Foundation's previous coverage of Blagojevich can be found here, here, and here.

[Note: Some listeners have reported technical difficulties while using the Firefox web browser. If you're having problems, click here to listen.]

Video: Foundation Discusses Blagojevich's Corrupt Ties to Top SEIU Union Bosses on Fox Chicago

A Fox affiliate in Chicago investigated Blagojevich's corrupt relationship with the powerful Service Employees International Union (SEIU). We've got the video, which includes a clip from Foundation VP Stefan Gleason:

For more on Blagojevich's connection to the SEIU, be sure to check out the Foundation's latest podcast.

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