Obama: "Tear Down This Notice!" Executive Order To Keep Employees In the Dark Takes Effect

Regular Freedom@Work readers will remember our extensive coverage of Barack Obama's numerous executive orders (during the first month of his Presidency) paying back union bosses for their efforts getting him into the White House.

Yesterday, a provision in Obama's January 30 executive order took effect -- revoking former-President Bush's February 2001 executive order which required federal contractors to post notices in the workplace simply informing employees of their right to refrain from formal, dues paying union membership and withhold forced dues for everything but the documented cost of collective bargaining. 

The Obama directive is intended to ensure millions of workers do not learn of their right, won in the National Right to Work Foundation's precedent-setting U.S. Supreme Court victory Communication Workers v. Beck, to withhold forced union dues earmarked for union politics, lobbying, and other non-bargaining activities.

This is just the first of many steps by Barack Obama and his Big Labor cronies (for example, his Labor Secretary Hilda Solis) are already taking to help union bosses to seize more forced dues revenue to fund Big Labor’s political agenda.

News Release

Federal Labor Board to Prosecute Tenet Healthcare for Scheme to Sweep Nurses into Unionization

Tenet and union bosses signed backroom deal to eliminate employee protections and create phony unionization “election” process

Houston, Texas (April 3, 2009) – National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) prosecutors have filed a complaint this week against Tenet Healthcare Corporation after it entered into a backroom deal with union officials designed to force nurses into union ranks at multiple Houston-area hospitals.

With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, two Houston-area nurses, Esther Marissa Cuellar, a nurse at Tenet’s Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center, and Linda D. Bertrand, a nurse at Tenet’s Park Plaza Hospital and Medical Center, filed unfair labor practice charges alleging that an “Election Procedures Arrangement” (EPA) Tenet and California Nurses Association (CNA) union officials secretly established violates employees’ rights.

The unfair labor practice charges also allege that Tenet officials provided CNA union operatives with unlawful organizing assistance in violation of federal statutes: In Tenet healthcare facilities, outside union organizers are given free reign to aggressively push for a union presence; but Tenet nurses who oppose unionization, on the other hand, are forbidden from using Tenet facilities to express their views.

The NLRB regional office in Fort Worth consolidated the two nurses’ charges and filed a formal complaint against Tenet Healthcare Corporation. Trial proceedings in the case are scheduled to take place before an NLRB Administrative Law Judge at the NLRB Courtroom in Houston on May 26.

“CNA union bosses and complicit Tenet Corporation officials must be held accountable for this scheme to push nurses into union ranks,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “CNA union bosses are pursuing a coercive organizing campaign – making it more difficult for employees to resist the CNA’s professional union organizers – to force unwilling nurses across the state of Texas and our country into forced-dues-paying union ranks.”

To date, CNA union organizers have successfully obtained monopoly bargaining privileges at one Houston-area Tenet healthcare facility under similarly controversial circumstances and have expanded their coercive organizing efforts in Tenet facilities nationwide. Recently a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-area registered nurse, with help from National Right to Work Foundation attorneys, filed similar unfair labor practice charges against Tenet and CNA union officials.

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.

Federal Labor Board to Prosecute Tenet Healthcare for Scheme to Sweep Nurses into Unionization

News Release

Federal Labor Board to Prosecute Tenet Healthcare for Scheme to Sweep Nurses into Unionization

Employees seek to throw out union after union bosses’ ugly campaign of harassment and coercion

Houston, Texas (April 3, 2009) — National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) prosecutors have filed a complaint this week against Tenet Healthcare Corporation after it entered into a backroom deal with union officials designed to force nurses into union ranks at multiple Houston-area hospitals.

With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, two Houston-area nurses, Esther Marissa Cuellar, a nurse at Tenet’s Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center, and Linda D. Bertrand, a nurse at Tenet’s Park Plaza Hospital and Medical Center, filed unfair labor practice charges alleging that an “Election Procedures Arrangement” (EPA) Tenet and California Nurses Association (CNA) union officials secretly established violates employees’ rights.

The unfair labor practice charges also allege that Tenet officials provided CNA union operatives with unlawful organizing assistance in violation of federal statutes: In Tenet healthcare facilities, outside union organizers are given free reign to aggressively push for a union presence; but Tenet nurses who oppose unionization, on the other hand, are forbidden from using Tenet facilities to express their views.

(Continue reading this news release...)

A Bigger Big Labor?

To regular readers of Freedom@Work, it's certainly no secret that Big Labor's union bosses, in the face of greater difficulty in winning workers over voluntarily, are always working to come up with new schemes to force workers into full-dues-paying union membership.

Of course, one major way union bosses get around this inconvenient truth is to use workers' forced dues for politics, essentially buying political power to steer our already intrusive Federal government toward coercive policy to force more workers into union ranks.

On Tuesday, Big Labor's upper echelon announced the formation of a committee dedicated to an alliance of our nation's 12 largest unions.   The unification committee is to be led by Big Labor front group "American Rights at Work" President David Bonior.  Their goal?  You guessed it:  wielding the power of the Federal government to coerce more workers into forced unionism.

Union bosses are prone to freely and constantly shift their associations with each other.  But every day they hypocritically infringe on workers' own freedom of association.

After Second Vote to Oust Union, Judge Rules Workers Still Forced to Accept Unwanted Union 'Representation'

Last month, a California Agricultural Relations Board Administrative Law Judge threw out the result of a 2007 E&J Gallo’s Sonoma County vineyards employees election to oust the United Farm Workers (UFW) union as their monopoly bargaining agent.

The 2007 decertification election was the second time in less than five years the E&J Gallo's workforce voted to remove the unwanted UFW union from their workplace.  The judge ruled that the company failed to provide an accurate list to the UFW union bosses in the lead up to the election.  Unfortunately, the clear will of the employees and a 30-vote margin was ignored due to the scorned union bosses' exploitation of an apparent clerical error on the part of the company.

However, the case isn’t over yet.  National Right to Work Foundation attorneys are helping lead petitioner Roberto Parra appeal the judge's erroneous decision.  Of course, the Foundation will keep you informed on any developments in this case and others on our website and on our Freedom@Work blog.

Your Legal Rights: Public School Teacher or College Professor

[En español] 
[En español] 

Below is a sample union resignation letter. Send the original to the union, send a copy to your employer, and save a copy for your files. You should check your union's constitution and bylaws to see if it specifies to whom a resignation must be sent. You should also check with the union to see if it has a policy concerning when and to hom objections to the amount of the union fees should be submitted.

[LETTER TO UNION:

SEND BY CERTIFIED MAIL,

RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED]

[your address]

[date]

[name and address of union]
[Name of appropriate union officer]:

I hereby resign as a member of [name of union].  My resignation is effective immediately upon its receipt by the union or its agent. I will continue to meet my lawful obligation of paying a representation fee to the union under its "union security" agreement with [name of employer].

Furthermore, I object to collection and expenditure of a fee for any purpose other than my pro rata share of the union's costs of collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment, as is my constitutional right under Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977).  Pursuant to Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson, 475 U.S. 292 (1986), I request that you provide me with my First-Amendment procedural rights, including: reduction of my fees to an amount that includes only constitutionally chargeable costs; notice of the calculation of that amount, verified by an independent certified public accountant; and notice of the procedure that you have adopted to hold my fees in an interest-bearing escrow account and give me an opportunity to challenge your calculation and have it reviewed by an impartial decisionmaker.

[If you pay dues by payroll deduction, include the following:  Accordingly, I also hereby notify you that I wish to authorize only the deduction from my wages of representation fees limited to those costs that are lawfully chargeable under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. If I am required to sign a form to make that change, please provide me with the necessary form.]

Please reply promptly. Any further collection or expenditure of dues or fees from me made without the procedural safeguards required by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution will violate my civil rights under the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S. Code § 1983, and the U.S. Constitution. 

Finally, please consider this objection to be permanent and continuing in nature.

Sincerely yours,

[name]

cc: [name of employer]


[LETTER TO EMPLOYER:

SEND BY CERTIFIED MAIL,

RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED]

[your address]
[date]

[name and address of department responsible for payroll deductions]

[To appropriate payroll department management employee]:

Today I submitted my resignation from [name of the union]. A copy of my letter to the union is enclosed. I will continue to meet my lawful obligation of paying a representation fee to the union under its "union shop" or "agency shop" agreement with [name of employer].

Furthermore, I object to the collection and expenditure by the union of a fee for any purpose other than my pro rata share of the union's costs of collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment, as is my right under Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977).  Pursuant to Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson, 475 U.S. 292 (1986), I request that you ensure that the union provides me with my procedural rights, including those outlined in my letter to the union. If it does not, I ask that [name of employer] provide them.

[If you pay dues by payroll deduction, include this paragraph: Accordingly, I also hereby notify you that I wish to authorize only the deduction of representation fees. If I am required to sign a new deduction authorization form to make that change, please provide me with the necessary form.]

Please reply promptly to my request.  Any further collection or expenditure of dues or fees from me made without the procedural safeguards required by law will violate my rights under the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S. Code § 9, and/or U.S. Constitution.

Sincerely yours,
[name]


If you would like to learn more about your rights as a public school teacher or college professor, click on the appropriate question below:

Oklahoma Leader of Professional, Non-Union Teachers Receives High Recognition from National Right to Work

On April 24, the National Right to Work Committee presented Professional Oklahoma Educators (POE) executive director Ginger Tinney with the Carol Applegate Education Award.

Ginger Tinney (center) with National Right to Work Chairman of the Executive Committee Reed Larson and President Mark Mix
Ginger Tinney (center) with National Right to Work Chairman of the Executive Committee Reed Larson and President Mark Mix 

Tinney was a teacher for more than 11 years before taking on her full-time role as executive director of POE. She taught in both regular and special education, at elementary and secondary grade levels, and in urban and rural school districts.

Vice president of National Right to Work Stefan Gleason stated in the POE's news release:

“We have had the pleasure of working with Ginger Tinney over many years, and we’ve always been impressed with her leadership skills, her passion for teacher excellence, and her passion for the principles of freedom and volunteerism that embody the Right to Work cause."

The Carol Applegate Education Award is presented annually by the Committee’s Board of Directors to exceptional educators who take courageous stands against the coercive policies of the National Education Association (NEA) union. The award is named in honor of Carol Applegate, a longtime English teacher who refused to formally join the NEA union and was fired from her job.

A longtime member of Concerned Educators Against Forced Unionism (an umbrella organization established by the National Right to Work Foundation), the Professional Oklahoma Educators is a all voluntary professional educators association that serves more than 4,000 teachers, administrators, and support professionals in Oklahoma. The group puts children first and focuses on true professionalism, unlike its militant union counterpart. For more information on the POE, click here.

Professional Oklahoma Educators

Greedy Detroit Union Boss Threatens Firings: Teachers, Your Money or Your Jobs!

The Detroit Free Press reports that the Detroit Federation of Teachers union is threatening to have up to 70 teachers fired for not paying forced union dues.  A school district error is mainly responsible for the mix up. 

Yet, because of the clerical error, union official Mark O'Keefe stated that the "fair" thing to do would be to fire the teachers who fail to pay the full union dues.

No, Mark.  The "fair" thing to do is to not require teachers to pay ANY union dues as a condition of teaching Detroit's schoolchildren.


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