UPMC Employees have the legal right to oppose SEIU union organizing

Washington, DC (May 3, 2013) – The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, a charitable legal aid organization that assists employees nationwide, has announced an offer of free legal assistance to employees of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) who oppose unionization by radical SEIU union bosses, and who may have been harassed or threatened during the SEIU’s on-going aggressive unionization campaign at UPMC and its various hospitals throughout western Pennsylvania, including Presbyterian Shadyside, Magee–Womens Hospital and Montefiore Hospital.

SEIU union bosses have targeted UPMC and thousands of its workers for unionization, using a relentless corporate campaign against the hospital system. Because there is little evidence that UPMC employees are interested in SEIU unionization, SEIU bosses are pressuring UPMC to agree to a secret coercive "neutrality and card check" agreement. Under such an agreement, UPMC employees would be stripped of their right to vote on SEIU unionization in a secret ballot election. Moreover, such an agreement would gag UPMC management and force it to give union bosses employees’ home addresses, phone numbers, and other confidential information. Also, such an agreement would give union organizers preferred access to employees in the hospitals, so that they could be cajoled, coerced and threatened into signing union authorization cards that would be counted as "votes" for unionization.

Ray LaJeunesse, Vice President and Legal Director of the National Right to Work Foundation, responded to the SEIU union’s top-down organizing campaign against UPMC by issuing the following statement:

"UPMC employees have the right to oppose SEIU bosses’ coercive scheme to unionize them and impose forced dues on them. A detailed description of every employee’s legal rights is available on the Foundation’s website here.

"Foundation attorneys are prepared to advise UPMC employees about their workplace rights. We are also prepared to provide free legal assistance to any employees who have been subjected to SEIU union harassment, threats or retaliation for exercising their right to oppose unionization. Employees can call the Foundation toll free at 800-336-3600 or request free legal assistance via email at legal@nrtw.org or via our website, www.nrtw.org.

"The National Right to Work Foundation is committed to helping employees who wish to continue working for UPMC without an unwanted outside intermediary whose only real interest is in forcing them to pay union dues as a condition of employment. UPMC employees can assert their own legal rights to ensure they aren’t subjected to draconian union policies and compulsory dues collections, and Foundation staff attorneys stand ready to assist them."

Under Supreme Court precedent and federal law:

  • Workers have the right to oppose unionization.
  • Workers have the right to refuse to sign union authorization cards.
  • Workers have the right to revoke any union authorization cards they may have signed.
  • It is illegal for workers to be harassed or threatened as a result of their decision to oppose unionization.