Orange, California (June 27, 2012) – The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Regional Director in Los Angeles has authorized the issuance of a complaint against a major healthcare union and hospital officials for 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 charges with the NLRB after Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Workers West officials and Chapman Medical Center colluded to illegally rig a union organizing “vote” to pave the way for the union to claim to “represent” the workers.
SEIU officials and Chapman Medical Center management entered into a backroom deal, known as a so-called “neutrality agreement,” in which 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 bosses’ so-called “representation.” Instead of respecting the employees’ wishes, Chapman officials 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 merit to Felter’s charges. The agency will prosecute the union and hospital if a settlement is not reached. Such settlement will, of necessity, include rescission of the union’s representational status at Chapman.
“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. 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, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.