Washington, DC (February 16, 2010) – After a protracted legal battle, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel has sustained part of an appeal filed by National Right to Work Foundation attorneys challenging a backroom unionization deal between Tenet Healthcare Corporation and the California Nurses Association (CNA) union.
As part of their efforts to forcibly unionize hospital employees across the country, CNA officials and Tenet Corporation agreed to a series of measures designed to impose union monopoly bargaining on unwilling nurses. This so-called Election Procedures Agreement (EPA) gave union organizers preferential access to Tenet facilities and gagged nurses who opposed unionization.
The agreement between Tenet and the CNA also subverted the NLRB’s oversight role during workplace elections. Under the CNA union’s scheme, the NLRB’s only role is to count ballots and rubber-stamp the union’s monopoly bargaining privileges, effectively gutting the already limited rights of employees who wish to resist unionization.
With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, nurses in Houston and Philadelphia have repeatedly challenged the legality of this arrangement. In earlier proceedings, Tenet was forced to give nurses who opposed forced unionism equal access to hospital facilities.
A recent appeal filed by Foundation attorneys challenging the EPA was partly sustained by the NLRB’s General Counsel. The General Counsel agreed with Foundation attorneys that a provision of the EPA committing Tenet to binding arbitration if union officials and the company are unable to agree on a first contract constitutes illegal pre-recognition bargaining between the union and the company, allowing union officials to negotiate substantive terms of employment for workers they don’t even represent. The legality of this provision will now be litigated before an administrative law judge and ultimately the federal courts.
“CNA bosses shouldn’t be empowered to negotiate on behalf of workers they don’t even represent,” said Patrick Semmens, legal information director of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Tenet Corporation and CNA operatives have stacked the deck in favor of union organizers, stifling independent-minded employees in an attempt to push Houston and Philadelphia nurses under union boss control, like it or not.”
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.