When it comes time for union officials to corral employees into forced dues-paying ranks, they are increasingly using coercive "card check" organizing schemes.

Lisa Eklund, an administrative specialist at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California, experienced this first hand. Service Employees International Union-United Health Care West (SEIU-UHW) union officials attempted to force Kaiser employees into signing union "authorization" cards that would later be counted as "votes" favoring unionization.

Just like that, the SEIU-UHW union gained monopoly bargaining privileges. But union officials and Kaiser could not prove that the union had actual support of a majority of employees. In fact, in a memo that Kaiser Permanente sent to its employees, they even admit that the company did not know how many employees were in the bargaining unit, yet claimed there was majority support for unionization anyway, and was prepared to enter into negotiations with union officials.

Previously, Lisa and three of her coworkers filed federal charges against the union and their employer for manipulating the size of the bargaining unit in order to obtain a majority. Despite requests, union officials were unable to disclose the names of the employees who were eligible to participate in the drive and couldn’t indicate which employees were inside or outside the alleged bargaining unit.

The National Labor Relations Board agreed to investigate and issue a complaint, but within two weeks of that announcement, SEIU-UHW and Kaiser suspiciously abandoned the card count. Having filed follow-up charges, Lisa and her coworkers are currently awaiting an outcome to the board’s investigation.

You can read about several other employees like Karen Mayhew and Mike Ivey who fought back against "card check" organizing schemes with help from the National Right to Work Foundation.

Posted on Sep 11, 2007 in Blog