Los Gatos, Calif. (April 26, 2004) – A nurse employed by Community Hospital of Los Gatos today filed class-action federal charges against both Tenet Healthcare and the California Nurses Association (CNA) union for attempting to unlawfully corral hospital nurses into unwanted union representation.
The nurse alleges that hospital management granted CNA union officials wide access to the workplace in order to browbeat nurses into signing union authorization cards. CNA officials even began bargaining with Tenet over wages and working conditions without CNA having first obtained support from a majority of employees.
Sherril Hopper, a five-year veteran registered nurse at the San Jose-area hospital, filed the unfair labor practice charges at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with free legal aid from National Right to Work Foundation attorneys.
Hopper alleges that CNA union officials confronted nurses in the hospital parking lot, and misrepresented that the cards were petitions that would help pass a bill supposedly aiding California nurses – rather than something that would be counted as support for unionization. Hopper also reports that numerous coworkers were called and visited at home by CNA union operatives. CNA officials obtained nurses’ home addresses and phone numbers from the hospital without their consent.
Upon receipt of Hopper’s unfair labor practice charges, the NLRB must investigate the allegations and decide whether to issue formal complaints and prosecute the case. The charges seek to bar the company from continuing actively to support union organizing efforts at Tenet’s California hospitals. Tenet agreed to support unionization of its employees after CNA union officials waged a relentless “corporate campaign,” using pressure through the media and public officials to paint Tenet as a social outlaw.
“CNA union officials are shamelessly using numerous unlawful tactics to strong-arm nurses into union ranks regardless of their wishes,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation.
In addition to deceiving nurses in order to induce them to sign union cards, Hopper reports that CNA organizers have set up on site at the hospital to put daily pressure on nurses to install the CNA as their monopoly representative. Meanwhile, Tenet has stifled counter-efforts by nurses who wish to remain union free.
Frustrated that workers are not voluntarily choosing to join or be represented by unions, union officials have increasingly turned to bullying employers into actively aiding unions in imposing unionization on employees through so-called “partnership” and “neutrality” agreements. Through these “top-down” organizing techniques, employees are denied the opportunity to determine their union status through the less-abusive, NLRB-supervised secret ballot election process.
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.