**Santa Ana, CA (July 6, 2006)** – A Western Medical Center nurse has filed class action unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against his employer and the California Nurses Association (CNA) union to stop an illegal scheme designed to push unwanted unionization on him and his fellow registered nurses.
Sherwood Cox filed the charges at the NLRB Region 21 office in Los Angeles, against the CNA union and Western Medical Center in Santa Ana with assistance from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.
Cox’s charges seek to protect the nurses’ right to choose freely whether or not to unionize. The charges detail how CNA union officials illegally bargained with the nurses’ employer over their wages and working conditions despite the fact that the nurses have not chosen to unionize. Included with Cox’s charges is a copy of a 26-page “neutrality agreement” negotiated by union officials with the medical center that describes how the employer will assist the union in organizing the medical center’s registered nurses, and it details specific collective bargaining concessions, including terms for wages and health benefits, that the medical center will receive in exchange.
The traditional process requires that the NLRB hold a secret ballot election to determine if a majority of workers support unionization, but the pact – misleadingly dubbed the “Election Procedures Agreement” – outlines a system by which union officials can organize the nurses without even demonstrating true majority support. With monopoly bargaining status, union officials could then force all the nurses to pay dues to the union just to keep their jobs. Union officials hold this power because California is one of 28 states that has not yet passed a Right to Work law, which would mandate that union membership and dues payment are strictly optional.
“Union officials have violated long standing Supreme Court and NLRB precedent in their push to sweep these nurses into their forced dues-paying ranks,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Instead of allowing employees to exercise free choice in deciding if they want a union to represent them, CNA officials are determined to push unionization on these nurses from the top down – like it or not.”
Under the Supreme Court’s International Ladies Garment Workers v. NLRB decision, a union cannot become the monopoly bargaining representative of workers without the support of a majority of all employees. Furthermore, in the NLRB’s Majestic Weaving Co. decision, the board recognized that allowing union officials to engage in pre-recognition bargaining with an employer is a violation of worker rights.
The NLRB Region 21 Director will now investigate the charges and decide whether to issue a formal complaint and prosecute the CNA union and the Medical Center.
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 around 250 cases nationwide per year.