NLRB settles with union, Chapman Medical Center

Michael P. Tremoglie Aug. 3, 2012, 12:11pm


ORANGE, Calif. (Legal Newsline) - The National Labor Relations Board on Friday signed settlements with Chapman Medical Center and Service Employees International Union officials removing SEIU Healthcare Workers West officials' representation from their workplace.

The settlements come after Marlene Felter of Costa Mesa, Calif., filed charges with the agency in response to SEIU organizers allegedly colluding with Chapman management to illegally rig a union organizing vote to pave the way for the union to claim to represent the workers. Felter received free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation.

The settlements compel SEIU to give up its exclusive representation and for Chapman to publicly withdraw recognition of the union. According to the NRTW, hospital officials and SEIU entered into a backroom deal, known as a "neutrality agreement," in which hospital management granted union operatives access to company facilities to conduct a "cardcheck" organizing campaign, and waived the right to have a federally supervised secret ballot election to determine whether employees wished to be unionized.

A majority of hospital workers - in response to the union's alleged tactics - signed cards, letters and petitions stating that they did not want the SEIU's representation. But Chapman management allegedly accepted SEIU officials as the workers' monopoly bargaining agents after a card count was held.

The NLRB Regional Office subpoenaed records from SEIU and alleged that SEIU union bosses illegally claimed to represent the Chapman workers without majority support.

"Chapman and SEIU officials colluded to shove SEIU union bosses' 'representation' - and with it forced dues payments - down workers' throats," NRTW President Mark Mix said.

"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."

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