NLRB certifies union being voted out

Michael P. Tremoglie Sep. 11, 2012, 10:37am

McALLEN, Texas (Legal Newsline) - Nurses at the Rio Grande Regional Hospital in McAllen, Texas, have succeeded in their efforts to remove a union from their workplace.

A nurse had filed for a decertification election with the National Labor Relations Board.

The union was voted out 156-128 in July. The union objected initially, but union officials dropped their objections to the decertification election and the NLRB Region in Texas certified the vote on Thursday.

Victoria Lynn Glass filed for the decertification election of the National Nurses Organizing Committee. The union officials entered into a "neutrality agreement" with the hospital and its parent company, HCA Holdings.

According to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which provided free legal assistance in the case, such agreements give union organizers access to workers in the workplace, workers' home addresses and other personal information, and impose gag rules on what company managers can say about the union.

The union invoked a private arbitration procedure created by the HCA-NNOC pact and held a hearing on the objections before an arbitrator selected by union officials and the company.

NNOC union officials subpoenaed Glass to appear and testify under oath about the campaign to remove the union from her workplace. She was also directed to produce for union inspection all documents that the nurses created in their election campaign to oppose the NNOC union bosses.

But NRTW staff attorneys filed federal charges against NNOC and Rio Grande/HCA challenging the attempt to question Glass about her legally protected activities. Ultimately, Glass neither testified in the hearing nor produced a single document demanded by the union.

"So-called 'neutrality agreements' like this one between union officials and hospital management give union bosses license to browbeat and intimidate workers into acceding to unionization," said Mark Mix, NRTW president. "These nurses endured union boss harassment and kangaroo courts to ultimately exercise their right to remove the unwanted union from their workplace."

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