News Release

Federal Labor Board to Prosecute Tenet Healthcare for Scheme to Sweep Nurses into Unionization

Tenet and union bosses signed backroom deal to eliminate employee protections and create phony unionization “election” process

Houston, Texas (April 3, 2009) – National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) prosecutors have filed a complaint this week against Tenet Healthcare Corporation after it entered into a backroom deal with union officials designed to force nurses into union ranks at multiple Houston-area hospitals.

With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, two Houston-area nurses, Esther Marissa Cuellar, a nurse at Tenet’s Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center, and Linda D. Bertrand, a nurse at Tenet’s Park Plaza Hospital and Medical Center, filed unfair labor practice charges alleging that an “Election Procedures Arrangement” (EPA) Tenet and California Nurses Association (CNA) union officials secretly established violates employees’ rights.

The unfair labor practice charges also allege that Tenet officials provided CNA union operatives with unlawful organizing assistance in violation of federal statutes: In Tenet healthcare facilities, outside union organizers are given free reign to aggressively push for a union presence; but Tenet nurses who oppose unionization, on the other hand, are forbidden from using Tenet facilities to express their views.

The NLRB regional office in Fort Worth consolidated the two nurses’ charges and filed a formal complaint against Tenet Healthcare Corporation. Trial proceedings in the case are scheduled to take place before an NLRB Administrative Law Judge at the NLRB Courtroom in Houston on May 26.

“CNA union bosses and complicit Tenet Corporation officials must be held accountable for this scheme to push nurses into union ranks,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “CNA union bosses are pursuing a coercive organizing campaign – making it more difficult for employees to resist the CNA’s professional union organizers – to force unwilling nurses across the state of Texas and our country into forced-dues-paying union ranks.”

To date, CNA union organizers have successfully obtained monopoly bargaining privileges at one Houston-area Tenet healthcare facility under similarly controversial circumstances and have expanded their coercive organizing efforts in Tenet facilities nationwide. Recently a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-area registered nurse, with help from National Right to Work Foundation attorneys, filed similar unfair labor practice charges against Tenet and CNA union officials.

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, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.

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