Union Watchdog Files Disclosure Request after Virginia Turns Over Private Citizens' Personal Information to Union Operatives
Department of Medical Assistance giving union organizers access to care providers' phone numbers, addresses for aggressive organizing campaign
Richmond, VA (June 15, 2009) – The National Right to Work Foundation has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) seeking any records related to the department’s decision to provide union bosses with the personal contact information of in-home service providers.
The Foundation fears employees will face intimidation at the hands of union organizers.
On May 27, DMAS director Patrick Finnerty sent a letter to personal care attendants “providing in-home services through any consumer-directed Medicaid home and community-based waiver program” informing them that DMAS has provided the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) with their names, telephone numbers, and addresses.
DMAS turned over the personal information after SEIU union officials filed their own FOIA request seeking information to be used by a union entity called Virginia Association of Personal Care Assistants (VAPCA). The SEIU and VAPCA are attempting to unionize Virginia home-care providers.
In today’s FOIA request, National Right to Work Foundation Vice President and Legal Director Raymond LaJeunesse asks DMAS to release any records related to the SEIU’s request, including the original request, any correspondence between SEIU and Commonwealth personnel, any internal or interagency communication related to the request, any communication to or from Governor Tim Kaine’s office, any DMAS or other agency communication related to SEIU or VAPCA attempts to become monopoly bargaining agents of Virginia home-care providers, any documents or communication pertaining to Commonwealth policies regarding in-home service providers, and any DMAS or other Commonwealth agency documents pertaining to the employment classification of in-home service providers.
Union organizers often use such personal contact information to badger workers into joining union ranks.
“Virginians have a right to know if the Commonwealth is preparing to impose the SEIU on in-home care providers,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Thanks to the state government, those workers now have to worry about union organizers knocking on their doors to browbeat them to join the union.”