Union hierarchy loses decertification election, prosecution of union officials for workplace intimidation moves forward
Philadelphia, PA (July 8, 2009) – After enduring a coercive union organizing campaign and harassment by union militants, a Philadelphia-area nurse successfully ejected the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP) union, a local affiliate of the national California Nurses Association (CNA) union, from Hahnemann University Hospital.
Certifying the results, federal supervisors from the National Labor Relations Board announced that PASNAP lost the election, 309 votes to 267. Union officials may no longer force nurses to accept their “representation.”
Kimberly Hummel of Deptford, New Jersey is employed as a nurse at Hahnemann University Hopsital, a medical facility owned and operated by Tenet Healthcare Corporation. After CNA organizers muscled into the hospital using a controversial “Election Procedures Agreement” (EPA), Hummel criticized the hospital’s support for union organizers.
With free legal aid from the National Right to Work Foundation, she filed federal unfair labor practice charges against the California Nurses Association (CNA) union and Tenet Healthcare Corporation in February 2009.
The charges challenged the legitimacy of the EPA, listing multiple violations of employee rights that hindered nurses’ attempts to resist the CNA’s professional organizers. Under the agreement, Tenet managers were gagged from responding truthfully to employee questions about the CNA, and nurses who opposed unionization were forbidden from using Tenet facilities to express their views. Outside union organizers, on the other hand, were given free rein to pressure nurses into approving unionization.
In early June, Foundation attorneys filed another round of unfair labor practice charges against the CNA, alleging that Hummel was harassed and stalked by union militants in retaliation for her efforts to challenge CNA’s aggressive organizing tactics.
Despite this intimidation, Hummel successfully initiated a union decertification election by collecting signatures from more than 30 percent of affected hospital employees who oppose the union’s presence.
“After enduring a backroom organizing deal between their employer and the CNA and union intimidation in the workplace, Hahnemann University Hospital nurses have finally restored their individual rights to free association,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation.