Philadelphia, PA (September 22, 2009) – Today, National Right to Work Foundation attorneys filed unfair labor practice charges for Kimberly Hummel, a Philadelphia nurse who has been subpoenaed to testify at a private arbitration hearing for daring to oppose a backroom deal between Hahnemann University Hospital and the California Nurses Association (CNA) union.
In June 2009, the CNA union decisively lost a so-called “consent election” to determine if Hahnemann employees would be forced to accept union monopoly bargaining. Despite a coercive deal between union bosses and hospital officials that gave CNA organizers preferential access to hospital facilities, circumvented federal oversight, and prevented nurses from discussing the downsides of unionization, Hahnemann University Hospital employees voted against the CNA, 309 to 267.
Unwilling to take “no” for an answer, CNA operatives responded by filing a series of objections to the election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), alleging that the unionization drive was somehow tainted by hospital officials’ actions, despite the fact that the hospital’s management provided assistance to union organizers. The CNA union filed similar objections with a private arbitrator, who promptly subpoenaed Hummel, a leading opponent of the CNA’s abusive organizing tactics, threatening her with a monetary fine if she refused to participate. NLRB officials have already set a date for a hearing on these objections, however.
Because Hummel never agreed to submit to private arbitration, her unfair labor practice charges assert that she is under no obligation to answer questions at the private arbitration hearing, where union operatives would have free-reign to harass and interrogate her prior to the upcoming NLRB investigation. Absent federal safeguards, a private arbitration hearing also threatens to undermine Hummel’s due process rights. As a result, Hummel has refused to appear before the CNA’s tribunal and has filed unfair labor practice charges against the union for threatening her with a subpoena.
“With the help of complicit hospital administrators, CNA operatives have already tried to forced Hahnemann nurses into the dues-paying ranks of an unwanted union,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Now that they’ve been rebuffed by Philadelphia nurses, union bosses are attempting to drag Kimberly Hummel into a union kangaroo court for interrogation.”
“The union’s objections are already being investigated by the NLRB, so employees like Mrs. Hummel will absolutely not attend a private arbitration hearing that lacks basic due process safeguards,” continued Gleason. “Instead of pursuing this ludicrous hearing, union officials should respect the wishes of these nurses to remain union-free and go away.”
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, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.