Thousand Oaks, CA (October 21, 2013) – A group of Thousand Oaks Surgical Hospital (TOSH) nurses and support staff has won three federal settlements forcing two major healthcare unions and the hospital’s parent company to stop illegally forcing them and their coworkers into unwanted union “representation.”
The settlements come after three TOSH nurses and two support staff receiving free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation filed federal charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
In late November 2012, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) Holdings, Inc.-owned Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center purchased TOSH. In late April 2013, Los Robles Hospital management suddenly announced that TOSH workers were “represented” by Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) and SEIU Local 121 RN union officials. Supposedly the workers had been “accreted” into a pre-existing Los Robles-SEIU monopoly bargaining unit.
The workers were never given the opportunity to vote or otherwise be consulted on the matter. In fact, the vast majority of TOSH nurses and support staff signed petitions opposing the SEIU officials’ forced “representation.” Moreover, because California does not have a Right to Work law that makes union membership and dues payment strictly voluntary, SEIU officials began demanding that the TOSH employees pay union dues or fees or be fired from their jobs.
Two of the settlements force the SEIU union officials to renounce monopoly bargaining and forced dues powers over the workers, thus freeing roughly 200 nurses and ancillary workers from forced “representation” and compulsory dues payments. Similarly, Los Robles management must renounce its recognition of the two unions at TOSH, and notify all employees via workplace postings and e-mail that the SEIU unions are not the employees’ representatives.
“Los Robles/HCA management and SEIU officials colluded to shove SEIU union bosses’ ‘representation,’ and forced dues payments, down the throats of TOSH nurses and support staff,” said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Schemes like this show that the ultimate goal of union officials is more forced dues collected from workers, even when rank-and-file employees want nothing to do with the union.”
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.