Everett, WA (March 31, 2005) – Six local hospital workers filed class-action federal unfair labor practice charges this week against the Service Employees International Union District 1199 NW (SEIU). The charges state that SEIU officials failed to inform over 800 employees of Northwest Hospital and Medical Center of their rights to withhold payment of union dues for politics. The six coworkers, with help from National Right to Work Foundation attorneys, filed the charges at the NLRB’s regional office in Seattle. “Union officials want these workers to simply shut up and pay up,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Rather than respect the rights of workers they claim to represent, union officials are bullying workers into bankrolling union politics.” The SEIU’s contract with the hospital expired in fall 2004, after which the union ceased collection of involuntary union dues from employees. Since then, the union has used the threat of “back-dues collection” to keep workers in line and preserve the union’s status as monopoly representative. The actions of SEIU officials violate the rights of these six hospital employees recognized under the Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court decision, Communications Workers v. Beck. Under Beck and subsequent NLRB rulings, union officials must inform employees of their right to refrain from formal union membership and the right not to be forced to pay for costs unrelated to collective bargaining. Foundation attorneys argue that since SEIU officials failed to properly inform workers of these rights as required by law, they have no claim to any of the compulsory “back-dues” that they are currently using to threaten workers. The NLRB will now investigate the charge and decide whether to issue a formal complaint in the case. “The attempts by union officials to run roughshod over workers’ rights show the inevitable greed and corruption that flow from forced unionism,” said Gleason.