National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys issued a special legal notice to the approximately 32,000 Kaiser Permanente employees affected by a strike ordered by officials of the United Nurses Associations of California / Union of Health Care Professionals /AFSCME, the United Steelworkers, and the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Healthcare Professionals, all members of the Alliance of Health Care Unions (AHCU). The strike is scheduled to begin on November 15.
The Foundation’s legal notice informs rank-and-file nurses and other hospital staff of the rights union bosses won’t tell them about, including their right to refuse to abandon their patients and keep working to support their families despite the union-ordered strike. The notice discusses why workers across the country frequently turn to the National Right to Work Foundation for free legal aid in such situations.
“This situation raises serious concerns for employees who believe there is much to lose from a union-boss ordered strike,” the notice reads. “Employees have the right under federal labor law to rebuff union officials’ strike demands, but it is important for you to get informed before you do so.”
The full notice is available at https://www.nrtw.org/kaiser-permanente-legal-notice/.
The notice outlines the process that Kaiser Permanente employees should follow if they want to exercise their right to return to work during the strike and avoid punishing fines and discipline by union bosses, complete with sample union membership resignation letters.
Further, the notice reminds workers of their right to cut off all union dues payments in the absence of a monopoly bargaining contract with the hospital. The notice encourages employees to seek free legal aid from the Foundation if they experience union resistance as they attempt to exercise any of these rights.
The Foundation has defended hospital employees against union boss abuses in a number of recent cases. It provided free legal aid to Jeanette Geary, who filed charges against United Nurses and Allied Professionals bosses in Rhode Island when they ignored her right not to fund union lobbying. After over a decade of litigation, Geary prevailed and in doing so set a precedent that protects the rights of nurses and other employees nationwide not to be required to fund union political activities.
“Kaiser Permanente workers unequivocally have the right to reject union boss strike orders and continue to serve those in need,” commented National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation President Mark Mix. “Those who question whether the union-ordered strike is really best for themselves, their families, and their patients cannot be forced by union officials to stop working.”
“Kaiser Permanente employees whose rights are violated by union bosses should immediately contact the Foundation for free legal aid,” added Mix.