The Teamsters, a union representing security staff at Stanford Health Care (SHC), alleged in a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) complaint that SHC threatened the jobs of their security staff and punished an employee for organizing in an illegal move.
Unionists claimed the hospital system threatened that unionization could cause “reductions in staff” and result in staff “losing benefits” in a filing last month. The union filed another complaint this week that an employee was “threatened, coerced and retaliated against” for exercising legally protected organizational rights.
The Teamsters Union has obtained emails from multiple security officers at Stanford, obtained by The Daily, that describe several NLRB rights violations. These include threats of replacement with contract insurance, changes in job duties since the topic of organizing was raised, promises of promotion as a reward for not unionizing, and more.
The Teamsters has been trying to unionize a group of more than 130 Stanford health security staff members for several months, according to a Bloomberg. ITEM. In April, according to Teamsters Local 853 Business Representative Pablo Barrera, who represents the guards, the union demanded that Stanford recognize and negotiate with the union.
In a comment to The Daily, Stanford Health Care spokeswoman Juile Greicius wrote that Stanford Health Care “respects the rights of all our employees and believes it is every employee’s choice to join or not join a union.”
Greicius declined to comment on the specific management-level threat allegations raised in the filing.
According to Berrera, Stanford rejected the Teamsters’ request, citing that, under the National Labor Relations Act, the proper way for workers to join the union would be through labor board elections overseen by the NLRB.
Greicius wrote that, “In this specific case because the Teamsters represent labor groups other than guards, federal labor law restricts the Teamsters union from pursuing a traditional NLRB petition and election, a fact the Teamsters have acknowledged and confirmed.”
The legal barrier in question, Section 9(b)(3) of the National Labor Relations Act, states that “[N]o The labor organization shall be certified as representative of employees in a guard unit if this organization accepts membership, or is directly or indirectly affiliated with an organization accepting membership, employees other than guards.
According to the Teamsters Union, however, Stanford can voluntarily recognize the union and begin bargaining for a fair contract.
“Although section 9(b)(3) prohibits the NLRB from conducting elections for guards seeking to be represented by a labor organization that admits both guards and non-guards, an employer may voluntarily recognize a ‘union with guards’ mixed’ according to Vepro,” wrote Barrera, who cited numerous cases in which this was possible.
California legislators such as State Representatives Ash Karla (27th District), Robert Rivas (30th District), Mark Stone (29th District) and Alex Lee (25th District) and Senator State Rep. Dave Cortese (15th District), has joined all Teamsters in urging Stanford to pursue this option.
Berrera also outlined alternative procedures to implement the creation of Teamsters Local 853 as the recognized bargaining representative of safety officers.
“First, the Employer may voluntarily agree to a card check procedure conducted by FMCS or any acceptable neutral third party. Second, the SHC and the Union may agree to an election process through the California State Mediation and Conciliation Service (CSMCS) which has agreed to conduct such an election following the same policies and procedures followed by the NLRB. Finally, the SHC and the Union may agree to an election process through a private agency such as Unilect Election Services, which has conducted a number of such elections for workers and management.”
“Since both parties respect the right of these employees to freely express their opinion regarding union representation, we are confident that the Union and SHC can agree on a procedure to do so,” Berrera wrote.