Since early 2010, Prime Healthcare Services has been the target of a vicious SEIU ‘extortion campaign.’
The SEIU, according to a 2011 press release, began its campaign against Prime Healthcare Services in order to ward off a “raid” by a rival union and allegedly aiding a SEIU-unionized competitor ensure a monopoly:
According to PHS’ officials, SEIU’s extortion campaign began approximately 12 months ago when PHS rejected SEIU’s demands for a “quick” deal for SEIU members at PHS’ Centinela Hospital Medical Center so that SEIU could avoid a challenge from NUHW, an upstart union formed by disgruntled SEIU members. SEIU initially threatened to expose “dirt” on PHS, disseminate reports based on Medicare data, and claim that these reports showed that Medicare patients were acquiring serious blood infections like septicemia at PHS’ hospitals even though SEIU knew that the Medicare data identified conditions present on admission; not hospital acquired conditions. [Emphasis added.]
The hospital chain resisted the SEIU’s attacks and, in turn, later filed a Sherman Anti-Trust suit against both the SEIU and its SEIU-unionized competitor, Kaiser Permanente:
Hospital operator Prime Healthcare Services on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against Kaiser Permanente and the Service Employees International Union, alleging the rival medical group and labor union violated the Sherman Antitrust Act by conspiring to squeeze Prime from the marketplace.
In its lawsuit, Prime alleges that SEIU’s activities include pushing false media stories about problems at its facilities – such as reports of unusually high rates of blood infections – as well as campaigning against the plaintiff’s efforts to acquire Victor Valley Hospital in Victorville.
As the SEIU attacks have continued, the SEIU has enlisted its union friends running Barack Obama’s National Labor Relations Board. In turn, the NLRB has aided and abetted the attacks on Prime Healthcare Services by siding with the union in charges the union has filed against the employer.
On Thursday, Prime Healthcare, opted to ignore the NLRB–as it’s mere ability to issue rulings has been cast in doubt due to an appeals court decision on the constitutionality of Barack Obama’s “recess” appointments.
Prime Healthcare Services, which owns 21 hospitals in California and three other states, told Reuters on Wednesday that it had informed one of its employee unions that it would not follow an NLRB ruling mandating the collection of union dues even after a collective bargaining agreement has expired, or a ruling compelling employers to provide unions with certain materials during internal investigations.
The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit casts a shadow of doubt over rulings the board has issued over the past year because without the three appointments, the board lacked a quorum.
Since the NLRB’s rulings on union dues and providing information during investigations both came out of the NLRB when, arguably, it was (and is) operating unconstitutionally, the NLRB’s rulings may eventually be determined to be unenforceable.
The SEIU and its attorney are not happy. In complaining about Prime’s decision, SEIU attorney Bruce Harland put it rather adroitly:
“The employers’ side is giving the finger to the NLRB and the National Labor Relations Act,” the lawyer, Bruce Harland, said in an interview. [Emphasis added.]
As Barack Obama’s unconstitutionally-appointed union cronies controlling the NLRB are hell bent on re-writing the rules and regulations by which employers are expected to operate and finding them guilty of ‘unfair labor practices’ along the way, it is only natural for more and more employers to seek redress of the NLRB’s rulings through the appeals courts.
Arguing that the National Labor Relations Board has lost its power to take any action, lawyers for a Connecticut nursing home company on Monday asked the Supreme Court to forbid a lower court from enforcing a Board order arising out of a union strike….
“It makes little sense,” the company’s lawyers argued, “for lower courts to order immediate action at the behest of the Board when the Board’s ability to act is in profound doubt and will be addressed by this Court…The validity of the President’s recess appointments to the Board is a question that will inevitably and quickly find itself before this Court,” in one or more cases.
Until such time as the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of Barack Obama’s “recess” appointments to the NLRB, it is likely that more and more employers give the union-controlled Board the middle finger.