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Employees of Guardian vote to remove union shop authority

03.18.09

March 2009 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Employees of Guardian vote to remove union shop authority

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

NANTICOKE, February 15th- The employees at Guardian Eldercare, Old Newport Road in Nanticoke, voted by around three-to-one in a secret ballot election to remove the union shop authority which will allow workers not to pay dues to support the union.

In the previous edition of the newspaper, it was exclusively reported, a License Practical Nurse (LPN) employed at Guardian Eldercare, filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four in Philadelphia requesting the withdrawal of union shop authority and the removal of obligation to pay dues to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Pennsylvania Healthcare Union in Harrisburg, formerly called SEIU 1199P.

According to the petition, obtained by the newspaper through the Freedom of Information Act, Rebecca Distasin of Nanticoke and a LPN employed at the nursing home and long term elderly facility, filed with the NLRB on December 19th, 2008 stating at least 30 percent of the union membership in the bargaining unit covered by the labor contract agreement between Guardian Eldercare and the SEIU wanted the union removed from representing the employees. The petition states there are 82 employees in the unit.

The National Labor Relations Board conducted an election at the employer and the workers voted to remove the union shop authority, often called a “union security” clause, which will allow employees not to support the union with the paying of union dues.

Under NLRB rules, employees can not petitioned the agency to conduct an Decertification Election, in which the employees vote in a secret ballot election to remove a labor organization for the purpose of collective bargaining, until the labor agreement is scheduled to expire. Therefore, Ms. Distasin could not file a Decertication Petition until December 2009 or later. The contract agreement between the parties expires on December 31st, 2009.

Under National Labor Relations Board rules, a petition requesting the withdrawal of union shop authority must be filed within the month of the anniversary date of the expiration of the contract agreement.

The petition states the union represents LPN’s, nurses aids, housekeepers, dietary, laundry workers, activities and maintenance employees.

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