Nurses file federal unfair labor practice charges against MNAby Lorna Benson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Three Minneapolis nurses have filed federal unfair labor practice charges against the Minnesota Nurses Association, after they received letters summoning them to a disciplinary hearing.
The letter said the nurses had been accused by their colleagues of crossing the picket line during a one-day strike in June.
The National Right to Work Foundation, which represents the three nurses, says its clients can't be subject to union discipline because they resigned their union membership before the June 10 strike.
Will Collins, the foundation's spokesman, said the law is clear, but that doesn't always prevent these kinds of claims.
"We think it's a way for the unions to sort of keep people in line by trying to use their internal union disciplinary mechanisms to get them to participate in these strikes," Collins said.
The foundation called the letters a tired, union-boss, intimidation tactic, and it expects to file more charges this week on behalf of other Minnesota nurses who received letters.
Union spokesman John Nemo says some nurses received letters erroneously and the union apologizes for the mistake. Nemo says the union will send another letter acknowledging the mistake.
The MNA sent out a total of 77 letters on July 23 to nurses accused by their peers of crossing the picket line and working on June 10 -- a violation of MNA bylaws.
Nemo says nurses that violated the MNA's bylaws may face disciplinary action.
"Our MNA Board of Directors has appointed a five-member hearing panel to handle each individual case and determine what, if any, type of disciplinary action might take place," Nemo said.