SEIU's Stern gets to judge

An emergency court order last week against the Service Employees International Union, based on allegations that union members were stalking and harassing organizers of the rival California Nurses Association, was lifted Tuesday after an Alameda County Superior Court commissioner determined that he had issued the order improperly.

Commissioner Jon Rantzman had issued an injunction last week in response to a petition by the Oakland-based nurses union claiming that SEIU agents threatened and harassed its organizers at a meeting and at their homes. The injunction barred SEIU President Andy Stern and members of his union from assaulting, stalking or coming near the other union's organizers.

SEIU, which had not been notified of the pending injunction beforehand, appealed to Rantzman, saying California labor law required giving SEIU a chance to respond before the injunction was issued.

SEIU also said that the nurses union's harassment claims were not true and that it was illegally using the courts to try to stifle SEIU's free speech.

Rantzman on Tuesday agreed to lift the injunction, pending the outcome of SEIU's countermotion claiming that the nurses union's petition for the injunction violated the state's "anti-SLAPP" law, which bars any lawsuit designed to chill free speech.

Linda Lye, an attorney for SEIU, called Tuesday's ruling by Rantzman "a complete vindication." She said that CNA's accusations were false and that SEIU will continue to press its "anti-SLAPP" motion, which could pave the way for SEIU to collect monetary damages. "We want to clear our name," she said.

Chuck Idelson, spokesman for the nurses union, said the injunction succeeded for a week in halting "the unlawful acts of violence, intimidation and threats directed at leaders of the California Nurses Association." He accused SEIU of abusing California labor law to get the injunction lifted.



Anonymous said...

Hey - are you going to update your post with the news that the court threw out the CNA's TRO? The judge said in court the evidence CNA presented was bulls#*t. Also - CNA now has to face SLAPP charges for using the courts to try to chill free speech: http://www.sfvbj.com/industry_article.asp?aID=6524075.9463107.1617616.79508602.8254889.682&aID2=124423

Anonymous said...

Oops! I was looking at an old post. Thanks for updating.

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