Top bosses of the National Nurse United (NNU) union conglomerate are known as especially virulent foes of state Right to Work legislation. When Michigan was on the verge of becoming the 24th state to prohibit compulsory union dues and fees in late 2012, for example, NNU operatives staged a protest on the steps of the state capitol in Lansing. NNU officers and their militant followers insisted that voluntary unionism would somehow inhibit nurses from “speaking out at work.”
This was, of course, untrue. In Right to Work states, employees’ right to join and bankroll a union and their right to refuse to do either are equally protected.
What is it that really angers NNU bigwigs about Right to Work laws? When nurses have a free choice, they may well opt not to support financially a union that spends members’ dues money to invest in prime real estate, as the hierarchy of the NNU-affiliated California Nurses Association (CNA) recently did.
The CNA banded together with two other unions to form the NNU in 2009. Thanks primarily to their forced-dues privileges, CNA bosses are so wealthy that in April they were able to purchase, for $65 million, what the San Francisco Business Times described as “the most coveted Oakland office building on the market.” (See the link below for the whole news story concerning the purchase.)
The CNA brass purchased Oakland’s Lake Merritt Tower “to occupy its vacant 20,000 square feet and reap the investment benefits of owning in Oakland’s relatively small Class A office market,” according to RoseAnn DeMoro, the union’s executive director.
Before the Lake Merritt Tower purchase, CNA bosses already owned a four-story brick building in Oakland, which housed most of the union’s roughly 250 employees, but union bigwigs were evidently not satisfied with a property that was less than “Class A.” But if Golden State nurses had the Right to Work, regardless of union affiliation or nonaffiliation, CNA chiefs would, perhaps, have to settle for an office building worth considerably less than $65 million. And that’s likely a key reason why they fight so furiously against Right to Work laws!