Carole Jean Badertscher was a California nurse who just wanted to go to work and take care of her patients — but the SEIU was determined not to let that happen. The union’s contract with Badertscher’s employer, the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, had expired, and the union had called a strike in response. Badertscher and other nurses, unwilling to abandon their patients for the sake of a stronger SEIU hand in contract negotiations, resigned from the union and went to work. In turn, she was threatened by the union bosses, who promised to have her prosecuted under California’s antique professional-strikebreaker statute, which was long ago pre-empted by federal law. Badertscher and other nurses were told that they would be fined and could be thrown in jail for months.
But there was more at stake in the case for the SEIU than the right to bully nurses in the Pomona Valley. The SEIU local had also informed hospital employees that they were legally required to keep paying union dues….
When Badertscher sought legal relief from the threats and paycheck-plundering of the SEIU, her lawyers did not expect to find themselves arguing their case in front of the man who was the SEIU’s own chief lawyer until a few months ago, when President Obama named him to the National Labor Relations Board….
Yes, that would be the one and only Craig Becker — who has refused to recuse himself from this case. The Craig Becker who used to be SEIU’s top attorney. The Craig Becker given a recess appointment by Obama after the Senate failed to muster 60 votes in support of the union attorney’s nomination to the post.
Meanwhile, Michael Bennet’s brief term in office is counting down to its last five months. But you have to admire his consistency: consistently indecisive on the card check bill and consistently vulnerable to the lobbying of the Obama White House and Big Labor. I can’t wait for a junior Senator who at least represents Colorado.
Or maybe Bennet would be interested in publicly criticizing Becker for not recusing himself in the case of the nurse vs. the SEIU bullies? I’m not holding my breath on this one.