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Circuit Court approves order against Beverly.

Remedial notices to be posted at all facilities

THE U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE Seventh Circuit has approved a corporate-wide cease-and-desist order by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Beverly California Corp. The decision, issued Sept. 13, is the result of two NLRB proceedings consolidating numerous unfair labor practices committed at 53 Beverly facilities. The cases had been in litigation since 1987.

Under the corporatewide order, Beverly is required to post a reme-dial notice at all of its facilities. The NLRB will have authority to prosecute future unfair labor practices committed at any Beverly facility as contempt of the Court's order, and not simply as additional unfair labor practices.

The Court's decision imposes broad remedial provisions on Beverly and all of its more than 500 nursing homes. It also enforces more than 100 unfair labor-practice findings, chronicled in the Board's Beverly II and Beverly III decisions, issued in 1998. The Beverly cases were consolidated in the Board's Pittsburgh Regional Office (Region 6), led by Regional Director Gerald Kobell.

"Where the union was seeking to organize the employees, there were the classic patterns of unlawful conduct," said Kobell. "This includes discharges, threats of reprisal, promises of suspension, surveillance--conduct designed to intimidate employees and induce them to abandon sup port for the union."

The Board had sought relief in an earlier case, Beverly I, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found that numerous unfair labor practices at individual facilities did not demonstrate a corporate proclivity to violate the National Labor Relations Act. In Beverly II and III, the Board made specific findings concerning Beverly's corporate control of labor relations and the involvement of corporate personnel in the commission of unfair labor practices. The Seventh Circuit, after reviewing those findings anc Beverly's past conduct, determined that a corporate-wide order was justifled: "The Board was entitled to con dude that the time was past for piece meal relief (and) that nothing less than a corporate-wide order would do the job of correcting the proclivity this company has shown for committing or tolerating unfair labor practices at a significant number of its facilities," the Court ruled.

"This decision is an important victory for the Board," said Kobell. "Hopefully, it will put an end to further violations."

Beverly Enterprises failed to respond to CLTC's repeated telephone requests for comments concerning the Seventh Circuit Court order. In a 1997 statemen posted at [less than]www.beverlynet.com[greater than], CEO David R. Banks calls Beverly's situation "a prime example of certain unions taking unfair advantage of the time required for the judicial process to work. Through carefully orchestrated and well-financed publicity campaigns, they have succeeded in portraying unfounded allegations as 'guilty' verdicts."
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Author:BILYEU, SUZANNE
Publication:Contemporary Long Term Care
Date:Dec 1, 2000
Words:454
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