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USA: Texas Judge Gags California Union

February 8th, 2000

Sweeping order prohibits 'publishing any facts' about labor dispute with TeleCare; Free speech suit filed in Northern California Federal Court.

In an extraordinary restraint of free speech, a Texas judge has issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) that forbids a Northern California union from making any truthful statements about a company involved in a current labor dispute. In response, SEIU Local 250 has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit today in the US District Court of Northern California.

On Dec. 15, 1999, Alameda County-based TeleCare Corporation and its subsidiary, Texas Mental Health Services of Texas, Inc. filed suit in Tarrant County, TX, against Local 250 and obtained the TRO. Attorneys in California representing Local 250 were given 45 minutes notice to appear in Texas to defend the union.

Federal judge, Judge McBryde, will determine if he will keep the issue in Federal Court.

In an effort to move TeleCare on these issues SEIU 250 sent an informational brochure to interested parties in the Mental Health community in California and Texas.

Health Care Workers Union, SEIU Local 250 represents 46,000 workers and is the largest healthcare union in Northern California and the second largest healthcare union in the country.

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