2 Nov 2016

Worker Files Charges Against Teamsters Officials for Illegal Threats in Response to Campaign to End Forced Dues

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Teamsters Local 455 officials had just been reprimanded by the National Labor Relations Board for similar violations last month

Fort Morgan, CO (November 2, 2016) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys a local worker has filed federal unfair labor practice charges against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 455 union.

In charges filed by Francisco Manjarrez, union officials violated federal labor law by threatening to have him fired for exercising his right to circulate a deauthorization petition among workers at his workplace. If a deauthorization petition gains the necessary percentage of signatures, workers get to vote to end union bosses’ power to require them to pay money to the union or be fired.

After Manjarrez refused to back down from circulating the petition, union officials threatened illegal retaliation against him and his co-workers who had signed the petition. Union bosses went even further in retaliation for Manjarrez’s role in rallying disaffected workers, demanding that the employer fire him.

Manjarrez also asked to see a copy of the monopoly bargaining agreement between the union and his employer to which he is subjected to. Union officials refused to provide him a copy, an additional violation of federal law.

The charges against Teamsters Local 455 come just weeks after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint against the union for violating federal labor law by not representing workers in a labor dispute who chose not to pay full union dues. The union was also charged with lying to workers that they would not be promoted or represented unless they paid full union dues or fees.

“This case shows what blatant disregard these union officials have for the law and the rights of rank-and-file employees whom they claim to represent,” said National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “This case underscores why Colorado workers need Right to Work protections to make union affiliation and fees strictly voluntary.”

31 Oct 2016

Teachers Beat Union Boss Attempt to Overturn Vote to Kick Union Out of Long Island Charter School

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National Right to Work Foundation assists teachers in legal fight to uphold the results of decertification election to remove AFT union from school

Washington, D.C. (October 31, 2016) – The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has denied an appeal of a decertification election by the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) union. The NLRB ruling now cements in stone the results of the decertification election that took place at the Evergreen Charter School in June.

Under the National Labor Relations Act, private-sector employees in unionized workplaces have the right to petition for a decertification election to remove a union. With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, 22 Evergreen employees signed and submitted an election petition to the NLRB in April. Union officials then attempted to head off the vote by claiming that Evergreen Charter School is a public employer, and thus outside the NLRB’s jurisdiction.

Union lawyers claimed that the New York State Public Employment Relations Board has jurisdiction over Evergreen employees, an interpretation that the NLRB ultimately rejected. The NLRB accepted Foundation attorneys’ argument that the Evergreen Charter School is a private employer. Had the union’s arguments prevailed, the school’s employees would have been forced to pursue a much more onerous and complex process to remove the unwanted union.

During the decertification election that took place on June 15th, a majority of eligible employees voted against monopoly union representation. As a result, the AFL-CIO affiliated union was formally removed from the school and lost its workplace privileges. Union lawyers immediately filed a long-shot appeal to the NLRB which put on hold the election results until the NLRB ruled in favor of the teachers.

“We are pleased that this long legal fight is finally over,” National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix commented. “Given the fact that the NYSUT union bosses opposed the establishment of the Evergreen Charter School in the first place, it’s no surprise that these teachers and support staff rejected the union’s so-called ‘representation’. Teachers should not have to jump through all these hoops just to do what is right for their school and students.”

25 Oct 2016

U.S. District Court Strikes Down Union Boss Challenge to Idaho Right to Work Law

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Rejected Big Labor legal theory claims union boss ‘right’ to seize forced dues from workers who reject union membership

Boise, ID (October 25, 2016) – National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation President Mark Mix released the following statement regarding the United States District Court for the District of Idaho’s decision to dismiss Big Labor’s lawsuit in IUOE v. Wasden, which sought to overturn Idaho’s longstanding popular Right to Work law:

“Union lawyers all over the country, including here in Idaho, are pushing an outrageous legal theory attempting to create a constitutional ‘right’ for union bosses to extort money from workers forced to accept unions’ so-called representation. We are pleased that the court rejected this outrageous union legal theory and followed over 60 years of legal precedent.”

National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys submitted an amicus curiae brief in this case which the judge cited in the ruling. Foundation attorneys are also defending Right to Work laws in Wisconsin and West Virginia.

24 Oct 2016

Homecare Workers File Federal Class Action Lawsuit Against the State of Washington

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National Right to Work Foundation-backed lawsuit for homecare workers seeks to stop SEIU forced dues scheme

Olympia, WA –Staff attorneys from the National Right to Work Foundation and the Freedom Foundation have filed a federal, class-action lawsuit for several homecare workers against the State of Washington at the U.S. Court for the Western District of Washington in Tacoma.

The lawsuit comes after both the state and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 775 refused to stop deducting union dues and fees from homecare workers who either resigned or objected to union membership.

The Foundation won Harris v. Quinn Supreme Court case explicitly held that it was unconstitutional under the First Amendment to compel objecting nonunion providers to pay any union dues or fees.

The lawsuit also hits the state and union for knowingly deceiving workers about their constitutional right not to financially support the union and opt out of dues payments.

The suit asks for an injunction to force the union to honor the rights of home healthcare providers who exercise their constitutional right to cease the financial support of a union. It also seeks refund of any refund any dues and fees collected by SEIU 775 after providers objected to union forced dues payments.

National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix commented, “Union bosses are so desperate for forced dues to fill their coffers they feel no shame in extorting money from family members providing care to ill loved ones. It is a disgrace that these forced dues schemes are still going on around the country even after the Supreme Court said they were blatantly unconstitutional.”

Foundation staff attorneys are helping home or childcare providers challenge similar schemes in Minnesota, Illinois, New York, Oregon, and Washington State.

18 Oct 2016

Workers Hit CWA Union with Federal Charges for Illegal Retaliation for Working During Verizon Strike

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Union officials illegally attempting to levy five figure fines against Verizon employees who chose to work despite union boss-initiated work stoppage

New York, NY (October 18, 2016) – Seven Verizon employees have filed federal unfair labor practice charges against the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union for violating federal labor law after the employees exercised their right to resign their union memberships during a high profile union boss-ordered strike in April.

In April, CWA union officials announced a coordinated work stoppage at Verizon facilities and ordered workers up and down the East Coast, from Massachusetts to Virginia, to abandon their jobs. CWA Local 1107, which is the target of the NLRB charges, participated in the strike.

Soon after CWA union officials ordered the strike, the workers chose to resign from the union and return to work. Under federal law workers cannot be compelled to join in a union-boss ordered strike. However, under a 1972 NLRB ruling, to protect themselves from internal union discipline they must resign their formal union membership before to returning to work, as each of these workers did.

Nonetheless, these workers were notified by CWA officials that they were being tried by the unions on internal charges of violating the union’s constitution, despite the fact that these workers were not union members when they returned to work and thus are protected by federal law.

The workers refused to attend the union’s vigilante court, protesting that it had no jurisdiction over them as non-members.

On September 15th, the union held a sham trial and fined the workers for exercising their federally protected rights. Soon after, each worker was informed by letter that they had been fined sums of between nine and thirteen thousand dollars.

“Here is yet another group of union bosses illegally fining the workers whom they claim to represent for having the audacity to stand up for themselves,” said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Hard working Americans should not have to fear sham trials and shadow courts punishing them for providing for their families. This pattern of abuses is why New York needs a Right to Work law to protect worker’s rights.”