Chicago 

Worker Advocate Offers $10,000 Reward for Information Leading to Convictions in Firebombings of Worker's Cars

News Release

Worker Advocate Offers $10,000 Reward's Cars

Worker alleges union militants threatened non-striking workers and their families; police reports show two vehicles damaged during the same night

Chicago, IL (June 18, 2013) – The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation has announced today a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrests and convictions of those responsible for damaging a South Water Market, Inc. worker's personal and work vehicles during a Teamster union strike.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, the Chicago-area South Water Market worker filed a federal charge last week against the Teamsters Local 703 union alleging that union militants threatened him, his family and his property, and that his personal property was damaged shortly after he received those threats.

Click here to read the full release.

Worker Files Federal Charge After Vehicle Firebombed During Union-Instigated Strike

News Release

Worker Files Federal Charge After Vehicle Firebombed During Union-Instigated Strike

Worker charges union militants threatened non-striking workers and their families; police documents show two vehicles damaged

Chicago, IL (June 6, 2013) – A Chicago-area South Water Market, Inc. worker has filed a federal charge against a Chicago Teamster union local alleging that union militants threatened him, his family and his property, and that his personal property was damaged shortly after he received those threats.

The worker filed the charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office in Chicago with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

The Teamsters Local 703 union has been on strike at South Water Market. However, some of the workers are not union members and refuse to abandon their jobs. Under federal law, workers who are not union members cannot be disciplined for continuing to work during a strike.

According to the charge, union agents harassed and threatened nonmember workers who continue working to support their families. In the charge, the worker alleges that his personal property was damaged soon after the threats.

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Seven More Caterpillar Workers File Charges Against Machinist Union

In an ongoing Foundation case, seven additional Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) workers have filed federal charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against a Chicago-area Machinist union for violating their rights and levying retaliatory strike fines against them.

The seven workers join 41 other workers who have filed similar charges to date with free legal assistance from Foundation attorneys. The charges come after International Association of Machinists (IAM) District Lodge 851 union bosses ordered over 800 Joliet, Illinois Caterpillar workers on strike. Over a hundred workers continued to work despite the IAM union boss-instigated strike.

Under federal law, workers who are not voluntary union members are exempt from the union hierarchy's constitution and bylaws and thus cannot be disciplined for continuing to work during a union boss-ordered strike. However, IAM Local 851 union bosses recently levied fines totaling over a million dollars against the workers for continuing to work during the strike.

Two workers' charges were settled in December, and the remaining 46 workers whose cases have not been resolved all allege that they were never truly voluntary union members. Multiple workers allege that union militants also threatened them with violence, and one alleges that union militants physically assaulted his wife and child.

For more information about this and other Right to Work Foundation cases, please stay tuned to the Foundation's Freedom@Work blog.


Update 5/10/13: With free legal assistance from the Foundation, two more workers filed charges on May 10. This brings the total charges to date to 50, 48 of which are pending with the NLRB.

Federal Court Upholds Wisconsin Governor's Public-Sector Unionism Reforms

News Release

Federal Court Upholds Wisconsin Governor's Public-Sector Unionism Reforms

Workers asked court to uphold reform measure protecting most Badger State public workers from forced unionism

Chicago, IL (January 18, 2013) – Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld all of Governor Scott Walker’s public-sector unionism reform measures, also known as "Act 10."

With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, three Wisconsin public employees moved to intervene in the lawsuit in favor of the law after lawyers from seven unions, led by the Wisconsin Education Association Council, challenged it in federal court. The three civil servants, Pleasant Prairie teacher Kristi Lacroix, Waukesha high school teacher Nathan Berish, and trust fund specialist at the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds Ricardo Cruz, were permitted to file amicus briefs in the district court.

Union lawyers sought to strike down the law’s annual union recertification requirements, ban on the use of taxpayer funded-payroll systems to collect union dues, new limits on the scope of what union officials can demand in contract negotiations, and a provision that granted most of Wisconsin’s public employees Right to Work protections.

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Caterpillar Workers Win Federal Settlement from Machinist Union Hierarchy for Strike Discipline Violations

News Release

Caterpillar Workers Win Federal Settlement from Machinist Union Hierarchy for Strike Discipline Violations

Union officials demand hundreds thousands of dollars in strike fines from workers

Chicago, IL (January 17, 2013) – Two Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) workers have won a federal settlement from a local Machinist union after union brass illegally charged them full union dues and attempted to punish them for working during a highly-publicized strike against the company even though the workers were not union members.

The settlement stems from a federal unfair labor practice charge Daniel Eggleston and Steven Olsen filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office in Chicago with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys against the International Association of Machinists (IAM) union and its local District Lodge 851 affiliate.

Eggleston and Olsen have refrained from union membership in the IAM union for years and are thus exempted from the union hierarchy's constitution and bylaws. On May 1, Machinists Local 851 union bosses ordered all of the over 800 Rockdale Caterpillar workers on strike. Eggleston and Olsen, along with over a hundred other workers, continued to work despite IAM union boss demands.

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Caterpillar Workers File Federal Charges Against Machinist Union in Wake of Summer Strike

News Release

Caterpillar Workers File Federal Charges Against Machinist Union in Wake of Summer Strike

Union officials attempt to retaliate against nonmember workers

Chicago, IL (November 6, 2012) – In the wake of last summer's Machinist union boss-instigated strike against Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), two Caterpillar workers have filed a federal charge against the Machinist union and its local affiliate for violating their rights.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Daniel Eggleston and Steven Olson filed their charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office in Chicago. Foundation attorneys anticipate more charges will be filed for other Caterpillar workers at the facility.

Eggleston and Olson have refrained from union membership in the International Association of Machinist (IAM) union and its local District Lodge 851 affiliate for years and are thus exempt from the union hierarchy's constitution and bylaws. However, because Illinois does not have Right to Work protections making union affiliation completely voluntary, they are still forced to pay part of union dues to keep their jobs.

Under federal law, workers who refrain from union membership cannot be disciplined for continuing to work during a union boss-ordered strike.

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Worker Forces Elevator Union Bosses to Settle Federal Charge and Drop Retaliatory $20,000 Fine

News Release

Worker Forces Elevator Union Bosses to Settle Federal Charge and Drop Retaliatory $20,000 Fine

Union officials demanded full-dues-payment and union membership in violation of Supreme Court precedents

Chicago, IL (October 24, 2012) – A former Barnard/Imperial Elevator employee has won a settlement from a local union after union officials demanded he pay about $20,000 for working at a non-union workplace.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Robert Fierke filed a federal charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office in Chicago after union officials levied approximately $20,000 of fines against him.

Fierke worked for Barnard/Imperial Elevator before the company went bankrupt. International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) Local 2 union bosses enjoyed monopoly bargaining privileges over the workplace. IUEC union officials never informed workers, including Fierke, of their right to refrain from full-dues-paying union membership as upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Foundation-won Communications Workers v. Beck case.

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Restaurant Union Bosses Served Federal Charges

News Release

Restaurant Union Bosses Served Federal Charges

Unite Here union bosses demand servers pay over $5,700 or be fired

Chicago, IL (October 2, 2012) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, two local Riva Restaurant servers have filed federal charges against a local union for violating their rights and demanding that they pay thousands of dollars in back union dues or be fired.

Michael Pastrick and Jaclyn McAllister filed the charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the Unite Here Local 1 union, based in Chicago.

Click here to read the full release.

Worker Slaps Construction Union Bosses with Federal Charge for Job Discrimination

News Release

Worker Slaps Construction Union Bosses with Federal Charge for Job Discrimination

Electrical worker union officials obstruct worker from getting work

Chicago, IL (July 19, 2012) – With the help of National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a nonunion Chicago-area construction worker has filed a federal charge against the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and two of its local affiliate unions for discriminating against him on account of his union membership status.

Construction worker John Lugo filed the charge against the IBEW Local 697 and IBEW Local 601 unions with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Monday.

Because IBEW union bosses claim monopoly bargaining privileges over all the workers in his workplaces, Lugo, who refrains from formal union membership, is still forced to accept union officials' so-called "representation" and go through the union's hiring halls to find employment.

Federal labor law provides that union bosses must "fairly represent" workers, including those who have exercised their right to refrain from union membership, if union bosses claim exclusive representational powers over the workers.

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Latino Express Bus Drivers Tell Teamster Union Bosses to Hit the Road

News Release

Latino Express Bus Drivers Tell Teamster Union Bosses to Hit the Road

School bus drivers desperately need Right to Work protections

Lyons, IL (April 26, 2012) – A large majority of Latino Express bus drivers in Lyons, Illinois have petitioned the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office in Chicago for a secret-ballot election to remove an unwanted local Teamster union hierarchy from their workplace.

Led by Ramiro Lopez, who learned about his legal rights from the National Right to Work Foundation, over 50 of the 76 total drivers signed the petition.

Teamster Local 777 seized monopoly bargaining control over the workplace a year ago. However, Teamster union bosses have yet to negotiate a contract with Latino Express, a conflict that has resulted in union legal accusations against the company and picketing of the workplace, alienating workers.

Meanwhile, Teamster union operatives have singled out workers who want nothing to do with the union hierarchy.

Read the entire release here.


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