UNITE HERE 

Waikiki Hotel Employees Hit Union Officials with Federal Charges for Illegally Seizing Dues

News Release

Waikiki Hotel Employees Hit Union Officials with Federal Charges for Illegally Seizing Dues

UNITE HERE Local 5 union officials have an ugly history of violating the rights of the workers they claim to represent

Honolulu, HI (April 30, 2014) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a group of Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa employees have filed federal unfair labor practice charges against the UNITE HERE Local 5 union.

Honolulu Hyatt employees Mark Tamosiunas, Wayne Young, Steven Taono, and Agnes Demarke filed the charges late last week with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Starting around June 30, 2010, the monopoly bargaining agreement between UNITE HERE Local 5 union officials and Hyatt management expired. While the contract was no longer in effect, the workers resigned their union membership and exercised their right to refrain from union dues payments.

However, UNITE HERE Local 5 union officials are now charging the workers for union dues and fees from June 2012 to August 2013, even though no union monopoly bargaining agreement requiring workers to pay union dues or fees was in effect.

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Supreme Court Dismisses Union-Backed Petition to Overturn Organizing Case

News Release

Supreme Court Dismisses Union-Backed Petition to Overturn Organizing Case

Right to Work Foundation-won Eleventh Circuit ruling stands, putting at risk backroom deals between companies and aggressive union organizers

Washington, DC (December 10, 2013) – Today, the United States Supreme Court announced that it "dismissed as improvidently granted" a union appeal of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling in Mulhall v. UNITE HERE.

The order leaves intact a significant victory for National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys and a Florida Mardi Gras Gaming employee in which the appeals court ruled that the company's organizing assistance to union officials could be unlawful "thing[s] of value." Consequently, as Jack Goldsmith, the Henry L. Shattuck Professor at Harvard Law School, today said about the Mulhall dismissal in a blog, "as long as CA11's decision stands, the specter of expensive and difficult litigation will hover over neutrality/bargaining agreements in many circuits, and will indeed chill the making of those agreements."

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Worker Files Brief in Supreme Court Case Challenging Backroom Union Organizing Deal

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Worker Files Brief in Supreme Court Case Challenging Backroom Union Organizing Deal

Right to Work legal challenge could determine if companies are allowed to hand over sensitive employee information to aggressive union organizers

Washington, DC (September 23, 2013) – National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys filed a brief at the United States Supreme Court late Friday for a Florida casino worker challenging a much used union organizing scheme. The case, Mulhall v. UNITE HERE, could determine whether union organizers can receive workers' personal information and other valuable organizing tools in exchange for concessions at employees' expense.

In 2004, UNITE HERE Local 355 and Mardi Gras Gaming entered into an agreement in which union officials promised to devote over one hundred thousand dollars to help pass a gambling ballot initiative and guaranteed not to picket, boycott, or strike against Mardi Gras facilities.

In return, Mardi Gras agreed to give union operatives workers' personal contact information (including home addresses), grant them access to company facilities during a coercive 'card check' organizing campaign, refrain from informing workers about the impact of unionization, and refrain from requesting a federally-supervised secret ballot election to determine whether employees unionized.

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Supreme Court to Hear National Right to Work Foundation Case Challenging Backroom Union Organizing Deal

News Release

Supreme Court to Hear National Right to Work Foundation Case Challenging Backroom Union Organizing Deal

Right to Work legal challenge could determine if companies are allowed to hand over sensitive employee information to aggressive union organizers

Washington, DC (June 24, 2013) – Today, the United States Supreme Court announced that it is granting a writ of certiorari in Mulhall v. UNITE HERE, a case that could determine if companies are allowed to hand over workers' personal information to union organizers in exchange for union concessions, among other things.

In 2004, UNITE HERE Local 355 and Mardi Gras Gaming entered into an agreement in which union officials promised to spend over one hundred thousand dollars on a gambling ballot initiative and guaranteed not to picket, boycott, or strike against Mardi Gras facilities.

In return, Mardi Gras agreed to give union operatives employees' personal contact information (including home addresses) and grant access to company facilities during a coercive 'card check' organizing campaign, refrain from informing workers about the downsides of unionization, and refrain from requesting a federally-supervised secret ballot election to determine whether employees unionized.

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Supreme Court Asks for Solicitor General’s Brief in Backroom Union Organizing Case

News Release

Supreme Court Asks for Solicitor General's Brief in Backroom Union Organizing Case

Right to Work legal challenge could determine if companies are allowed to hand over sensitive employee information to aggressive union organizers

Washington, DC (January 14, 2012) – Today, the United States Supreme Court requested a brief from the U.S. Solicitor General in Mulhall v. UNITE HERE, a case that could determine if companies are allowed to hand over workers' personal information to union organizers in exchange for union concessions at the employees' expense.

Patrick Semmens, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement:

"We're pleased the Supreme Court wants more views on Mulhall v. UNITE HERE, a case that has important implications for worker rights. Big Labor organizers should not be able to offer secret deals for workers they have no relationship with that exchange union concessions for employees' personal information. The Labor Management Relations Act is intended to prevent backroom payoffs to union officials like the ones at issue in Mulhall, which is why the Supreme Court should take the case and make sure that law does not become an empty letter."

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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.

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Another Honoulu Hotel Worker Challenges Bogus Union Boss Accounting Scheme

Brenda Lee Orr, a Honloulu hotel employee, has just filed another round of federal unfair labor practice charges against the UNITE HERE Local 5 union with the help of Foundation staff attorneys. According to an audited breakdown of UNITE HERE's finances, Orr was forced to pay for political lobbying and a union strike fund despite the fact that she is not a union member. 

Because Hawaii lacks a Right to Work law, Orr and other nonunion employees can be forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment. However, nonunion workers cannot be compelled to pay for union politics or other activities unrelated to workplace bargaining. 

Regular readers may recall that UNITE HERE Local 5 is already facing charges from several other Honlulu hotel workers. This isn't the first time the union has tangled with Orr, either. In 2009, UNITE HERE officials agreed to refund a substantial chunk of Orr's union dues after they were caught using her money for political activism. 

Despite years of litigation, UNITE HERE bosses still haven't learned their lesson. That's why Hawaiian workers need a Right to Work law, which would ensure that no employee is forced to join or pay dues to a union just to get or keep a job. 

U.S. Appeals Court Rejects Obama Administration Stance in Case Challenging Backroom Union Deals

News Release

U.S. Appeals Court Rejects Obama Administration Stance in Case Challenging Backroom Union Deals

Obama Labor Board and Departments of Labor, Justice sought to roll back worker's federal court victory

Hollywood, FL (May 3, 2012) – The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has shot down the Obama Administration's attempt to roll back a worker's protracted, precedent-setting legal victory against a local union.

The case is a legal challenge initiated by Hollywood, Florida-area Mardi Gras Gaming groundskeeper Martin Mulhall with free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation.

In 2008, Mardi Gras entered into an agreement with Unite Here Local 355 union officials promising that it would hand over employees' personal contact information (including home addresses), grant union operatives access to company facilities for the purpose of organizing through a coercive card check campaign, and refrain from speaking about the downsides of unionization. In return, the Unite Here officials expended over one hundred thousand dollars to support a gambling ballot initiative and guaranteed not to picket, boycott, or strike the facility.

Read the entire release here.

Hotel Union Faces Federal Charges for Forcing Nonmember Employees to Fund Lobbying, Strikes

News Release

Hotel Union Faces Federal Charges for Forcing Nonmember Employees to Fund Lobbying, Strikes

Case emphasizes need for a Right to Work law in the Aloha State

Honolulu, HI (April 27, 2012) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, two Honolulu Hilton employees have filed federal unfair labor practice charges against the UNITE HERE Local 5 union.

Grant Suzuki and Daryl Sakugawa don’t belong to Local 5 but can still be forced to pay union dues and fees as a condition of employment because Hawaii lacks a Right to Work law. However, the Foundation-won Supreme Court precedent Communication Workers v. Beck holds that nonunion employees cannot be forced to pay for union activities unrelated to workplace bargaining, such as political lobbying or members-only activities.

In December 2011, Suzuki and Sakugawa received a breakdown of union financial expenditures from Local 5. According to the union’s books, both employees were forced to contribute to a variety of activities outside the scope of workplace negotiations, including UNITE HERE political lobbying and a union strike fund.

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Obama Administration Sides with Union Bosses Over Workers in Federal Court Case on Backroom Union Deals

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Obama Administration Sides with Union Bosses Over Workers in Federal Court Case on Backroom Union Deals

Union officials ignore workers’ repeated requests to resign

Hollywood, FL (April 19, 2012) – The Obama administration is weighing in on a worker’s protracted, precedent-setting federal legal victory against a local union and Mardi Gras Gaming.

The case stems from a legal challenge initiated by Mardi Gras Gaming groundskeeper Martin Mulhall with free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation.

In 2008, Mardi Gras officials entered into an agreement with Unite Here Local 355 union officials promising that they would hand over employees' personal contact information (including home addresses), grant union operatives access to company facilities for the purpose of organizing through a coercive card check campaign, and refrain from speaking about the downsides of unionization. In return, Unite Here Local 355 union officials expended over one hundred thousand dollars to support a gambling ballot initiative and guaranteed not to picket, boycott, or strike against the facility.

Read the entire release here.


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