Orlando, FL. (April 30, 2003) — After finding merit to unfair labor practice charges brought by eleven union-abused employees of Agere Systems (formerly Lucent Technologies), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) brokered a settlement agreement which forces union officials to cease all threats of fines and vandalism to the non-striking workers’ vehicles.
National Right to Work Foundation attorneys assisted Alan Olds and similarly abused Agere Systems employees in filing the charges at the NLRB after International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 2000 officials illegally threatened retaliation against employees who continued to work during a 1998 strike.
The settlement requires IBEW union officials to post a notice for 60 days, conspicuously at locations within Agere Systems’ main office, informing workers of their right to withdraw immediately at any time from union membership. The notice will also state that all resignations will be accepted, and that non-union workers need not fear retaliation from the union hierarchy in the form of vandalism, retaliatory fines, or other intimidation tactics used by IBEW union agents. Union officials must rescind disciplinary fines of as much as $1,790 per worker.
“The bully-boy tactics employed by IBEW officials to silence employee dissent are despicable,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. “Unfortunately, even in states like Florida where important Right to Work protections exist, many workers still suffer intimidation at the hands of union bosses.”
The workers filed charges in the fall of 1998, after IBEW Local 2000 officials ordered them off the job during a strike against Lucent Technologies. As the strike progressed, many workers wished to exercise their right to resign from the union and return to work. When workers started exercising their Right to Work, IBEW union officials misled scores of workers by telling them that they could not resign from the union.
Under the Supreme Court’s Patternmakers v. NLRB decision, employees who wish to resign from a union may do so simply by sending a resignation letter to the union. One day after the letter is postmarked, they can return to their jobs without facing union-imposed strike fines.