Elizabethtown, Ky. (August 15, 2003) – With the help of attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an Elizabethtown-area worker today filed federal charges challenging an agreement signed in recent days between Dana Corporation and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, on the grounds that it violates employees’ right to refrain from union representation.
Pam Lippe, an employee of Dana Corporation, obtained free legal aid from Foundation attorneys to file unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The charges seek an NLRB injunction against the UAW and Dana Corporation, blocking implementation of the agreement which has already included pro-union “captive audience” speeches given by Dana executives, prohibition of employee-generated signs opposing the union, and refusal to allow employees to void previously signed union authorization cards.
Bowing to pressure from UAW organizers, and the threat of lost job opportunities with the “Big Three” automakers, Dana Corporation suddenly signed a so-called “neutrality agreement” with the union. At the same time, union organizers will likely cancel an NLRB-supervised secret-ballot election scheduled for early September, fearing that a majority of Dana workers intended to vote against union representation. Previous efforts by the UAW to organize the facility have failed – with over 60 percent of workers voting against unionization in an election held in 2002.
“This is a perfect example of union organizers doing whatever they can to stuff their coffers at the expense of workers,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Agreements like this are an example of the greed and corruption that flow from compulsory unionism.”
In recent days, Dana officals organized “captive audience” speeches where employees were told that, if they did not support unionization, they could risk job losses and potential plant closings. As part of its pact, with the UAW, Dana suddenly refused to allow employees to post signs voicing opposition to union affiliation.
In addition, the secret ballot election scheduled for September 10, 2003 will likely be cancelled, as union operatives sign up workers under a “card check” authorization scheme. Under the “card check” unionization process, workers are often misled, harassed, or threatened into signing authorization cards.
This week Dana management and the UAW notified employees they had established an arbitrary three-day “window period” during which workers could rescind previously signed authorization cards, but only by directly contacting certain UAW organizers – who have refused even to answer the phone number provided to the employees. When workers want to rescind their card they are unable to find the designated organizer.
On Monday, August 25, 2003, the UAW and Dana will apparently hold a “card count” to determine if the union is the new exclusive bargaining representative of the workers, even though it will include illegitimate cards from workers who were not able to rescind their union authorization. Many workers have signed petitions stating that they wanted their union authorization cards revoked, but in further violation of the workers’ right to reject union affiliation, Dana and UAW officials have said they would ignore the workers’ petition.