National Right to Work To Triple Pro Bono Assistance to Workers Facing Abusive Union Organizing Tactics
CINCINNATI, Oh. (September 1, 2003) – National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation President Mark Mix will today attend the AFL-CIO’s national Labor Day rally (cohosted by the Union of Needletrades, Industrial, and Textile Employees [UNITE], and the Teamsters in Cincinnati, Ohio) for the purpose of briefing the media regarding the systematic abuse of employees under the emerging organizing method known as top-down organizing.
As an organization with an annual budget of over $6 million and with the sole mission to provide free legal aid to employees whose human and civil rights are violated by compulsory unionism abuse, the Foundation is announcing that it will triple the resources spent on defending employees against these emerging methods that involve a strategy of joint employer/union coercion of employees in the decision of whether to unionize. The following is Mr. Mix’s statement:
“Responding to an overwhelming number of pleas for help from rank-and-file employees facing these abusive union organizing tactics, the Foundation will immediately triple funding for its Top-Down Organizing Task Force, providing even greater legal assistance to employees who find themselves the targets of top-down organizing tactics such as ‘neutrality agreements.’
“UNITE is a leading union in the practice of denying employees an opportunity to vote on union representation through the less-abusive secret ballot election process – instead resorting to a highly coercive card-check process. These card-check drives often involve the use of intimidating ‘home visits,’ joint union/employer captive audience speeches, video taping of workers entering and leaving work, and other pressure tactics. In one very recent case, UNITE officials were involved in an allegedly fraudulent card count.
“Two weeks ago, employees at a major Warnaco, Inc. facility in Pennsylvania filed federal charges after more than 60 percent signed statements that they did not sign a union card, and others have declared that they felt coerced to sign a card, yet UNITE officials were granted exclusive representation status anyway.
“With a greater commitment of resources dedicated to defending against these heavy-handed organizing tactics, we are confident Foundation attorneys can reverse this troubling trend. Currently, Foundation attorneys are assisting numerous groups of employees who are subject to “neutrality agreements” and other top-down organizing techniques, in states including Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Michigan, and Kentucky. (Foundation attorneys have also recently filed cases against the UAW and Steelworkers unions as well as companies such as Johnson Controls, Inc. addressing abuses flowing from such arrangements.)
“Despite their rhetoric, many union organizers are less interested in building voluntary support among rank-and-file workers than in the old days. Facing hemorrhaging membership, they are most concerned with maintaining a steady flow of compulsory union dues. This is why they are using ‘corporate campaign’ tactics to force more companies, like Cintas, to sign “neutrality agreements.” Since Cintas employees at more than 40 facilities in the past year have tossed the union out from the bottom up, UNITE officials are desperately attempting to organize Cintas from the top down.”