**Hartford, CT (January 31, 2007)** – With free legal aid from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation an employee of Colt Manufacturing has filed a rare *mandamus* petition asking a federal appellate court in Washington, DC to order the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to rule in a long-delayed case that has languished at the federal labor board for nearly four years.
George Gally, a 40-year veteran Colt employee, originally filed unfair labor practice charges in 2003 challenging the United Autoworker (UAW) union’s nationwide policy of requiring employees to object annually in order to receive refunds of forced union dues spent for non-collective bargaining activities such as union politics and lobbying. Gally filed his *mandamus* petition at the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
In the Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court *Communications Workers v. Beck* decision, the court recognized that workers have the right to refrain from formal, full dues-paying union membership and pay a reduced fee to cover the union’s collective bargaining costs. But UAW officials have violated the Supreme Court’s *Beck* and related appellate court rulings by requiring Gally and his co-workers to re-object every year – a practice intended to discourage them from reclaiming their money.
The current delay is part of a 15-year history of illegal actions by UAW officials against Gally. In December 2003, a federal administrative law judge awarded Gally nearly $31,000 in compensation plus interest for pay lost after he was illegally fired at the request of UAW Local 376 union officials in 1991. Earlier in 2003, Gally filed the unfair labor practice charges challenging the UAW union officials’ annual objection scheme.
“The issue is simple: for Gally and his co-workers, justice delayed is justice denied,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. “Instead of defending the rights of individual employees that have been victimized by compulsory unionism abuses, too often the NLRB has sat on its hands allowing union officials’ wholesale workers’ rights violations to continue.”
Gally’s case is far from the only example of delayed justice for workers at the NLRB, a federal bureaucracy long criticized for political in-fighting and institutional bias favoring compulsory unionism. Only a few weeks ago the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ordered the labor board to produce a ruling in a Foundation-assisted case that began in 1989.
In that case the NLRB was ordered to rule by January 30, 2007, but when the decision was finally released – 17 years after Schreiber Foods employees Sherry and David Pirlott first filed the case – the majority of the Members issuing the decision refused to address the core legal issue of whether nonunion workers can be compelled to pay for union organizing activity.