Over 900 SFO Airport Security Screeners to Vote Whether to Eliminate Compulsory Union Dues from Workplace
**San Francisco, CA (May 14, 2007)** — With help from the National Right to Work Foundation, over 900 airport security screeners at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) have successfully petitioned the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a deauthorization election to stop Service Employees International Union (SEIU) officials from forcing employees to pay union dues as a job condition.
Led by Stephen Burke, a four and a half year employee of Covenant Airport Security at SFO, the workers are upset that SEIU officials became their monopoly bargaining agent -- without a secret-ballot election but rather through a coercive “card check” campaign -- and almost immediately ordered the security screeners to pay union dues within 30 days or be fired from their jobs.
Hundreds of SFO security screeners apparently object to the mandatory union dues requirement. Over 45 percent of Burke’s coworkers signed the deauthorization petition, far beyond the 30 percent necessary to trigger the NLRB supervised-election.
"Without the ability to withhold union dues, SFO screeners have virtually no leverage to keep union officials from continuing to act in their own self interest,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation, a charitable organization that is assisting the screeners in vindicating their rights.
If a majority of all employees in the bargaining unit vote in favor of deauthorization, union officials will be stripped of their special privilege to compel payment of compulsory dues. The requirement for an absolute majority, set by the National Labor Relations Act, is more difficult for employees to achieve than the standard for certifying a union, which requires only a majority of those voting.
SEIU officials had previously tried to block the employees from obtaining the deauthorization election by challenging signatures collected in opposition to the forced dues clause before it took effect. However, the NLRB in Washington, DC, recently rejected that challenge and ordered the election to proceed.
The election will take place by mail, with the NLRB sending out ballots on June 4, and the results being tallied on June 19. However, even if the deauthorization election succeeds, union officials will still be able to bar the screeners – even those that are not union members – from negotiating over their individual wages and working conditions.
Download the NLRB Order