Right to Work Attorneys Intervene to Stop NLRB General Counsel from Blocking Union’s Ejection from Narricot Industries
Case highlights legal bias that pushes employees into union ranks and entrenches union despite employee opposition
Norfolk, Virginia (June 6, 2008) – With free legal aid from National Right to Work Foundation attorneys, employees at fabric manufacturer Narricot Industries have filed a motion to defend their decision to throw the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners Union Local 2316 out of their workplace. After workers overwhelmingly supported decertification, union officials moved to block the employees’ wishes.
Prior to filing a decertification petition, only one quarter of employees in the collective bargaining unit were dues-paying members of the unpopular union, the majority having exercised their rights under Virginia’s Right to Work law to opt out of union dues. And 64 percent of employees signed a petition to remove the union as their collective bargaining agent.
In an effort to undo the employees’ decision, Carpenters union lawyers filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Under federal labor law, Carpenters union officials would have to prove that any unfair labor practices committed by the employer incited employees to support decertification. Because employee discontent with union representation predates union officials’ accusations against Narricot, the Carpenters union’s attempt to nullify the decertification petition is unlikely to succeed.
Unfortunately, the NLRB General Counsel moved for a court order that forces employees back into the union for as long as the union’s charge is under consideration. If such an injunction is granted, the Carpenters union will regain its monopoly control of workplace representation until the Board rules upon the validity of the unfair labor practice charges, regardless of the employees’ desires to be free of union representation.
To stop workers from being forced back into union ranks, employees represented by Foundation attorneys filed a motion to participate in the injunction hearing. Foundation attorneys contend that employees freely chose to leave the union, and that it would be unfair to force them back into the union against their will.
“It is abundantly clear that the company’s actions had nothing to do with widespread employee dissatisfaction with the union,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “The NLRB should respect workers’ clear desire to remove the union.”