Worker Advocate: How Dare You Threaten National Right to Work and Its Supporters on National TV, Mr. Gettelfinger!
Angry auto union boss blames voluntary unionism group for the auto industry's problems, wants a list of the group's financial backers
Washington, DC (December 12, 2008) – Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, made the following statement today in response to United Auto Workers (UAW) union president Ron Gettelfinger's angry lashing out on national television at the legal foundation's efforts to defend workers from forced unionism abuse:
"How dare you blame the current debacle in the automotive business on efforts to give workers the right to join or not join a union. These problems have been caused by the forced unionism stranglehold you currently enjoy.
"Make no mistake; you will never get your hands on the list of the National Right to Work Foundation's contributors. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of generous Americans have helped our organization provide free legal aid to the employee victims of your forced unionism hierarchy. We will NEVER allow these folks to be put into harm's way by making their identities known to your goons."
Ron Gettelfinger held a press conference aired today on various television networks in which he implied the union hierarchy's problems result from external factors, rather than forced unionism that has brought the Big Three to its knees. "We've [sic] also up against National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation who we don't even know who they are, because we can't find out who their contributors are," he announced.
Gettelfinger was referencing a 13-year legal battle by the UAW and 12 other international unions intended to force the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation to reveal the names and addresses of its contributors. During the litigation, union lawyers finally admitted they wanted to send the contributor list to local union chiefs all over the country. They wanted to make “discreet inquiries” about the contributors in their areas.
Ultimately this largest multi-union lawsuit in history ended in a loss for union lawyers, but not after lower courts had nearly thrown then-Foundation president Reed Larson in jail twice for defiance of court orders demanding release of the contributor list.
The Foundation’s support comes from all kinds of people -- union members, nonunion employees, small business owners, charitable foundations and others. Many of them would be subjected to vicious retaliation if the union bosses could just learn their identities. Blacklisting, beatings, bombings, and arson are just a few of the tactics union “enforcers” use against those who oppose them.