National Right to Work Foundation attorneys intervene after union forced its way in without employee support
Mechanicsburg, PA (February 19, 2009) – National Right to Work Foundation attorneys have filed unfair labor practice charges against Teamsters Local 776 for initiating a coercive organizing drive to unionize a local UPS Freight facility.
The charges allege that Teamsters organizers never actually acquired majority support from workplace employees before receiving monopoly bargaining privileges from UPS Freight. The charges follow a decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) denying workers a secret ballot election to determine whether Teamsters officials would represent UPS Freight employees.
In April of 2008, the Association of Parcel Workers of America (APWA) union attempted to unionize the Mechanicsburg UPS Freight facility. Union organizers collected enough signed “authorization cards” from workers to trigger a government-supervised secret ballot election to determine whether a majority wished to be represented by the APWA. In the ensuing election, a majority of workers voted against the APWA.
After workers rejected the APWA union, Teamsters officials attempted to unionize the facility through a “card check” organizing drive. Teamsters operatives presented UPS Freight with what they claimed were signed authorization cards from a majority of workers, demanding the company recognize the union as monopoly bargaining agent. Disaffected workers immediately sought a union decertification election, but NLRB officials ruled that only one election could take place per year.
Under the Foundation-won NLRB Dana/Metaldyne decision, employees have the right to demand a secret ballot election immediately following unionization via card check organizing. The decision was intended to counteract the employee intimidation and harassment at the hands of aggressive union operatives that frequently occurs during card check campaigns.
However, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) provides that only one secret ballot election can take place in any given bargaining unit during a twelve-month period. Workers at the Mechanicsburg UPS Freight facility were therefore denied the opportunity to vote in a secret ballot election to determine unionization.
Despite this setback, one worker is challenging the validity of the Teamsters’ authorization cards with free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation. The Foundation’s charges allege that many of the cards collected by Teamsters organizers are invalid, and that the Teamsters should not have monopoly bargaining privileges until they conclusively prove that a majority of workers support unionization.
“Workers shouldn’t have to battle for years just preserve their independence,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Card check organizing is inherently abusive, and we aim to prove that Teamsters bosses acquired monopoly bargaining privileges through fraudulent means.”