Employees seek to throw out union after union bosses’ ugly campaign of harassment and coercion
Seattle, Washington (March 5, 2009) – Employees from nine collective bargaining units of Oak Harbor Freight Lines, Inc. have filed decertification petitions seeking elections to oust the Teamster union as the workers’ monopoly bargaining agent.
With help from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, the employees – drivers and dockworkers – filed the decertification petitions with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) seeking secret ballot elections to determine whether the workforce wants to retain the Teamster union as their monopoly bargaining agent.
On September 22, 2008, Teamster union brass called a strike against Oak Harbor Freight. Teamster union operatives picketed Oak Harbor Freight’s clients with the goal of discouraging them from doing business with the company. Teamster union bosses sought publicly to damage Oak Harbor Freight’s reputation and openly celebrated when clients refused to do further business with the company.
Teamster union bosses organized a subsequent campaign of intimidation and harassment of Oak Harbor Freight employees who continued to work during the strike. Teamster union partisans participated in ambulatory strikes, in which they stalked and picketed Oak Harbor Freight drivers on their daily routes.
“It’s particularly despicable to intimidate workers if they refuse to abandon their jobs in the midst of an economic crisis,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “All workers should be free to support their families, free from harassment by union bosses.”
The Oak Harbor Freight employees work at terminal sites in Auburn, Washington; Burlington (Mt. Vernon), Washington; Olympia, Washington; Pasco, Washington; Spokane, Washington; Wenatchee, Washington; Medford, Oregon; Salem, Oregon; and Boise, Idaho.