Workers seek immediate injunction against illegal bargaining between company and non-majority union
Phoenix, AZ (June 15, 2009) – With free legal aid from the National Right to Work Foundation, three U.S. Foodservice employees have filed unfair labor practice charges against the company and Teamster union officials for illegal collusion.
Company and union officials disregarded the results of a secret ballot election where employees clearly chose not to be represented by the union.
The workers, Felix Alvarado and Emilio Lamar of Phoenix and Dennis Dickey of Casa Grande, turned to staff attorneys at the Foundation after they received a memo from U.S. Foodservice management informing them that the company had accepted Teamsters Local 104 as the monopoly bargaining agent of all drivers, warehouse workers, and mechanics at the Phoenix facility and would soon begin contract negotiations with Teamster union bosses.
But the union lost a secret ballot election run by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in September 2008. Moreover, in July 2008, workers collected petitions from a majority of workers stating that they did not want the union’s “representation.” Without demonstrated support of the union by a majority of workers, it is illegal for the company to recognize and bargain with the union.
Foundation attorneys have filed unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB and are also seeking immediate injunctive relief to halt the unlawful bargaining. In addition, workers are asking the NLRB to conduct a decertification election to remove Teamsters Local 104 as their monopoly bargaining agent. A prior Foundation-won NLRB precedent determined that workers may demand a secret ballot vote within 45 days of company recognition of a union through the abusive “card check” organizing process.
Because Arizona is one of 22 states with Right to Work laws, no employees at the facility can legally be forced to join or pay any dues or fees to the union as a condition of employment. Federal labor law, however, compels all workers in a bargaining unit to accept the “representation” of a union that the company has recognized with demonstrated support from a majority of the unit’s workers. Under these circumstances, it becomes illegal for individual employees to negotiate terms of employment directly with the company.
“Concerned Americans are increasingly aware of Big Labor’s war on the secret ballot in union certification elections,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “The company and the Teamster union should be ashamed of themselves for thumbing their noses at employees’ right to be free of union-boss interference in their workplace lives.”