New Cumberland air traffic controllers wanted union out all along, but anti-employee bias of federal labor law only permitted them to end forced dues
New Cumberland, PA (July 21, 2009) – Facing an imminent deauthorization election initiated by New Cumberland air traffic controllers, National Association of Air Traffic Control Services (NATCA) union officials have renounced their monopoly bargaining privileges and withdrawn from the bargaining unit entirely.
After receiving notice of the impending election, the union hierarchy apparently recognized that it was not wanted by employees and walked away to avoid further embarrassment.
With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, all four employees at a New Cumberland air traffic control tower recently filed a deauthorization petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), seeking a secret ballot election to remove the authority of NATCA union officials to require payment of union dues as a condition of employment. After NLRB administrators confirmed that all four employees signed the petition, a deauthorization election was scheduled for late July to determine formally whether the union could continue to extract payments from air traffic controllers.
Although all four employees wanted to eject the union entirely, they were only allowed to vote on the union’s presence when the current contract period expires. Before the deauthorization election could take place, however, union officials opted to disclaim any interest in continuing to represent the bargaining unit rather than face defeat at the ballot box.
“All four employees wanted to eject the union, but the biases of federal labor law meant their only option at the time was to strip union bosses of their forced dues privileges,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Faced with having to earn the workers’ dues voluntarily instead of seizing them under the threat of termination, NATCA bosses showed their true colors and abandoned the unit.”
Now that NATCA has formally renounced its monopoly bargaining privileges for this particular bargaining unit, all employees of the New Cumberland air traffic control tower will be able to individually negotiate with their employer for wages and benefits.
“While we applaud the efforts of the New Cumberland air traffic controllers to rid themselves of an unwanted union, these employees shouldn’t have to navigate layers of federal bureaucracy just to represent themselves in the workplace,” continued Gleason.