Ironworker organizers mixed threats, bribes in an attempt to goad employees into supporting their union
Toledo, OH (February 13, 2013) – With the help of National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a Nova Services employee has filed unfair labor practice charges against the Ironworkers Local 55 union for attempting to bribe and threaten him and his coworkers into supporting a recent union organizing drive.
Fifteen other Nova Services employees have also retained a Foundation staff attorney to represent them.
Ironworkers Local 55 is currently engaged in an aggressive organizing campaign at Nova Services facilities. In August 2012, a union official told employees at an organizing meeting that he could provide them with legal immigration status in exchange for supporting the union. Union operatives also made similar offers individually to at least six employees.
Later that month, union officials threatened to report their employer’s immigration violations if employees failed to support the Ironworkers’ organizing drive. Union officials have continued to make similar threats and offers over the past six months.
The charge details how union organizers also resorted to outright bribery to obtain employee support. In August, one union organizer offered a worker $50,000 in exchange for supporting the union’s campaign. Another worker was offered $3,000 to back the union. Other employees were offered weekly payments and waivers for union initiation fees.
The charges will now be investigated by the National Labor Relations Board, a federal agency responsible for administering private-sector labor law.
“Instead of making a straightforward case to employees for their union, Ironworker operatives resorted to threats and outright bribery,” said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “The union’s underhanded strategy once again emphasizes the importance of secret ballot elections in the workplace, which ensure that employees are free from threats, bribery, or coercion when making their decision about whether or not to support a union.”