News Release

UAW Union Local Faces Charge for Harassing Thomas Built Buses Worker

Company management also faces charge for demanding worker join the union to get fair treatment

High Point, NC (December 4, 2013) – A local Thomas Built Buses worker has filed a federal charge against a local union for subjecting her to a campaign of harassment and intimidation because she exercised her right to refrain from union membership and inform her coworkers of their right to refrain.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Tracy McLaughlin filed the unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

United Auto Worker (UAW) Local 5287 union officials obtained monopoly bargaining powers over the workplace in 2006 after union and company officials cut a deal to force union "representation" on the workers without a secret-ballot election.

In her charge, McLaughlin states that union officials have harassed her because she has exercised her right under North Carolina's popular Right to Work law to refrain from membership in, and dues payments to, the UAW Local 5287 union. McLaughlin states that she has also been harassed because she informs her coworkers of their right to refrain.

McLaughlin filed a charge in October 2013, against Thomas Built for turning a blind eye to the harassment. In that charge, McLaughlin recounted that in June 2013, Thomas Built management refused to address her claim that a union official falsely accused her of harassment in attempt to get her disciplined. Instead of providing her information on how to file internal company disciplinary charges, Thomas Built management instead suggested she get counseling.

McLaughlin also recounted in her charge against Thomas Built a September 2013 incident in which a union official falsely accused her of calling a union member a "terrorist" in an attempt to get her disciplined for her efforts in informing her coworkers of their rights under the state's Right to Work law. After company management threatened to fire McLaughlin, she brought witnesses to substantiate her account of the incident. Company management ignored her account and the witnesses. When she asked why union members get to resolve their problems by presenting witnesses in a timely manner, company management told her that if she wanted representation, she would have to join the union.

"UAW union partisans are targeting a worker simply for exercising her First Amendment rights of speech and association," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "These UAW union militants need to stop harassing workers who exercise their rights under North Carolina's popular Right to Work law."

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.

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