National Right to Work Podcast now available on iTunes

The official National Right to Work Podcast is now available on iTunes!

Subscribe to the official National Right to Work Podcast on iTunes here and get weekly updates from the Foundation on the latest in the Right to Work movement. Then, download each episode onto your iPod or portable media player and listen to it anytime, anywhere.

Subscribe now and listen to Episode #1 of the National Right to Work Podcast titled "Big Labor’s Agenda and Election 2008" featuring National Right to Work Foundation vice president Stefan Gleason’s interview with Greg Mourad, Director of Legislation for the National Right to Work Committee.

“Streamlining” Union Intimidation

Last week, blogger Clayton Cramer gave his take on why Big Labor bosses would want to wipe out secret ballot elections from the American workplace. His account includes some telling examples of union boss intimidation:

I am more inclined to suspect that a lot of people sign the union authorization cards because they are either strongly encouraged or even directly threatened to do so. Labor unions are fundamentally institutions of organized violence. A friend who has since passed on left me this account of working in a union shop in California during World War II (when the federal government leaned pretty heavily on employers to accept unions):

Our next problem was that after three months on the job, workers were required to join the paper workers union. Those who did not received disfiguring beatings after hours. Having seen what happened to another girl in same position as Wanda and I, we decided that rather than face the same treatment we would quit our jobs before the three months ended.

I remember being quite young and surprised that my father was home during the day. He explained that his union, the Boilermakers/Blacksmiths, had gone on strike. "Can't you go to work anyway?"

"Not if you want to live."

And unfortunately, this wasn't just his imagination. There's a fascinating decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. v. Enmons (1973), that held that the Hobbs Act that "makes it a federal crime to obstruct interstate commerce by robbery or extortion" did not apply to labor unions engaged in destroying power company transformers with rifles and explosives because such use of violence did not qualify as extortion.
Extortion means that you are getting something that you don't have a right to get--while higher wages obtained through such violence was a legitimate union bargaining tactic. The Court may have actually come to the right conclusion, based on the legal definition of extortion and the legislative intent of the Hobbs Act--but it does show you something of how labor unions get things done.

I had a friend in California who grew up in Michigan. His father was a UAW local official. He remembered vividly being in a coffee shop with his family one day. The guy in the next booth made some remark to a companion that was uncomplimentary to the union--and my friend's father instinctively swung his coffee mug around and shattered it on this guy's jaw.

There's a long and ugly, bloody, deadly history of corporations and labor unions fighting it out in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. There's plenty of evil that was done by both sides. But this is not the situation today--not even close. Labor violence today is almost entirely by labor unions. I can easily believe that the reason that the AFL-CIO wants to "streamline" the process is that they are intimidating workers into signing authorization cards--and don't dare risk a secret ballot.

Well said.

To learn more on how union organizers mislead workers into signing away their rights and to view an appalling example of an actual "authorization card" used by Teamster union organizers to deceive employees into compulsory unionism, click here: Spotlight on "Card Check" Deception.

Reminder: Time is Running Out for Rebates for Employees Under the IAM and Washington State Teacher Union

Recently, Foundation attorneys notified employees represented by the Machinists union (IAM) and Washington Education Association union (WEA) nonmembers of their opportunity to reclaim a portion of their forced union dues from supporting the union officials' politics as determined by law and Foundation-won court precedent.

Employees Represented by IAM

In the National Right to Work Foundation's "Special Legal Notice to Employees Represented by the Machinists union", it states that:

If you are a nonmember of the IAM paying dues to keep your job, you are entitled to claim a reduction in your 2009 IAM dues of approximately 25%. For 2009, the IAM admits that 30.54% of International union dues, 16.77% of district lodge dues and 20.61% of local lodge dues are spent on political, ideological and other non-representational activities for which no employee can be required to pay. According to the "Notice" published in the Fall 2008 issue of the "IAM Journal," you can claim this reduction by sending a letter postmarked during the month of November 2008.

With November ending in less than a week and a half, now is the time to act if you have not already done so to get your 25% reduction in your 2009 IAM dues. For more information and specific instructions on how to claim your rebate, read the Foundation's "Special Legal Notice to Employees Represented by the Machinists union (IAM)".

Nonmembers of the NEA/WEA/UniServ Council/local association (Washington teachers)

In the Foundation's "Special Legal Notice to Washington Teachers" it states that:

As a nonmember of the NEA/WEA/UniServ Council/local association, you should have received your 2008/09 "Hudson" package from the WEA. Please use this suggested letter that you can fill out and mail to get your 2008/09 rebate check of around $200. You must individually complete and send in your objection/challenge/rebate request letter. Your letter must be postmarked on or before December 8, 2008!

Again, time is running out. December 8th is less than two-and-a-half weeks away and if you do not send in your letter on or before December 8th, you will probably not receive your rebate. For more specific instructions on how to claim your rebate of approximately $200, please refer to the Foundation's "Special Legal Notice to Washington Teachers".

As always, the Foundation will continue to help employees across the country fight the evils of compulsory unionism. If you are a teacher interested in your legal rights, please refer to the Abood and Hudson decisions on our Foundation-won Supreme Court precedents webpage. If you are a private sector employee, you can learn more about your legal rights under the Communications Workers of America v. Beck decision on the same page.

New Right to Work Podcast: Theft, Extortion, and Murder: Union Bosses Act Above the Law

In this week’s episode, Foundation VP Stefan Gleason appears on “The Drive with Gary Nolan”. Stefan and Gary discuss the Big Three/UAW union bailout. They then go on to discuss how union officials have become above the law, enabling them legally to target workers with coercion, intimidation, and violence (and how they can literally get away with murder):


You can also listen to the Foundation's podcast via iTunes or manually subscribe to the feed.

[Note: Some Firefox users have reported audio distortion when using the player above. To ensure the podcast plays correctly just click here to listen.]

News Release

Coldwater Teacher Files Federal Suit Against Ohio Teacher Union Notorious for Religious Discrimination

Ohio Education Association Union Continues Its Assault on Teachers of Faith

Columbus, OH (December 4, 2008) - A fourth grade teacher from the Coldwater Exempted Village School District has filed a federal suit against the state’s largest teacher union for forcing her to pay compulsory union fees to fund the union whose activities violate her religious faith.

National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys, providing the teacher with free legal aid, filed the suit this week in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division.

Kathy Hart, an active member of the Catholic Church, has been a teacher in the Ohio public school system since August 1996. Because the public school she works in is unionized, she works under a collective bargaining agreement which forces her to pay compulsory union fees to the National Education Association (NEA) union and its state and local affiliates - the Ohio Education Association (OEA) union and the Coldwater Teachers Organization (CTO) union. Due to her faith, Hart objects to the unions’ positions on abortion and special rights for homosexuals.

Hart had asked that the union divert her compulsory fees to a charity, thereby accommodating her religious objections to supporting financially unions she believes to be involved in immoral activities.

NEA union officials agreed to allow Hart to redirect her compulsory union dues to a mutually agreed upon charity. However, OEA officials refused to accommodate Hart and used the CTO to collect forced union dues from her paycheck. In response, Hart filed charges with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging that the union officials’ actions were religious discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The EEOC authorized Hart in September to proceed with her own civil action against the OEA and CTO.

National Right to Work Foundation attorneys have helped Ohio teachers in dozens of cases over the last decade involving harassment by officials at the OEA union and its affiliates.

“OEA union bosses have a long and abusive record of violating employees’ rights by refusing to accommodate religious objectors in the workplace,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “The OEA union hierarchy’s ugly policy of forcing teachers to fund unions which offend their consciences will continue until Ohio gives employees the protections of a Right to Work law.”

A Right to Work law secures the right of employees to decide whether or not to join or financially support a union. In the 22 states that have passed Right to Work laws, employees are free to follow their conscience and refrain from supporting an unwanted union without having to resort to costly litigation.

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.

Coldwater Teacher Files Federal Suit Against Ohio Teacher Union Notorious for Religious Discrimination

With free legal aid from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a fourth grade teacher from Ohio has filed a federal suit against Ohio's largest teacher union for religious discrimination:

Columbus, OH (December 4, 2008) – A fourth grade teacher from the Coldwater Exempted Village School District has filed a federal suit against the state’s largest teacher union for forcing her to pay compulsory union fees to fund the union whose activities violate her religious faith.

National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys, providing the teacher with free legal aid, filed the suit this week in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division.

Kathy Hart, an active member of the Catholic Church, has been a teacher in the Ohio public school system since August 1996. Because the public school she works in is unionized, she works under a collective bargaining agreement which forces her to pay compulsory union fees to the National Education Association (NEA) union and its state and local affiliates - the Ohio Education Association (OEA) union and the Coldwater Teachers Organization (CTO) union. Due to her faith, Hart objects to the unions’ positions on abortion and special rights for homosexuals.

Hart had asked that the union divert her compulsory fees to a charity, thereby accommodating her religious objections to supporting financially unions she believes to be involved in immoral activities.

Read the rest of the Foundation's press release here.

Top 10 Forced Unionism Power Grabs on Big Labor's Agenda

In this week's "Top 10 List" from Human Events, the staff of Human Events listed the "Top 10 Things On Big Labor's Agenda." The list is telling, as it describes Big Labor's outrageous plans to to grab more coercive power and erode employees' rights in the workplace. Of course, the so-called "Employee Free Choice Act", more accurately called the "Card Check" Forced Unionism Bill tops the list:

1. Employee Free Choice Act
In addition to the notorious “card-check” provision that strips union members of their right to a secret ballot, this bill also provides for increased penalties for employers who commit allegedly unfair labor practices...

Besides card check forced unionism, Big Labor is even toying with a relaunch of efforts to "Repeal...Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act [which] would take from states the right to enact Right to Work laws." Big Labor has wanted for decades to repeal this critical provision, and the most serious attempt to do so was in 1960s.

Not only is Big Labor trying to ultimately overturn laws in Right to Work states, but they "also seek the forced unionization of police, firefighters, and EMTs by federal fiat -- overturning the laws of more than two dozen states."

Other notable aspects of Human Events' "Top 10 List" includes Big Labor's nefarious plans of using the Federal government to force more employees into full dues paying compulsory unionism (see: #6, 7), concealing corruption (see: #8), and making it harder for employees to exercise their rights against the abuses of compulsory unionism (see: #9, 10).

Union Brass: Go Along with Sexual Harassment or Lose Your Job

Last week, the Detroit Free Press reported that a jury has found that a UAW local must pay a Chrysler worker $300,000 for not being protected by union officials from sexual harassment at the workplace.

Chrysler employee Mee Sanders was harassed by Richard Lott, a union steward, when he "requested sexual favors in exchange for influencing her job placement." A distraught Sanders requested help from union brass on numerous occasions. However, the union officials were uninterested in helping her and "in one case, an official urged her to do what Lott wanted." The union hierarchy's outright negligence and greenlighting of such behavior resulted in a hostile work environment for Sanders.

During the trial, adding insult to injury, the union's lawyer told Sanders at the end of cross examination that she will be laid off as part of Chrysler's downsizing [induced by forced unionism induced financial problems], stating "By the way, you know you're not going to make the cut, and you're going to lose your job."

Unfortunately, serious workplace abuses like this will continue as long as union officials can use their compulsory unionism special privileges to shield themselves from accountability to the employees whose interests they supposedly represent.


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