Sacramento, California (July 3, 2008) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, employees at the USF Reddaway trucking company recently voted to eject the Chauffeur Teamsters and Helpers Local 150 union from their workplace. The Teamsters pushed their way into the facility in December of 2007, when USF Reddaway voluntarily recognized the union without a secret ballot election.
Under the card-check organizing scheme union agents use to demonstrate supposed employee support, employees are denied access to a secret ballot election and are instead forced to publicly declare their support or opposition to unionization during face-to-face confrontations with professional union organizers. Employees report that, during card-check union organizers often harass, mislead, or outright lie to employees to acquire their signatures.
Recognizing the coercive nature of card-check organizing, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently ruled in the Foundation’s Dana/Metaldyne case that employees may initiate a union decertification petition immediately following recognition if a union acquires its monopoly bargaining privileges through card-check. The National Law Journal has described Dana/Metaldyne as one of the “most significant decisions” of the Board in the last four years.
Dissatisfied with the results of the coercive card-check drive, several employees at USF Reddaway took advantage of the Dana decision and immediately circulated a union decertification petition. After a majority of workers signed the petition, Teamsters officials filed so-called “blocking charges” to short-circuit employees’ wishes.
Foundation attorneys responded by filing unfair labor practice charges on behalf of several USF Reddaway employees. The charges cited the suspicious circumstances surrounding the union’s original card-check drive, alleging that the union did not enjoy the majority support of employees. To resolve this legal impasse, both sides agreed to withdraw their charges in favor of an NLRB-supervised election to determine whether workers supported unionization. On June 16 and 17, over 60 percent of USF Reddaway employees voted against union representation, finally expelling the unwanted Teamsters from the workplace.
“While we applaud the employees’ resolve in obtaining their decertification election, this incident highlights the controversial nature of card-check organizing,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Allowing union activists to pressure workers into signing authorization cards is an inherently unfair process that not only subjects vulnerable employees to bullying and harassment, but it also imposes a union on them that they often do not want.”
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, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.