**Atlantic City, NJ (March 30, 2007)** – A national employee rights organization filed a union unfair labor practice charge and requested a formal congressional investigation into misconduct by Congressman Robert Andrews (D-NJ) in interfering with a union certification election scheduled for tomorrow at the Trump Plaza Hotel.
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation filed the charges seeking a postponement of the election until the taint of union misconduct and coercion dissipates, or, in the alternative, that the ballots cast by the casino dealers on Saturday, March 31, be impounded until after disposition of the unfair labor practice charge.
The NLRB unfair labor practice charge points out that Congressman Andrews led an extraordinary public event (which was televised and disseminated by other media) and aided UAW union officials in interfering with the free exercise of employee rights in choosing whether to unionize. “Acting under the false imprimatur of NLRB authority,” Andrews counted union authorization cards that were not necessarily intended by employees to be considered formal votes, and he signed and announced a “Certification of Majority Status” for unionization.
The NLRB charge notes that such actions tend to suppress turnout for the upcoming election, induce employees to vote for a “pre-certified” union, disenfranchise employees, and destroy the “laboratory conditions” under which NLRB elections must take place. Only the NLRB may “certify” a union and only after a formal, secret ballot election (which is yet to occur).
Meanwhile, the Foundation has formally requested a congressional ethics investigation into Congressman Andrews’ conduct. Under congressional ethics rules, Members must not interfere with the proceedings of federal agencies, such as the NLRB. Additionally, Andrews appears to have misused his office and “symbols of official sponsorship” to create the impression amongst Trump Plaza employees that the election “is a foregone conclusion, if it is conducted at all.” Finally, the request asks for an investigation into whether Andrews improperly used his position to aid the UAW union as a commercial enterprise, particularly because the UAW PAC was one of the top five donors to Andrews. This conduct “signals to employees that they could fall out of the Congressman’s favor if they do not support the union.”
“These disturbing circumstances are compounded by the fact that Rep. Andrews effectively impersonated a federal agency…and deceived employees who may be unfamiliar with the intricacies of NLRB certification procedures and who may be unaware that Members of Congress play no role whatsoever,” wrote National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix in today’s letter to the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.
“Rep. Andrews’ actions in aiding UAW union officials in committing an Unfair Labor Practice – designed to deprive employees of their right to a fair election to determine if they desire UAW union representation – harm the credibility of the U.S. House of Representatives,” Mix continued.
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.