Detroit, Mich. (June 23, 2003) – The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation today announced it has launched a national ad campaign to educate the public about the abusive nature of the increasingly prevalent union organizing tool known as a “neutrality agreement.” Under these pacts, employers are required to substantially assist union organizers in corralling employees into union ranks.
The ads are currently running in targeted communities where the United Auto Workers (UAW) union is rolling out its coercive organizing drive at Big Three suppliers located in cities such as Glasgow, Kentucky; Gaffney, South Carolina; Lowell, Michigan; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Athens, Tennessee. Numerous other communities are on the advertising target list for in the coming weeks.
The newspaper ads expose several tactics – some of which are illegal – employed by union operatives under these coercive “neutrality agreements.” Under these agreements, employers typically turn over employees’ names, addresses, and other personal information to union organizers who then conduct “home visits.” They also give union organizers wide access to company facilities, and conduct company-paid “captive audience” speeches during which employees are told that they risk losing job opportunities if they opt against unionization. Additionally, employees are usually stripped of the opportunity to decide on unionization through a traditional secret ballot election.
“When workers see their employer working hand-in-glove with union organizers, they feel tremendous pressure against exercising their legally protected right to refrain from union affiliation,” stated Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation, which provides free legal assistance to employee victims of compulsory unionism abuse. “The ads are intended to inform employees that they have the right to resist the harassment and threats that have become so common during these top-down organizing drives.”
Pressured by UAW officials, crippling strikes, and the “Big Three” auto makers, companies such as Johnson Controls, Magna International, and Freightliner have signed one of these so-called “neutrality agreements” requiring the major suppliers to assist in efforts to unionize employees at their non-union facilities across America.
The use of “neutrality agreements” is part of a larger national trend in union organizing. In recent years, as union organizers have had less success in persuading employees to vote for unionization during secret ballot elections, unions have focused on organizing employers instead, thereby short-circuiting employee consent. For more information or to obtain copies of the ads, please call Dan Cronin, National Right to Foundation Director of Legal Information, at 703-770-3317.
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.