Federal Unfair Labor Practice charge filed after Teamsters agent misinformed worker of his rights prior to termination
Minneapolis, MN (July 1, 2019) – Another employee at CRH Companies Midwest Region’s Belle Plaine, MN facility has levied unfair labor practice charges against both the Teamsters Local 120 union and the company for firing him illegally upon his rejection of full union membership. The worker filed the charges with free legal aid from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.
According to Charles Winter’s charge, a Teamsters representative told employees during a March 28 meeting that membership is required in order to get or keep a job.
The charge also notes that the union membership form that Teamsters officials gave Winter was missing a legally-required estimate of the agency fees that union nonmembers would be required to pay. Because Minnesota does not have a Right to Work law, nonmember workers can be forced to pay some union fees as a condition of employment.
Winter’s charge against the Teamsters maintains that union agents clearly violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which explicitly forbids any union agent from “restrain[ing] or coerc[ing]” employees in the exercise of their Section 7 rights, one of which is the right to refrain from union membership.
Additionally, Winter charges the union with ignoring his rights under the Beck v. CWA Supreme Court decision, which requires unions to provide employees who object to full membership a breakdown of the reduced union fees they will be required to pay.
Regardless, CRH Companies swiftly carried out the discipline promised by Teamsters union agents. Winter’s charge against the company states that a company representative informed him that union membership was compulsory. When Winter sent a reply reiterating his desire not to be a union member, the company representative sent him an email terminating his employment.
Both charges ask the NLRB to seek “Section 10(j)” injunctions against the company and union to reinstate Winter while the charges are adjudicated.
Winter joins James Connolly, another employee in the same CRH Companies facility, in filing unfair labor practice charges against CRH and the Teamsters for illegal termination. Connolly was fired 10 days before Winter was for similarly refusing full membership in the Teamsters. Both employees sought legal help from Foundation attorneys in filing their charges.
“What the illegal firings of James Connolly and Charles Winter demonstrate all too clearly is the contempt Teamsters bosses have for even the most longstanding federal protections for workers,” explained National Right to Work President Mark Mix. “Minnesota legislators should take note of these abuses of union boss power and adopt a Right to Work law to ensure that union membership and financial support are strictly voluntary in The Gopher State.”
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.