Washington, D.C. (September 4, 2001) – As the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled to force objecting employees to wear union propaganda on their uniforms as a condition of employment, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation called the White House “asleep at the switch” for leaving the Clinton NLRB fully intact.
The NLRB made the ruling in a case brought by BellSouth Communications technicians Gary Lee and Jim Auburn of Charlotte, North Carolina, against the Communications Workers of America (CWA). The employees brought the charges after they were told that they must wear a union logo patch in order to keep their jobs.
“No worker should be forced to be a walking billboard for a union he or she doesn’t support,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “This case proves once and for all that the NLRB itself wears the union label.”
“After eight months, the Bush Administration has yet to rein in the NLRB. It looks like the White House is asleep at the switch,” added Gleason.
More than four years ago, the NLRB’s General Counsel issued a complaint against the union for unfair labor practices, agreeing with Foundation attorneys’ arguments that forcing nonmembers to wear the CWA union logo violates their right to refrain from union activity and that it gave the false appearance that they belonged to or supported the union. (The employees exercised their right not to join the union under North Carolina’s highly popular Right to Work law.)
In a decision filled with tortured legal reasoning issued late last week, the NLRB ruled that BellSouth’s uniform policy requiring the patch was a “special circumstance,” which trumped the right of workers to refrain from supporting the union. Foundation attorneys plan to appeal the NLRB’s ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
The NLRB panel which issued the ruling consisted of three Democrat holdovers appointed by President Clinton who have consistently ruled against workers who object to supporting a union. President Bush currently has the ability to appoint four new members to the five-member NLRB, but so far, he has failed to submit any nominations whatsoever.
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.