Union officials frequently thwart workers attempts to hold decertification votes by filing spurious NLRB “blocking charges”
Washington, DC (October 18, 2017) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys, an Arizona worker has asked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to review a case in which he and his co-workers were denied the right to vote to remove a union claiming to represent them, despite the fact that a majority of the employees in the bargaining unit signed a petition for such an election.
Tim Maguire, an employee of Calportland Company in Arizona, wants a vote to decertify Teamsters Local 104 union as his monopoly bargaining agent. Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), if a decertification petition garners signatures from at least 30% of the employees in a bargaining unit, the NLRB is supposed to conduct a secret-ballot election to determine whether a majority of the employees wish to decertify the union. Maguire’s petition was signed by the majority of workers in the bargaining unit, far more than necessary.
However, Teamsters officials had previously filed two “blocking charges” which halted these workers from properly exercising their right to choose workplace representation. The NLRB Regional Director postponed the decertification election. Despite holding no formal hearing to determine whether the union officials’ claims had any merit, the Regional Director overstepped his authority by granting these “blocking charges.” This forced Maguire and his coworkers to remain under union monopoly “representation” that a majority of them oppose.
Understanding that his legal rights were being frustrated, Maguire turned to National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys for help. Foundation staff attorneys filed a petition requesting the NLRB to reconsider these blocking charges and the unfair “blocking charge” policy as a whole.
Union brass routinely contrive spurious charges when a decertification process arises, which then garners an order blocking the election from the Regional Director. Because the NLRB’s policy for dealing with such charges are opaque at best, workers are regularly trapped into paying forced union dues to a union they do not want to be a part of because their avenue to ridding that union is blocked by Big Labor sympathizers.
Due to the “blocking charge policy” and other election regulations, such as the “contract bar” and “successor bar,” workers are regularly blocked from being able to decertify an unwanted union for up to three years, and potentially indefinitely. Regional Directors routinely overstep their authority by “blocking” elections without holding hearings to discern whether charges brought forth by union officials are even true, and if true, affect employee free choice. Consequently, workers are denied true free choice in the workplace until the charges are ultimately resolved.
National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys have already called upon President Trump’s newly installed NLRB to review the corrupt policies such as the successor bar, to protect the rights of every worker from the injustices of forced unionism. Maguire’s petition for review asks the NLRB to reconsider the “blocking charge” policy as well.
“Union officials have taken advantage of unclear rules surrounding ‘blocking charges’ for too long to trap workers into paying forced dues to unions opposed by a majority of workers. The new Trump National Labor Relations Board should move quickly to end this arbitrary barrier to workers who seek a decertification vote,” said Mark Mix President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. “For almost a decade, the Obama NLRB stacked the deck in favor of union bosses’ forced dues powers. The new NLRB majority should move quickly to roll back those one-sided rulings, starting by supporting the petition of Tim Maguire and a majority of his co-workers to hold a vote to decertify an unwanted Teamsters union.”
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.