Washington, DC (February 8, 2007) – Two employees represented by National Right to Work Foundation attorneys in defending against abusive “card check” union organizing tactics today gave written testimony to the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee about their disturbing experiences.
The coercive card check unionization scheme is highly controversial for severely curtailing employees’ freedom to choose whether or not to unionize and for stripping workers of the limited protections of a government-supervised secret ballot election.
Mike Ivey, a Foundation-assisted materials handler at Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation in Gaffney, South Carolina, detailed the unrelenting harassment he and his coworkers have faced over the past four years at the hands of United Auto Workers (UAW) union organizers seeking to force unwanted unionization upon them. This has occurred even though more than 70 percent of the employees submitted a petition stating they want nothing to do with the UAW.
“Faced with a never-ending onslaught, we employees feel that the UAW is holding our heads under water until we drown,” he stated. “Some employees have had five or more harassing visits from these union organizers. The only way, it seems, to stop the badgering and pressure is to sign the card….Moreover, in many instances, employees who signed cards under pressure or false pretenses later attempted to retrieve or void this card. The union would not allow this to happen, telling them that they could not do so.”
Karen Mayhew, a Portland, Oregon, employee of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan (a component of the national Kaiser Permanente health network) also detailed misrepresentations made to employees during a card check campaign last year involving the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Aside from collecting the cards under false pretenses – that they would actually be used to get a secret ballot election – union organizers browbeat people to sign. Ultimately, the federal labor board forced the union to rescind its unlawful “voluntary recognition.”
“Throughout this whole ordeal, my colleagues and I were subjected to badgering and immense peer pressure. Some of us even received calls at home,” Mayhew stated. “I believe this abuse was directed towards me at the request of the union in an effort to intimidate me and have me back down… union abuses of a wide variety are the rule in ‘card check’ campaigns, not the exception.”