Air Force Veteran Takes Legal Action After a Campaign of Harassment by Union Operatives Forces Her Out of Job

Lillian Nixon, an Air Force veteran residing in Iowa, is bringing suit against her former employer, Fisher Controls International LLC after a long campaign of harassment and abuses by union agents forced her out of her job as a Final Inspector at the Marshalltown Fisher plant. Her petition was filed in Iowa District Court with free legal aid from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

In February 2015, Lillian Nixon exercised her rights under Iowa’s Right to Work law and federal law to resign from United Auto Workers Local 893 which is the monopoly bargaining agent at that location. Instead of respecting her decision, union thugs responded with a campaign to retaliate against Nixon and intimidate any other workers who might have been considering exercising their rights. The petition filed with the court, which seeks damages due to the negligence of Fisher and its representatives, details an ugly campaign targeting Nixon.

Over 15 months Nixon was subjected to regular criminal harassment and intimidation by both fellow employees as well as unidentified individuals with access to Fisher property. These incidents varied from trashing her work area to the placement of defaming literature on company bulletin boards, to repeatedly defacing property with stickers using the slur “Scab”. In one incident Nixon was the victim of physical battery and at another time her car was vandalized when her tire was slashed.

Read more here.

Country Music Star Hits Union with Federal Charges

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Jason Fitz, of The Band Perry, has filed federal unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) Local 247 union for illegally threatening he must pay fees to the union.

Fitz, who is the band manager and plays various instruments including the fiddle and keyboard, participated in studio sessions on April 12 and 13 at The House of Blues Studio in Nashville. Fitz has exercised his right to refrain from union membership, but the record label sent his paycheck to the union. Secretary-Treasurer of the Union, Vince Santoro, then sent Fitz a threatening email stating that his checks for work performed at The House of Blues would be withheld until he paid a “service fee” to the union.

This is blatantly illegal because Tennessee has had Right to Work protections for workers in place since 1947 ensuring that no worker can be required to join or pay dues or “fees” to a labor organization as a condition of employment. Charging a non-member a so-called “service fee” violates Section 8 (b) (1) (A) of the National Labor Relations Act as well as the Tennessee Right to Work law.

Hempstead Charter School Teachers Overcome Union Obstructionism to Force Vote to Remove Union from their School

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, 27 Evergreen Charter School employees have won the right to conduct a decertification election to decide the fate of the Evergreen Charter Staff Association-NYSUT union. The Regional Director for Region 29 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has scheduled the union decertification election for June 16, 2016.

Under the National Labor Relations Act, private-sector employees in unionized workplaces have the right to petition for a decertification election to remove a union. After 22 Evergreen employees signed and submitted an election petition to the NLRB in April, union officials attempted to head off the vote by claiming that Evergreen Charter School is a public employer, and thus outside the NLRB’s jurisdiction.

Union lawyers argued that the New York State Public Employment Relations Board has jurisdiction over Evergreen employees, an interpretation that was ultimately rejected by the NLRB, which determined that the Evergreen Charter School is a private employer. Had the union’s arguments prevailed, the school’s employees would have been forced to pursue a much more onerous and complex process to remove the unwanted union.

Wisconsin Union Officials Must Stop Illegally Seizing Union Fees, but Workers Still Waiting for Refunds

Recently, International Association of Machinists Lodge No. 1771 (IAM) union officials and Northern Engraving Corporation officials jointly distributed a letter to all Northern Engraving employees notifying workers that their attempts to resign union membership and stop union dues deductions from their paychecks would no longer be blocked or ignored. The letter, which came in response to NLRB charges filed by Northern Engraving employees, also stated that all wrongfully seized union dues would be refunded.

However, some workers still have not received refunds. On Monday, another worker, with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation-provided staff attorneys, filed new charges against the company and union officials.

Earlier this year Foundation-provided staff attorneys assisted multiple Northern Engraving Corporation employees in filing federal unfair labor practice charges against their employer and the IAM union local. According to the charges, union and company officials violated federal law by ignoring the workers’ attempts to resign from the union and stop paying union dues. Under Wisconsin’s recently-enacted Right to Work law, no employee can be forced to join or pay dues to a union to keep a job.

10 More Employees File Charges against Union Officials for Fining Them Up to Fifty Thousand Dollars for Defying Strike Order

With free legal assistance from Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, 10 more Northshore Sheet Metal employees have filed federal unfair labor practice charges against a local union for illegally fining them thousands of dollars after they refused to participate in a union-ordered strike. A total of 38 Northshore employees are now challenging the union’s strike fines with the help of Foundation staff attorneys.

All 10 employees originally joined the Sheet Metal Workers Local 66 union because they were wrongfully informed that union membership was a condition of employment at Northshore Sheet Metals. After union officials ordered a strike in August 2015, the employees learned that formal union membership is voluntary and decided to exercise their rights to resign from the union and refrain from participating in the work stoppage.

Although the employees formally resigned from the union, Local 66 officials refused to honor their resignations and subjected them to internal union disciplinary procedures for refusing to strike. The 10 workers were charged over five thousand dollars each for rebuffing the union’s strike order. Three of the employees were charged $55,000, $36,000, and $11,000, respectively. Moreover, Northshore Sheet Metal continues to deduct – and Local 66 continues to collect – money for a union “strike fund” from all 38 employees’ paychecks.

Under federal labor law, no employee can be required to formally join a union as a condition of employment. Employees also have the right to resign from a union at any time and cannot be subjected to internal union discipline for conduct after they have left the union. Local 66 union officials are now trying to collect over $267,000 in retaliatory fines from the 38 Foundation-assisted employees who continued working rather than give in to union officials’ demands that they abandon their jobs.

Michigan Teachers Union Hit with Charges for Forced Dues Demands in Violation of Right to Work Protections

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a public school teacher in Grand Rapids, Michigan has filed an unfair labor practice charge with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) against the Grand Rapids Education Association (GREA) and the Michigan Education Association (MEA). The charge details how union officials violated Michigan’s public sector Right to Work law by illegally demanding compulsory union fees.

Becky Lapham is a teacher with Grand Rapids Public Schools and works at the Lincoln Developmental Center. When she resigned her membership with the GREA union, union officials informed Lapham that even as a nonmember she would be required to pay union fees until the existing monopoly bargaining agreement expired in 2015.

Once the preexisting monopoly bargaining agreement expired on June 30, 2015, Lapham became fully covered by Michigan’s public sector Right to Work law.

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