NLRB 

Former Rhode Island Nurse Files Brief in Obama NLRB "Recess Appointment" Supreme Court Case

News Release

Former Rhode Island Nurse Files Brief in Obama NLRB "Recess Appointment" Supreme Court Case

Invalid Labor Board negates Supreme Court's restrictions on union bosses' power to force workers to pay for union politics

Washington, D.C. (November 25, 2013) – A former Warwick, Rhode Island nurse has filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the high-profile legal battle over President Barack Obama's recent purported recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Jeanette Geary filed the amicus brief today with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

Foundation staff attorneys argue in the brief that the recess appointments are unconstitutional because the U.S. Senate was still in session per the body's rules. Therefore the President could not make the appointments to the NLRB without Senate confirmation.

Click here to read the full release.

Utility Employee Seeks to Shut Off Forced Dues Scheme

News Release

Utility Employee Seeks to Shut Off Forced Dues Scheme

Union bosses illegally demand worker join union or "be escorted off the property"

Newark, NJ (October 28, 2013) – A Public Service Electric and Gas company worker has filed federal charges against a local union and his employer for violating his rights.

With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, Gregory Lehman of Woodbridge, New Jersey, filed the unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Lehman, who must accept Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 153 officials' representation as a condition of his employment, alleges that union officials and company management demanded he join the union and pay full union dues or be fired and "escorted off the property."

Click here to read the full release.

Chattanooga VW Workers File Federal Charge Against Company For Pro-Unionization Coercion

News Release

Chattanooga VW Workers File Federal Charge Against Company For Pro-Unionization Coercion

Company management in Germany gives workers ultimatum: Join the union or lose workplace opportunities

Chattanooga, TN (October 16, 2013) – Today, four Chattanooga, Tennessee, Volkswagen AG (VOW.DE) workers filed a federal charge against the company alleging that statements by German VW officials are illegally coercing fellow workers into representation by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, the workers filed the charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office in Atlanta.

The charge comes after senior VW management in Germany stated, according to recent media reports, that for any expanded production to be considered in Chattanooga, the plant must adopt a works council that would force workers to accept the representation of UAW union officials.

Click here to read the full release.

Ford Motor Security Company, Local Union Face Federal Prosecution for Numerous Violations

News Release

Ford Motor Security Company, Local Union Face Federal Prosecution for Numerous Violations

Union officials discriminate against nonmembers

Dearborn, MI (July 30, 2013) – A security company and a Dearborn-based union are facing a federal prosecution for a litany of workers' rights abuses.

The prosecution comes in the wake of a series of charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by three security guards, one of whom is receiving free legal assistance from National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys.

The three security guards filed the charges after their employer, AlliedBarton Security Services, entered into a monopoly bargaining agreement with the United Protective Workers of America (UPWA) Local 1 union hierarchy shortly before Michigan's new Right to Work law took effect.

The agreement illegally requires AlliedBarton security guards working at Ford Motor Company facilities in Dearborn to join the UPWA union and pay full union dues as a condition of employment. The agreement also requires the security guards to irrevocably sign up for full union dues payments in order to receive signing bonuses.

Click here to read the full release.

Worker Rights Advocate Blasts McCain/Reid NLRB Deal

News Release

Worker Rights Advocate Blasts McCain/Reid NLRB Deal

President’s NLRB appointments will pave the way for at least three more years of forced-unionism giveaways

Washington, DC (July 16, 2013) – Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, issued the following statement in response to President Barack Obama's reported new nominations to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB):

"Union bosses know their coercive agenda is overwhelmingly unpopular with the American people. This is why they've turned to unelected administrative agencies like the NLRB to push through much of what they cannot get through Congress.

"And after Senator John McCain apparently struck a backroom deal today with Senate Democrats to sell out independent-minded workers, the Obama White House wasted no time meeting with union bosses to determine who they want on the agency to enact their radical agenda.

"Even though the American people who are outraged by this rouge NLRB were not included in these discussions, Obama's NLRB appointments will pave the way for at least three more years of the very forced-unionism giveaways union bosses failed to obtain through the legislative process.

Click here to read the full release.

NLRB Watch: Breakdown of Cases Invalidated By Noel Canning Decision

Foundation staff attorney, Ave Maria law professor, and former National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Member John Raudabaugh has published his latest installment to the Foundation's "NLRB Watch" blog feature.

In "NLRB Watch" #8, titled "What the Noel Canning Decision Means for NLRB Cases," Raudabaugh charts what cases may be subject to challenge in the wake of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia's ruling last month invalidating President Barack Obama's controversial purported "recess appointments" to the Board. The court held President Obama could not constitutionality make those appointments without U.S. Senate confirmation because the Senate was not in recess. National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys filed an amicus curiae brief jointly with the Landmark Legal Foundation in the case.

As a result of the court's ruling, since at least January 3, 2012, the Board has lacked a quorum as required by a U.S. Supreme Court precedent established in 2010, thus invalidating the Board's rulings since that time. Click here to see a chart displaying the many cases invalidated by the court's decision in Noel Canning.

Click here to read other posts located at the "NLRB Watch" page. And be sure to follow the National Right to Work Foundation on Facebook and Twitter to get alerts on new "NLRB Watch" posts!

Paris Las Vegas Casino Union Bosses Play High Stakes Game with Worker's Legal Rights

News Release

Paris Las Vegas Casino Union Bosses Play High Stakes Game with Worker's Legal Rights

Union officials threaten nonmember worker with benefits cuts unless she pays union dues

Las Vegas, NV (June 26, 2013) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino worker has filed a federal charge against a local union for violating her right to refrain from union affiliation.

Nani Sugianto filed the federal unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last week against the Culinary Workers Union Local 226.

According to the charge, after union brass signed a new contract with the hotel, a union steward illegally threatened Sugianto that she would lose all of her benefits and her seniority, and would be required to start over again as a new hire, unless she paid union dues even though she is not a union member.

Click here to read the full release.

Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down NLRB Rule to Push More Workers into Union Ranks

News Release

Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down NLRB Rule to Push More Workers into Union Ranks

Right to Work Foundation fights Labor Board's decision to promote monopoly unionism in virtually every workplace in America

Washington, DC (May 7, 2013) – Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia struck down the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) controversial new rule requiring virtually every private-sector employer in the country to post one-sided information about employee rights online and in the workplace, even if the employer had never been accused of unfair labor practices.

Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation, made the following statement in the wake of the ruling:

"National Right to Work Foundation attorneys argued that the NLRB had exceeded its authority granted by Congress.

"We are pleased that the D.C. Circuit has reined in one of the NLRB's more outrageous efforts to expand itself into a taxpayer-funded union organizing operation by holding that the federal agency cannot compel private entities to post pro-union messages in their workplaces.

"The NLRB's unprecedented actions infringed upon free speech and clearly exceeded the agency's statutory authority. This is a good day both for workers and all who value workplace independence and free speech."

FOUNDATION ACTION: Foundation Legal Director Warns Congress of NLRB's Big Labor Bias

NOTE: This article is from the March-April issue of Foundation Action, our bi-monthly newsletter. You can sign up to receive a print edition of the newsletter here.  


Foundation Legal Director Warns Congress of NLRB's Big Labor Bias

Testimony highlights Board's indifference to individual workers' rights

WASHINGTON, DC - On February 13, Ray LaJeunesse, Vice President and Legal Director of the National Right to Work Foundation, testified before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce about the need to more vigorously enforce employees’ rights to refrain from funding union politics.

LaJeunesse, who has over 40 years of experience on the Foundation’s legal staff and has argued four cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, repeatedly criticized the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for its lax enforcement of the rights of workers who wish to refrain from union affiliation. Under the Foundation-won Supreme Court precedent Communication Workers v. Beck, private sector employees have the right to refrain from paying for union activities unrelated to workplace bargaining, such as members-only events and union political activism. However, the Obama-era NLRB has shown little interest in helping employees assert their rights to opt out of paying for union politics.

NLRB throws up bureaucratic hurdles to employee rights

LaJeunesse pointed out that the Board has permitted union officials to install a number of bureaucratic hurdles that discourage independent-minded employees from asserting their Beck rights. LaJeunesse noted that many unions now require employees to annually renew their objections to union political spending during a designated “window period,” a practice that allows union officials to continue extracting full dues from nonunion employees if they miss an arbitrary filing deadline.

Moreover, the Board has recently held that nonunion employees can be charged for organizing activities and political lobbying for “goals that are germane to collective bargaining.” LaJeunesse noted that this elastic interpretation of the Supreme Court’s Beck standard undermines the ability of nonunion employees to refrain from funding ideological and organizing activities they may disagree with.

“In sum, the problem is systemic,” concluded LaJeunesse. “The Board has dismally failed to protect workers’ Beck rights. Indeed, the current Board seems bent on totally eviscerating those rights.”

Obama Appointees Kowtow to Big Labor

Unfortunately, the Board – a supposedly neutral arbiter of American labor law – has been stacked with pro-Big Labor appointees throughout the Obama Administration. Former NLRB Member Craig Becker actually worked for the SEIU and AFL-CIO before joining the Board and ruling on cases he was involved with as a union lawyer. Current NLRB Member Michael Griffin also worked as a union lawyer before joining the Board.

“As our Legal Director noted in his testimony before Congress, the Board has shown a total disregard for the rights of independent-minded employees,” said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “We hope this will serve as a wake-up call to citizens concerned about the Board’s pro-forced unionism bias.”

 

FOUNDATION ACTION: Foundation's Brief Puts Illegitimate NLRB Appointees on the Spot

NOTE: This article is from the March-April issue of Foundation Action, our bi-monthly newsletter. You can sign up to receive a print edition of the newsletter here.


Foundation's Brief Puts Illegitimate NLRB Appointeees on the Spot

Order sought would force NLRB to cease and desist as long as illegal "recess" appointees remain 

WASHINGTON, DC - In late January 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia struck down President Obama’s controversial “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).  Obama made those “recess” appointments on January 4, 2012, despite the fact that the U.S. Senate was not in recess.

Upon the court’s announcement striking down Obama’s “recess” appointments, NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce issued a statement that the rogue Board was going to continue to operate as normal despite the appeals court decision.

In response, Foundation staff attorneys filed a petition for a writ of mandamus (or prohibition) with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit asking the court to order the NLRB to suspend further action in a union political lobbying case in which the Board defied Foundation-won Supreme Court precedent and granted union bosses the power to charge nonmember workers for union political lobbying activities.
A mere 12 days after the petition was filed, the court ordered the NLRB to respond and justify its continuing operation.

“For the first time, the NLRB must justify why it is continuing to operate despite the court’s finding that President Obama’s ‘recess’ appointments are constitutionally invalid,” said Ray LaJeunesse, Foundation Legal Director.  “And if the court shuts down the NLRB in this case, it will open the door for challenges in the other cases ruled on by Obama’s so-called ‘recess’ appointments.”

Worker protections at risk

As a result of the appeals court’s ruling, since at least January 3, 2012, the Board has lacked a quorum as required by a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court precedent – thus invalidating the Board’s more than 800 rulings and orders since that time.

One of those cases involves Jeanette Geary, a former Warwick, Rhode Island nurse at Kent Hospital, who filed federal charges against a local nursing union with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in September 2009.  The United Nurses and Allied Professionals (UNAP) union hierarchy was illegally forcing Geary and some of her coworkers, all nonmembers, into paying for the union bosses’ lobbying, including lobbying for legislation in neighboring Vermont.

The U.S. Supreme Court has long held that nonmember workers cannot be compelled to pay for union boss politics.  The U.S. Supreme Court held in the National Right to Work Foundation-won Communications Workers v. Beck case that nonmember workers cannot be forced to pay for union activities unrelated to workplace bargaining, such as members-only events and union political lobbying.

However, in December 2012, the invalid NLRB expanded union bosses’ powers to charge nonmember workers for union lobbying by a vote of three to one – flying in the face of long-standing Supreme Court precedent.  The Board then retained jurisdiction over the case pending further briefing on applying the ruling, forcing Foundation staff attorneys to file the petition that spurred the appeals court to demand an answer from the NLRB on the “recess” appointments issue.

Meanwhile, various federal appeals courts across the country are hearing similar challenges to the NLRB recess appointments. Foundation staff attorneys brought the issue before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago and have another challenge pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  Moreover, challenges from other organizations are pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for both the Third and Fourth Circuits.

NLRB appeals loss to U.S. Supreme Court

The three judge panel on the appeals court that struck down President Obama’s “recess” appointments ruled that Obama violated Article II of the U.S. Constitution, which requires the President to obtain the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate for appointments to the most powerful positions in the executive branch, and Article 1, Section 5, Clause 4 of the Constitution, which clearly states that Congress decides when there is a recess.

The appeals court adopted arguments made in an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief filed by National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys for four workers who are receiving free legal assistance from the Foundation in cases pending before the Board.

After conferring with President Obama’s Department of Justice, the NLRB announced in mid-March that it will appeal the appeals court’s decision striking down Obama’s “recess” appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court.  The NLRB’s appeal sets up a no-holds-barred fight over Obama’s “recess” appointments before the High Court.

“We hope the Supreme Court will take this opportunity to rein in the out-of-control NLRB and restore the balance of power the constitution intended,” stated Mark Mix, President of National Right to Work.  “A favorable ruling could shut down the NLRB for the rest of Obama’s presidency, or at least flood it with a backlog of old cases the Board will have to reconsider, thus slowing its onslaught against workers’ rights.”


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