Teamster union bosses sought to punish worker refraining from union membership
Denver, CO (July 6, 2012) – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has upheld a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling against a local Teamster union policy that discriminated against nonunion workers employed by Interstate Bakeries in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma worker Kirk Rammage received free assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation during his six and a half year legal battle challenging the Teamster union's discriminatory policy.
Rammage was the single nonunion sales representative with Dolly Madison for over 15 years before his division was merged in 2005 with Wonder Bread/Hostess. Although the company initially wanted to protect Rammage's seniority during the merger, Teamsters Local 523 union officials insisted that union members receive preferential treatment by putting Rammage at the bottom of the seniority roster despite his longer workplace tenure. The company later caved in to the union bosses' demand.
At Interstate Bakeries, seniority increases employees' chances of securing desirable sales routes. By insisting that Rammage lose his seniority, Teamster officials effectively signaled that union workers took priority over their nonunion colleagues. As a result, Rammage was forced to commute to a new work location more than 70 miles away.