Top Down Organizing (card check) 

News Release

Worker Advocate to Testify before Congress on the Dangers of the NLRB's New Ambush Election Rules

Foundation staff attorney explains how rule changes undermine workers' rights

Washington, DC (March 3, 2015) – Tomorrow morning, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorney Glenn Taubman will testify before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions on the dangers of the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) recently-enacted regulations that will further give union organizers the upper hand over independent-minded employees during unionization campaigns.

The Subcommittee, which is chaired by Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), will focus on a series of election rule changes designed to dramatically shorten the time individual workers have to share information with their coworkers about the effects of unionization. The regulations also require employers to hand over workers' private information to union organizers, including their phone numbers and email addresses.

Taubman, a veteran Foundation staff attorney, will contend that dramatically shortening the period before unionization elections will hurt workers' ability to cast an informed vote.

"[Federal labor law] is not about unions or employers: it is about whether the employee has information from both sides to make a free and informed choice," wrote Taubman in testimony submitted to the Subcommittee prior to the hearing.

"The NLRB has once again resuscitated these draconian election rules designed to make unionization campaigns even more one-sided in an effort to boost union bosses' forced dues ranks," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "The Obama Labor Board's latest give-away to Big Labor will ambush unsuspecting workers into union ranks and encroaches on the privacy rights of employees who may oppose unionization in their workplace."

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, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Worker Advocate Files Federal Court Briefs Challenging Obama Labor Board's Ambush Election Rules

In two court challenges to NLRB's recycled biased rules, Foundation argues rules allow union bosses to ambush workers into Big Labor's forced-dues-paying ranks

Washington, DC (February 12, 2015) – The National Right to Work Foundation has filed briefs in two federal courts challenging the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) recently-enacted regulations that will further give union organizers the upper hand over independent-minded employees during unionization campaigns.

The rules are designed to dramatically shorten the time individual workers have to share information with their coworkers about the effects of unionization. The regulations also require employers to hand over workers' private information to union organizers, including their phone numbers and email addresses.

The latest rules changes were rushed out before former union lawyer Nancy Schiffer's term expired on December 16, 2014. The NLRB had previously rushed the regulations out before former Service Employees International Union (SEIU) lawyer Craig Becker's term expired in December 2011, but they were later invalidated by a federal district court in 2012 on procedural grounds.

Foundation staff attorneys now argue in amicus curiae briefs filed with the U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia and the Western District of Texas that the new rules violate federal law, because the Board is shirking its statutory duty to determine the scope of the bargaining unit. Under the rules, unionization elections will proceed despite disputes over the unit's scope if less than 20 percent of the bargaining unit's composition is contested.

"It would be absurd for a redistricting commission to assert that it properly defined a congressional district while leaving unresolved whether one-fifth of adjacent counties are in or out of the district," Foundation attorneys state. "So too is it absurd for the Board to claim it is defining an appropriate bargaining unit while leaving unresolved whether one-fifth of job positions are in that unit."

"Being up to 20% wrong about the proper scope of a unit is simply not 'close enough for government work,'" the briefs continue.

Foundation attorneys also argue in the briefs that the rule requiring job providers to hand over the employees' personal information to union bosses violates workers' privacy.

"The NLRB has once again regurgitated Big Labor's wish list with these election rules designed to make unionization campaigns even more one-sided in an effort to boost union bosses’ forced dues ranks," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "The Obama Labor Board's latest give-away to Big Labor will ambush unsuspecting workers into union ranks and encroaches on the privacy rights of employees who may oppose unionization in their workplace."

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, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

NRTW Submits FOIA to Uncover Dealings between Department of Labor and German Union during VW Unionization Drive

Freedom of Information Act request seeks to shed light on German labor organizations’ involvement in the UAW’s Chattanooga unionization push

Washington, DC (January 15, 2015) – Today, the National Right to Work Foundation, a charitable organization that provides free legal assistance to thousands of workers nationwide, filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Department of Labor to uncover any communication between the Department and two German labor organizations regarding the ongoing unionization campaign at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga facilities.

Foundation staff attorneys assisted several workers who were subjected to coercive card check unionization tactics and pressure from management and union organizers during the United Auto Workers (UAW) union's multi-year campaign to unionize VW’s Chattanooga plant. The Foundation also helped several VW workers file a federal suit challenging the company's assistance to UAW officials during the campaign as an illegal exchange of "thing[s] of value" under the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA).

VW’s Global Works Council and IG Metall, a German autoworker union, were both prominent supporters of the UAW’s organizing drive. However, neither organization divulged the extent of their involvement in Chattanooga to the Department of Labor, despite the fact that their high-profile support for the UAW should have triggered disclosure requirements under the LMRA.

Although a majority of Chattanooga workers voted against the UAW in a secret ballot election last February, the UAW and its German backers have continued to push for unionization. Furthermore, UAW officials have refused to abide by an agreement they signed with VW not to engage in organizing activities at the facility for one year if workers voted against them.

In November 2014, Foundation President Mark Mix submitted a letter to Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez calling on the Department of Labor to require both German labor organizations to comply with American labor law and disclose their relationship with the UAW. To date, Mix’s letter has received no substantive response and there is no record of either organization filing the mandated disclosure reports.

The Foundation’s FOIA request seeks to uncover any communications between the Department of Labor, VW’s Global Works Council, and the IG Metall union. Foundation staff attorneys hope to determine if the Department of Labor is actively assisting these organizations in their efforts to unionize VW’s Chattanooga facilities.

“German labor organizations shouldn’t be exempt from American disclosure guidelines when they operate in the United States,” said Mix. “Did the UAW make promises to IG Metall to obtain its support that could affect the wages and working conditions of VW Chattanooga employees down the road? Is the Department of Labor actively supporting the UAW and IG Metall’s efforts to unionize the Chattanooga plant? Chattanooga VW workers facing the prospect of another unionization drive deserve to know the answers to these questions, which is why we filed this FOIA request.”

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, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Worker Advocate Urges Labor Secretary: Apply Federal Disclosure Law to German Union and VW Works Council

Foreign union boss groups conspire to force workers into union ranks without complying with federal disclosure requirements

Washington, DC (November 17, 2014) – Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, is urging U.S. Labor Department Secretary Thomas Perez to apply federal labor disclosure law to German union and Volkswagen (VW) officials involved in an international push to unionize workers at VW's Chattanooga, Tennessee facility.

The Foundation – the nation's premier advocate on behalf of workers who suffer from the abuses of compulsory unionism – assisted several workers who were subjected to coercive card check unionization tactics and pressure from VW management during the United Auto Workers (UAW) union's multi-year campaign to unionize the workers. The Foundation also assisted some of those workers in filing a federal suit that challenged the company's assistance to UAW union officials during the unionization campaign as an illegal exchange of "thing[s] of value" under the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA).

In a letter to Perez, Mix spells out how officials from the German-based IG Metall union, VW's Global Group Works Council (GWC), the UAW union, and VW Germany have participated in "high-profile public activities...that trigger Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) reporting requirements." Mix notes that the U.S. Department of Labor has thus far ignored this fact, and if it continues to do so, union and company officials "may receive de facto immunity for their possible violations of the LMRDA's criminal and civil protections."

The LMRDA requires union officials to make comprehensive and detailed disclosure of union financial data, prohibits persons convicted of serious crimes from serving as union officers, forces full reporting by union officers of any personal conflict-of-interest transactions, and prohibits the channeling of bribes and improper influence through middlemen.

"As it stands now, American employees of Volkswagen do not know what inside arrangements exist among UAW, IG Metall, Global Works Council, and VW," Mix states in the letter to Perez. "I call on you to immediately use your authorized powers to demand [disclosure reports] from IG Metall and the Global Works Council."

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, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Right to Work Foundation Announces Offer of Free Legal Aid to Alabama Mercedes-Benz Employees

Unions collude to force workers into union ranks

Springfield, VA (October 3, 2014) – Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation, has issued the following statement in response to recent media reports regarding United Auto Workers (UAW) union bosses' latest push to unionize Mercedes-Benz workers at the Vance, Alabama plant:

"Recent media reports suggest that UAW union officials are joining forces with foreign union bosses to unionize Mercedes-Benz employees in Alabama.

"The National Right to Work Foundation has seen again and again the UAW union hierarchy cut backroom deals with outside union groups, and even companies, that are designed to push workers into union ranks whether the employees like it or not, most recently in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

"In Chattanooga, Volkswagen workers were subjected to a coercive card check campaign and UAW union officials sought to block workers from the opportunity to vote on their union representation. UAW officials then challenged the results of the workers' vote after the workers rejected unionization.

"As UAW union officials seek to export their Detroit-style forced unionism to southern auto industry facilities, history shows that workers often experience intimidation, harassment, and coercion.

"National Right to Work Foundation attorneys have assisted workers across the country who have suffered from these top-down organizing campaigns orchestrated by UAW union organizers. Workers who feel they are being unfairly pressured when deciding whether or not to associate with the UAW union may request free legal aid from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys by calling 1-800-336-3600 or on the Foundation's website at www.nrtw.org."

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, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Labor Day Statement: "Despite Big Victories for Worker Freedom, More Work Remains"

Gains threatened by union bosses' power grabs via government fiat

Washington, DC (August 29, 2014) – Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and National Right to Work Committee, released the following statement regarding this year's Labor Day holiday:

"This Labor Day, many workers will enjoy a well-deserved long weekend. But as we celebrate the gains for workplace freedoms workers have made across the country, union officials are working aggressively to protect and expand their forced dues powers through government fiat.

"This year, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys have assisted tens of thousands of workers nationwide achieve victories for workplace freedom. In America's newest Right to Work state, a growing number of workers from across Michigan are joining the fight to protect their Right to Work free from union compulsion.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, when given a chance to vote, staved off unwanted unionization, overcoming a coercive card check campaign, pushed by company management and United Auto Workers union officials.

"And in Illinois, parents and other family members of special needs individuals successfully challenged a government unionization scheme at the U.S. Supreme Court. In that case, now-imprisoned former Illinois Governor Rob Blagojevich and current Governor Pat Quinn issued executive orders forcing home-based personal care providers into SEIU ranks. The effects of that ruling are reverberating across the nation, and thousands of home-based personal care and childcare providers have been freed from forced union dues or fees.

"Despite these big victories for worker freedom, more work remains. Millions of American workers are still compelled to pay dues or fees to union officials as a condition of getting or keeping a job. And millions more workers are required by law to accept a union's so-called 'representation,' even if they would rather negotiate with their employer on their own merits.

"Not satisfied with these unique coercive powers, union officials continue to spend billions of workers’ money on politics and lobbying seeking to expand their reach over American workers.

"That's why the National Right to Work Committee and its 2.8 million members are leading the fight for a National Right to Work Act making union affiliation completely voluntary – a principle supported by three out of four Americans.

"Although union officials have powerful friends in the Obama Administration, the National Right to Work organizations will continue to fight back against government-backed union boss power grabs and the resulting injustices they inflict upon American workers."

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, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Federal Court Hears Challenge to Minnesota Homecare Providers' Unionization

SEIU seeks to push home-based personal care providers into union ranks

Minneapolis, MN (August 19, 2014) – Today, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota will consider a motion brought by a group of home-based personal care providers to immediately halt the unionization of the state's homecare providers.

With free legal aid from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Teri Bierman and eight other providers from around the state filed a federal lawsuit last month against Governor Mark Dayton and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

The suit challenges a law that authorizes the forcible unionization of the state's providers on the grounds that it violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of free political expression and association.

Today, the court will consider the homecare providers' motion for a temporary injunction immediately halting implementation of the law intended to designate SEIU officials as the monopoly political representative of thousands of providers in the state. The SEIU seeks to unionize the providers via a mail-in vote that started on August 1.

In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in Harris v. Quinn, a Foundation case challenging whether Illinois homecare providers can be forced into union ranks against their will. The Court held that individuals who indirectly receive state subsidies based on their clientele cannot be forced to pay compulsory union fees. The Court's ruling frees home-based childcare and personal care providers from forced union dues and fees in at least 13 other states.

"In effect Governor Dayton is picking the SEIU as the lobbyists for Minnesota's personal care providers as payback for the union bosses who have been some of his most generous political supporters," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "The court should immediately halt this violation of homecare providers' fundamental right of free association."

The hearing will be held in Courtroom 15E at the Minneapolis Federal Courthouse at 9:30 a.m.

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, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Three Years Later, Workers Ask for Secret Ballot Vote After Obama Labor Board Kills Card Check Protections

NLRB's ruling removing workers' protection against card check unionization exposed as a farce

Houston, TX (August 12, 2014) – Three years after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) eliminated workers' right to challenge union card check recognition with a secret ballot vote, the very workers involved in that case have petitioned for an election to remove the unwanted union from their workplace.

In 2007, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys secured a new NLRB precedent in Dana Corp. which held that workers may collect signatures to request a secret ballot election during a 45-day window period following notice that their employer has recognized a union based on a card check organizing drive. The ruling was intended to counteract coercive practices frequently associated with card checks, which allow organizers to bully or mislead employees into signing cards that count as "votes" toward unionization.

In 2011, the Obama NLRB overturned the Dana precedent in Lamons Gasket. In that case, the NLRB denied the gasket and bolt manufacturing workers, and thousands of workers nationwide since, the right to challenge union card check recognition with a secret ballot vote. As a result, workers currently must wait up to three years after the date of the first monopoly bargaining agreement between their employer and union officials before they can file a petition for a secret ballot vote.

Now, almost three years to the date since the NLRB overturned Dana, Lamons Gasket workers, with the help of Foundation attorneys, filed for a secret ballot election to remove the United Steelworker union bosses who obtained control over their workplace through a coercive card check campaign. The election is now scheduled for August 20, 2014.

"The Obama NLRB has denied justice for these Lamons Gasket workers for three years," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Now that these workers finally have the overdue opportunity to determine their own union representation, this case proves once again that the Obama Labor Board's contorted ruling to kill the Dana Corp. precedent is a complete farce designed to further empower union operatives to steamroll workers into union ranks."

"President Obama and his hand-picked bureaucrats, operating under the guise of upholding federal labor law that purports to protect worker rights, are striving to make it next to impossible for independent-minded workers to stand up for their rights or remove an unwanted union hierarchy," added Mix.

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, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Volkswagen Workers Withdraw Lawsuit After Fending Off Imminent Unionization Threat

Workers’ vote quashes UAW unionization threat for one year

Chattanooga, TN (May 23, 2014) – Today, Volkswagen workers voluntarily withdrew their federal lawsuit challenging the United Autoworker (UAW) union officials' backroom organizing deal with company management during the union’s highly-publicized push to unionize the workers at VW's Chattanooga, Tennessee facility. The withdrawal was prompted by VW and UAW's attorneys' concessions in legal papers filed with the court that, having lost the election at the Chattanooga plant and dropped its objections to the result, the UAW cannot seek another election until sometime next year.

The case was initiated in March by the workers with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

"Having successfully defended the result of the vote against the UAW, the workers and their Foundation staff attorneys have made the strategic decision to withdraw their federal lawsuit against the UAW and Volkswagen," stated Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Foundation staff attorneys stand ready to provide free legal assistance to VW workers if VW and the UAW enter into another organizing deal or if UAW bosses resort to unlawful tactics at the plant again."

"When we filed this lawsuit, we were worried that the UAW union was going to be forced on us," stated plaintiff and Volkswagen team member Mike Jarvis. "Now that the vote has been certified, we want to move on, work with our fellow VW team members, and focus on building our award-winning cars."

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, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Chattanooga Volkswagen Workers Stave off UAW Union Boss Challenge

Foundation staff attorneys help employees preserve their decision to reject unionization

Springfield, VA (April 21, 2014) – The United Auto Worker (UAW) union has withdrawn its challenge of the Chattanooga Volkswagen workers' recent unionization vote with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement in response to the recent media reports:

"This is a win for the workers of Volkswagen. The UAW did everything they could to silence opposition. First, Chattanooga VW employees managed to stave off a coercive unionization campaign even though the UAW and Volkswagen's German management colluded for over two years to stack the deck against the workers.

"Despite all of this, UAW union officials' still lost the vote. The result of the election came after the NLRB unprecedentedly fast-tracked the unionization process, further tilting the playing field in favor of UAW union officials.

"Second, the UAW attempted to exclude workers from protecting the outcome of the election. But, once UAW officials realized both sides of the case would be presented at the hearing, they withdrew rather than have their allegations disproved. We are pleased that the workers' vote will now stand.

"This case demonstrates once again the unreliability of union officials' 'card check' method of unionization, as the UAW continued to claim on the basis of cards that it had the support of a majority of Volkswagen team members and that no election was needed.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Volkswagen employees filed a brief defending their right to have a say in the high-profile unionization dispute.

National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys helped several VW workers file charges citing improprieties in the UAW union hierarchy's unionization campaign, including getting workers to sign union authorization cards by coercion and misrepresentation and using cards signed too long ago to be legally valid. Some of those workers also filed a federal charge against the company stating that comments made by German VW officials illegally attempted to intimidate their fellow workers into accepting UAW monopoly bargaining power over their workplace.

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, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.

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