Top Down Organizing (card check) 

News Release

NLRB Agrees to Allow VW Workers to Intervene to Defend Union Election Results

Foundation staff attorneys help employees defend their secret-ballot vote to keep the UAW out of their workplace

Springfield, VA (March 10, 2014) – The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has just granted a motion to intervene filed by five Volkswagen employees in the United Auto Worker union’s legal challenge to the outcome of the recent unionization election at VW’s Chattanooga plant. All five employees are receiving free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation.

Patrick Semmens, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement:

“We are very pleased that, despite attempts by Volkswagen and UAW officials to keep workers out of this process, the acting Regional Director has ruled that the workers are entitled to defend their vote to keep the UAW out of their workplace. The decision over whether or not to unionize is supposed to lie with the workers, which makes the attempt by VW and the UAW to shut them out of this process all the more shameful.”

Foundation staff attorneys earlier helped several VW workers file charges citing improprieties in the UAW's unionization campaign in Chattanooga, including union attempts to get workers to sign union authorization cards through coercion and misrepresentation and the UAW’s use of cards signed too long ago to be legally valid. Some of those workers also filed a federal charge against Volkswagen after company officials made comments linking unionization to increased production at the Chattanooga facility.

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 Testifies before Congress on the Dangers of the NLRB’s Proposed Election Rules

Foundation staff attorney explains how rule changes undermine workers’ rights

Washington, DC (March 5, 2014) – This morning, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorney William Messenger testified before the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce on the dangers of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) proposed election rules.

The committee, which is chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-MN), held a hearing entitled “Culture of Union Favoritism: The Return of the NLRB’s Ambush Election Rule” on a series of election rule changes proposed by the NLRB that leave employees uninformed about potential downsides to unionization.

Messenger, a veteran Foundation staff attorney who has argued before the Supreme Court, contends that dramatically shortening the period before unionization elections will hurt workers’ ability to cast an informed vote.

“The short time frame under the proposed rules will make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for individual employees opposed to unionization to organize against a union’s well-funded and professionally orchestrated campaign to win the monopoly bargaining privilege,” wrote Messenger in testimony submitted to the Committee prior to the hearing.

“The NLRB continues to try to rig the game in favor of aggressive union organizers,” said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “The National Right to Work Foundation, which represents thousands of employees nationwide, opposes these rule changes because they would prevent workers from making an informed decision about unionization.”

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 File Motion to Defend Against UAW Union Boss NLRB Election Objections

UAW union bosses lost secret-ballot unionization election, but Volkswagen appears unwilling to defend workers' rejection of the UAW

Washington, DC (February 25, 2014) – Five Chattanooga, Tennessee Volkswagen workers have filed a motion to intervene after the United Auto Workers (UAW) union filed objections to an election in which workers at VW's Chattanooga facility voted against unionization.

The five workers filed the motion to intervene with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

Late last week, UAW union officials filed the objections with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) after Chattanooga VW workers voted against giving the UAW union hierarchy monopoly bargaining control over the plant via a rapid-fire unionization election.

Foundation staff attorneys earlier helped several VW workers file charges citing improprieties in the UAW'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 after German VW officials made comments linking unionization to more production for the facility.

Just days after the NLRB dismissed the workers' charges, the NLRB approved a rapid-fire unionization election. On January 27, VW and the UAW struck a backroom "neutrality" deal that called for the election after just nine days, provided UAW union operatives with nearly unfettered access to the facility, paid workers to attend pro-UAW captive audience meetings, and required company management to "align" their public statements with union officials.

"Based on Volkswagen management's actions leading up to this point, these workers are concerned that VW will not actively defend their vote to remain free from union boss control," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "That's why these workers have filed a motion to intervene with the help of National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys."

Mix continued: "The NLRB should immediately grant the employees' motion to intervene in the election certification process to ensure that one party to the process is fully invested in upholding the election results. Otherwise, UAW officials with the approval of VW and a pro-union NLRB will be able to continually throw out election results until they get the result they want."

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 Reacts After UAW Officials File Objections to Overturn Chattanooga VW Workers' Vote

With Foundation free legal aid, workers will exercise every legal option to ensure that their vote is upheld

Washington, DC (February 21, 2014) – United Auto Workers (UAW) union officials have filed objections with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to the results of a unionization election in which workers at Volkswagen America's Chattanooga, Tennessee facility voted against giving the UAW union hierarchy monopoly bargaining control over the plant. Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement in response to the UAW's objections:

"Chattanooga VW employees managed to stave off a coercive unionization campaign even though the UAW and VW officials colluded for over two years to stack the deck against the workers. The result of this election came after the NLRB further tilted the playing field in favor of UAW union officials by fast-tracking the unionization process. Despite all of this, UAW union officials still lost the vote.

"Now, UAW union officials are blaming everyone but themselves for swaying the vote against the union, while neglecting the fact that members of VW Germany management threatened workers to unionize or miss out on more work. Even President Obama weighed in with support for unionization. Obviously, the UAW's complaints about 'outside influences' only apply to those that oppose the UAW.

"In the past, the NLRB has refused to uphold employer objections to unionization elections in which politicians acting at the behest of the UAW seemingly swayed the vote's outcome in favor of the union. Foundation staff attorneys plan to exercise every legal option for workers who support the election's result, because they are concerned that Volkswagen will not actively defend the employees' vote."

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 Reacts to Chattanooga Volkswagen Workers' Rejection of UAW Union Bosses

Labor Board tilted playing field to benefit union bosses

Washington, DC (February 14, 2014) – Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement after the announcement today that a majority of workers voting at Volkswagen America's Chattanooga, Tennessee facility voted against giving the United Auto Workers (UAW) union hierarchy monopoly bargaining control over the plant via a rapid-fire unionization election:

"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. Volkswagen Germany board members wanted UAW union officials to gain monopoly bargaining powers over the Chattanooga facility so that they don't have to compete with nonunion VW workers in America.

"The result of this election comes after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) unprecedentedly fast-tracked the unionization process, further tilting the playing field in favor of UAW union officials. It also 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.

"Despite all of this, UAW union officials' still lost the vote. If UAW union officials cannot win when the odds are so stacked in their favor, perhaps they should reevaluate the product they are selling to workers."

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 intimidated their fellow workers into accepting UAW monopoly bargaining power over their workplace.

After the NLRB dismissed those charges, Foundation attorneys asked the NLRB's Inspector General to investigate the agency's conduct during its processing of the workers' unfair labor practice charges. Foundation attorneys received evidence that the agency's actions undermined their ability to advise their clients before the dismissal of their cases became publicly known.

Just days after the NLRB dispatched the workers' charges, the NLRB approved a rapid-fire unionization election. John Raudabaugh, a law professor and former NLRB member, was quoted by the media as saying, "I have never seen such a quick election."

Foundation attorneys also filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the NLRB seeking full disclosure regarding the agency's handling of the case and its contacts with UAW agents.

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

Casino Union Bosses Back Down from Enforcing Card Check Deal after Supreme Court Dismisses Union Appeal

Right to Work Foundation-won Eleventh Circuit ruling stands, establishing that union demands for organizing assistance can violate federal labor law

Hollywood, FL (February 11, 2014) – Following a prolonged legal battle, a local casino worker has successfully fought off a backroom union organizing deal with help of National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys. Martin Mulhall withdrew his lawsuit, which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, after union lawyers ceased their efforts to enforce the agreement Mulhall was challenging.

Mulhall was contesting a union organizing pact struck in 2004 between UNITE HERE Local 355 officials and Mardi Gras Gaming. Under the deal, union officials promised to spend over one hundred thousand dollars on a gambling ballot initiative and guaranteed not to picket, boycott, or strike against Mardi Gras facilities.

In return, union organizers asked Mardi Gras to give them employees’ personal contact information (including home addresses) and grant access to company facilities during a coercive “card check” organizing campaign, refrain from informing workers about the downsides of unionization, and not request a federally-supervised secret ballot election to determine whether employees unionized.

Mulhall filed a lawsuit challenging the organizing pact in 2008, alleging that the company’s concessions were of substantial monetary value because they made UNITE HERE’s organizing drive easier and less expensive. Under the Labor Management Relations Act, employers are prohibited from handing over “any money or other thing of value” to union organizers, a provision that is supposed to prevent union officials from selling out workers’ rights in exchange for corporate concessions.

In December, the U.S. Supreme Court “dismissed as improvidently granted” a union appeal of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in Mulhall v. UNITE HERE. The dismissal leaves intact the appeals court’s ruling that the company’s organizing assistance to union officials could constitute “thing[s] of value” under the Labor Management Relations Act. After the Court dismissed the union’s appeal, UNITE HERE finally abandoned its effort to enforce the organizing pact.

“Management shouldn’t be allowed to turn over employees’ personal information to aggressive Big Labor organizers as a negotiating tactic, which is why the Eleventh Circuit’s precedent is a vital protection for independent-minded workers,” said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Thanks to Mr. Mulhall’s victory, union bosses and employers who use workers’ rights as a bargaining chip will now enter into these agreements at their own risk.”

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 Reacts to Volkswagen's Request for NLRB Union Election

Unionization election reportedly scheduled for February 12

Washington, DC (February 3, 2014) – Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement after the announcement today that Volkswagen America has petitioned the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a rapid-fire United Auto Workers (UAW) unionization election in its Chattanooga plant:

"We're pleased that despite constant calls by UAW officials to be recognized as the workers' monopoly bargaining representative via card check recognition, Volkswagen workers will instead be given a chance to vote on the matter in a secret-ballot election. A secret-ballot election is what Foundation-assisted workers were asking for all along.

"However, we are concerned about the existence of backroom deals cut between Volkswagen and UAW officials giving union organizers preferential access to the workers leading up to the election. We call on VW to give workers opposing the union equal access and also to release any agreements it has signed regarding what would happen if the UAW union takes monopoly bargaining power over the workplace, including agreements to impose a so-called works council on the employees.

"VW workers should be given all the facts before the election so that they can make an informed choice, and we will oppose efforts to stampede them or tilt the playing field."

National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys assisted several VW workers in filing charges alleging improprieties in the UAW union hierarchy's card check process, 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 alleging that statements by German VW officials are illegally intimidating their fellow workers to accept UAW monopoly bargaining power over their workplace.

After the NLRB Division of Advice instructed the NLRB Regional Director in Atlanta to dismiss those charges, Foundation attorneys, led by former NLRB Member John Raudabaugh, asked the NLRB's Inspector General to investigate the agency's conduct during its processing of the workers' unfair labor practice charges because Foundation attorneys received evidence that the agency's actions undermined their ability to advise their clients before the dismissal of their cases became publicly known.

Foundation attorneys also filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the NLRB seeking full disclosure regarding the agency's handling of the case and its contacts with UAW agents.

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

Foundation Requests Investigation of NLRB's Conduct in Chattanooga Volkswagen Case

Leaked internal emails bring agency's impartiality further into question

Washington, DC (January 29, 2014) – National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, led by former National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Member John Raudabaugh, have requested an official inquiry into the NLRB's conduct in adjudicating several Chattanooga Volkswagen America workers' charges against VW and the United Auto Worker (UAW) union during the on-going, highly-contentious UAW organizing campaign.

Foundation staff attorneys have asked the NLRB's Inspector General to investigate the agency's conduct during its processing of the workers' unfair labor practice charges that the NLRB Division of Advice instructed the NLRB Regional Director in Atlanta to dismiss.

Several VW workers filed charges alleging improprieties in the UAW union hierarchy's card check process, 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 alleging that statements by German VW officials are illegally coercing their fellow workers to accept UAW monopoly bargaining power over their workplace.

On January 23, NLRB staff in Washington, DC, released the Division of Advice's two "Advice Memorandums" to members of the media in Chattanooga and Knoxville but not to the workers' Foundation staff attorneys. Foundation public relations staff later received the NLRB memos from a reporter in Chattanooga. The Board staff released these Advice Memorandums to the press even though such memos are rarely, if ever, released to anyone in open cases.

An email the NLRB Atlanta Region accidentally forwarded to Foundation attorneys suggests that VW's lawyers also received inquiries regarding the memos' content from a press contact in Knoxville before those lawyers received the memos. Furthermore, the email shows that the Regional Director in Atlanta questioned the propriety of the Advice Memorandums' release to the media, contrary to longstanding NLRB practice.

The NLRB Regional Director's message then states, "I hope the RTW folks do not pick apart the dismissal letters because they may not exactly track the advice wording." Foundation attorneys are concerned that the NLRB's hurried public release of memos favorable to VW and the UAW calls into question the agency's impartiality in the workers' cases.

Foundation attorneys also filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the NLRB seeking full disclosure regarding the agency's handling of the case and its contacts with UAW agents.

"The NLRB's actions undermined Foundation attorneys' ability to advise their clients before the NLRB's dismissal of their cases became publicly known," said Ray LaJeunesse, Legal Director of the National Right to Work Foundation. "The NLRB's conduct further cements the perception that one set of rules applies to benefit union bosses and another set of rules applies against workers who wish to remain union free."

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

U.S. Supreme Court Reviews Illinois Homecare Provider Unionization Scheme

National Right to Work Foundation attorneys return to High Court to defend home-based personal care providers forced into union ranks

Washington, DC (January 21, 2013) – Tuesday morning, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys will argue a case before the United States Supreme Court that will decide whether Illinois homecare providers can be forced into union ranks against their will.

The case, Harris v. Quinn, is a class-action lawsuit filed by Pam Harris and seven other Illinois care providers after Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed an executive order designating 4,500 individuals who offer in-home care to disabled persons as "public employees," thus rendering them vulnerable to unwanted union organizing. However, the scheme only designates providers as public employees for the purposes of unionization, leaving the homecare recipients as the employers for all other aspects of the providers' work.

As a result of Quinn's order, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) organizers have been seeking to acquire monopoly bargaining control over this newly-created class of public employees.

Quinn's executive order mirrored one issued by disgraced former Governor Blagojevich, which designated over 20,000 personal care providers as state workers solely for the purpose of forcing them into union ranks. Quinn then expanded Blagojevich's directive to cover an additional 4,500 providers who were not included in the original order.

Several legal observers and pundits have referred to Harris as a "sleeper" case. At least 18 states have imposed schemes to unionize home-based personal care and childcare workers. This case could have significant ramifications of how the government determines what workers, who indirectly receive state subsidies based on their clientele, qualify as state employees. Foundation attorneys will argue that such schemes violate the providers' First Amendment right to choose with whom they associate to petition the government.

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement:

"This scheme, which forces small business owners and even parents and grandparents taking care of children into union political association is a slap in the face of fundamental American principles we hold dear. The government does not have the power to force citizens to accept its handpicked political representation to lobby itself.

"Forcing homecare providers into union ranks just for the sake of lobbying is not only unconstitutional, but immoral. We hope the Court will agree and protect the rights of Pam Harris and tens of thousands of other care providers by striking down this constitutionally-dubious scheme."

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

U.S. Supreme Court Considers Union Organizing Deals Wednesday

Right to Work legal challenge could determine if companies are allowed to hand over sensitive employee information to aggressive union organizers

Washington, DC (November 13, 2013) – Wednesday morning, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys will argue a case before the United States Supreme Court that could determine what kind of organizing assistance union officials can receive from a targeted company during coercive card check unionization schemes.

The case, Mulhall v. UNITE HERE, could determine whether union organizers can receive workers’ personal information and other valuable organizing tools in exchange for concessions at employees' expense. Jamie Raskin, professor at American University law school, was quoted in the Washington Examiner as stating "This is by far the most important labor case in a generation."

In 2004, UNITE HERE Local 355 and Mardi Gras Gaming entered into an agreement in which union officials promised to devote over one hundred thousand dollars to help pass a gambling ballot initiative and guaranteed not to picket, boycott, or strike against Mardi Gras facilities.

In return, Mardi Gras agreed to give union operatives workers' personal contact information (including home addresses), grant them access to company facilities during a coercive 'card check' organizing campaign, refrain from informing workers about the impact of unionization, and refrain from requesting a federally-supervised secret ballot election to determine whether employees unionized.

Under the Labor Management Relations Act, employers are prohibited from handing over "any money or other thing of value" to union organizers, a provision that is supposed to prevent union officials from selling out workers' rights in exchange for corporate support of unionization.

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement:

"Instead of relying on the traditional shop-floor organizing methods, union officials are increasingly cutting backroom deals with company management that allows both sides to sell out the workers. Workers' freedom of association and free choice should not be a bargaining chip. Over the years, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys have assisted many workers from across the country who were victims of card check instant organizing and neutrality agreements.

"We feel strongly that what happened in this case is a perfect example of the corrupt dealings that the Labor Management Relations Act was enacted to outlaw. We hope the Court will agree and decide that union officials' top-down organizing campaigns targeting workers are designed to obtain 'a thing of value' and thus illegal under federal law."

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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