Top Down Organizing (card check) 

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.

The workers point out in their charge that Volkswagen's threat that failure to accept the union would risk losing potential for job growth "interfere[s] with Chattanooga facility employees' rights to choose whether or not to engage in self-organization to form, join, or assist labor organizations."

"With reports that Volkswagen is considering Chattanooga to build its new SUV, this is no idle threat," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "If VW management was discouraging workers from joining the UAW with threats, there's little question that an NLRB prosecution would have already begun at the UAW's behest."

Three of the four VW workers are part of a group of eight VW employees that also filed charges last month 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 union cards signed too long ago to be legally valid.

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

Eight Chattanooga Volkswagen Workers File Federal Charges Challenging UAW Card Check Scheme

Demand for installing UAW union at VW based on cards collected through "unlawful means including misrepresentations, coercion, threats, and promises"

Chattanooga, TN (September 25, 2013) – Today, eight Chattanooga, Tennessee, Volkswagen AG (VOW.DE) workers filed federal charges against the United Auto Workers (UAW) union for misleading and coercing them and other workers to forfeit their rights in what is now a "card check" unionization drive by the UAW.

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

After UAW union officials claimed to possess signature cards from a majority of workers, UAW union president Bob King demanded VW deny workers a secret ballot vote on unionization and instead unionize all workers on the basis of the unreliable and abuse-prone card check process.

The charges state that VW workers were told by UAW union organizers that a signature on the card was to call for a secret ballot unionization election. They also allege other improprieties in the card check process, including using cards that were signed too long ago to be legally valid.

After recent media reports suggested that workers were misled or bribed into signing union cards, workers who wanted to lawfully revoke their signatures were told by union officials that they had to physically appear at the union office if they wanted their cards returned to them.

"Despite making it so easy to sign union 'cards' at the workplace, UAW union officials are now demanding workers to go to the union office to exercise their right to reclaim their cards," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "This case underscores how card check unionization schemes make it 'easy to check in, but impossible to check out.'"

The charges ask the NLRB to order UAW union officials to cease and desist from demanding recognition based upon the tainted cards.

The workers contacted the Foundation for free legal assistance after learning about the Foundation's special legal notice to Volkswagen Chattanooga employees being subjected to the UAW card check drive. The notice can be found online here: www.nrtw.org/vw-chattanooga

Other VW employees who were subjected to or have knowledge of cards being collected through abuse, fraud, bribes, or other illicit means are encouraged to contact the Foundation. Workers can call 1-800-336-3600 or visit www.nrtw.org to request legal assistance.

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 Files Brief in Supreme Court Case Challenging Backroom Union Organizing Deal

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

Washington, DC (September 23, 2013) – National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys filed a brief at the United States Supreme Court late Friday for a Florida casino worker challenging a much used union organizing scheme. 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.

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.

With the help of Foundation staff attorneys, Mardi Gras employee Martin Mulhall filed a lawsuit in 2008 challenging the organizing pact. 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. Mulhall argues that the company's assistance with organizing was of substantial monetary value because it made UNITE HERE’s organizing drive easier and less expensive.

Mulhall won a significant victory in 2012, when the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the company's organizing assistance could constitute "a thing of value." UNITE HERE lawyers quickly appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, prompting Foundation attorneys to file a cross-petition asking the Court to review certain aspects of the Eleventh Circuit's ruling.

Foundation attorneys believe that the Eleventh Circuit's decision was too narrowly tailored to always prevent companies from aiding union organizers with valuable assistance. The Supreme Court will now revisit whether the company’s organizing assistance constitutes "a thing of value.

"We hope the Supreme Court will expand upon the Eleventh Circuit's landmark ruling and ensure that union organizers can't cut backroom deals that harm the very people they claim they want to represent," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Companies shouldn't be allowed to turn over employees' personal information to unscrupulous Big Labor organizers as a negotiating tactic."

The Court will hear the case on November 13.

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 Employees Tell Right to Work Foundation They Were Promised Secret Ballot Election

UAW union bosses target Volkswagen workers for unionization via card check scheme

Springfield, VA (September 13, 2013) – Recent media reports suggest that United Auto Workers (UAW) union officials are pushing Volkswagen AG (VOW.DE) to eliminate a secret ballot vote on unionization and instead unionize all workers in Chattanooga, Tennessee on the basis of an unreliable and abuse-prone "card check" process.

After UAW union officials claimed to receive a majority of workers signing union "cards," UAW union president Bob King told Reuters yesterday that the VW employees should be put under union monopoly control through the card check, and that they should not vote in private because, he claimed, such a secret ballot vote would be "divisive."

However, the National Right to Work Foundation has received a number of calls from workers at the plant who were told by UAW union organizers that a signature on the card was to call for a secret ballot unionization election.

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement in response to King's statement to Reuters:

"Despite their promises, UAW union officials are now trying to deny workers a secret ballot election to determine whether to unionize. Instead, they are pressuring Volkswagen to recognize them as the workers' monopoly bargaining representative.

"Any worker who believes they may have been misled, pressured, or coerced into signing a union 'card' should contact the National Right to Work Foundation at 1-800-336-3600 or the Foundation's website at www.nrtw.org immediately. It is not too late for workers to protect their legal rights."

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 Appeals Court Rules to Halt Implementation of Minnesota's Childcare Unionization Scheme

Childcare providers fight dictate to push them into forced union dues ranks

Minneapolis, MN (September 19, 2013) – Today, a federal appeals court ruled to delay implementation of Minnesota's new law that seeks to forcibly unionize the state’s home-based childcare providers.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Jennifer Parrish from Rochester and 11 other providers from around the state filed an appeal last month after the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota dismissed their lawsuit on the grounds that it was filed too soon.

Parrish and other providers seek to halt implementation of a recently-passed law intended to designate American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) officials as the monopoly political representative of thousands of providers in the state, who are either owners of childcare businesses or family members who take care of related children.

Patrick Semmens, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement on the appeals court ruling:

"Minnesota's childcare providers are no longer under imminent threat to be forcibly unionized in a union they want nothing to do with.

"The court ruled to delay implementation of the law pending the outcome of a National Right to Work Foundation-led challenge pending at the U.S. Supreme Court of a similar law passed in Illinois."

Home-based childcare and personal care providers have challenged similar forced-unionization-by-government-fiat schemes in several states across the country. Foundation attorneys argue that such schemes violate the providers' First Amendment right to choose with whom they associate to petition the government.

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 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.

"Obama reportedly will nominate career union lawyers Nancy Schiffer and Kent Hirozawa to the NLRB. Both NLRB nominees, who are practically guaranteed to be confirmed, are staunch pro-forced unionism advocates.

"Schiffer is a long-time supporter of 'card check' unionization and has testified before Congress in favor of this coercive scheme.

"Meanwhile, Foundation staff attorneys squared off against Kent Hirozawa in a case in which union officials unlawfully retaliated against a worker for initiating a successful workplace decertification drive to eject the unwanted union from her workplace.

"The worker received free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation attorneys after her home was flooded with hundreds of unwanted magazines and advertisements, jeopardizing her credit rating."

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

Hospital Worker to Testify at Congressional Hearing Regarding SEIU Card Check Coercion

Worker advocate says National Labor Relations Board has failed to protect workers who wish to refrain from union affiliation

Washington, DC (June 26, 2013) – An Orange County, California hospital worker and her National Right to Work Foundation staff attorney will testify today before a U.S. House subcommittee about the need for workers to be able to choose free from coercion whether they want a union hierarchy in their workplace.

Marlene Felter, a Chapman Medical Center worker who led an effort to stave off unwanted Service Employees International Union (SEIU) boss "representation" from her workplace, and attorney Glenn Taubman, who has over 30 years of experience on the Foundation's legal staff, will testify before the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce's Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions at 10:00 AM.

Felter will highlight the need for the Secret Ballot Protection Act, sponsored by Congressman David Roe (R-Tenn.), while testifying about her personal experiences dealing with a coercive SEIU card check unionization campaign.

Felter and her coworkers were a target of an SEIU card check unionization scheme after SEIU Healthcare Workers West and Chapman Medical Center officials entered into a backroom deal known as a "neutrality agreement" designed to grease the skids for workers to be forced into union ranks. In the agreement, management granted union operatives access to company facilities and waived the right to have a federally-supervised secret ballot election to determine whether workers wished to be unionized.

Union organizers frequently use card-check organizing tactics to bribe, browbeat, or cajole workers into forced-union-dues payments against their will.

The Secret Ballot Protection Act guarantees workers a secret ballot vote in union elections. The subcommittee will also hear testimony regarding the Representation Fairness Restoration Act, which would invalidate the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)'s policy of allowing union militants to target and organize small units of workers if they know most employees at a workplace don't want to join the union.

"Time and again, Barack Obama's NLRB has failed to protect workers who wish to refrain from union affiliation and forced dues payments," said Mark Mix, President of National Right to Work. "Congress needs to reign in Obama's out-of-control NLRB."

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

Supreme Court to Hear National Right to Work Foundation Case Challenging Backroom Union Organizing Deal

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

Washington, DC (June 24, 2013) – Today, the United States Supreme Court announced that it is granting a writ of certiorari in Mulhall v. UNITE HERE, a case that could determine if companies are allowed to hand over workers' personal information to union organizers in exchange for union concessions, among other things.

In 2004, UNITE HERE Local 355 and Mardi Gras Gaming entered into an agreement in which 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, Mardi Gras agreed to give union operatives 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 refrain from requesting a federally-supervised secret ballot election to determine whether employees unionized.

With the help of Foundation staff attorneys, Mardi Gras Gaming employee Martin Mulhall filed a lawsuit challenging this organizing pact in 2008. 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. Mulhall argued that the company's concessions were of substantial monetary value because they made UNITE HERE's organizing drive easier and less expensive.

Mulhall won a significant victory last spring, when the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the company's organizing assistance could constitute "a thing of value." UNITE HERE lawyers quickly appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, prompting Foundation attorneys to file a cross-petition asking the Court to review certain aspects of the Eleventh Circuit's ruling.

Foundation attorneys believe that the Eleventh Circuit's decision was too narrowly tailored to prevent companies from aiding union organizers with valuable concessions. The Supreme Court will now revisit whether the company's organizing assistance constitutes "a thing of value."

"We hope the Supreme Court will expand upon the Eleventh Circuit's landmark ruling and ensure that union organizers can't cut backroom deals with management," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Companies shouldn't be allowed to turn over employees' personal information to unscrupulous Big Labor organizers as a negotiating tactic."

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

Nurse Union Faces Federal Suit for Selling out Workers

Union organizers’ intimidation sways outcome of unionization election

Massillon, OH (May 14, 2013) – Four local nurses have filed a federal lawsuit against the National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC) union for violating its duty of fair representation by striking a backroom deal with company management in exchange for its assistance with unionizing its nurses.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Affinity Medical Center nurses Cinda Keener, Susan Kelley, Ryan Chizmadia, and Katherine Manfull filed the lawsuit with the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Ohio Eastern Division in Akron.

NNOC union organizers and Community Health Systems (CHS) management entered into a "neutrality agreement" designed to help the union organizers impose monopoly bargaining on all the nurses at Affinity and at least two other CHS hospitals. In the agreement, union organizers were given preferential access to the facility and conducted a "quicksnap" unionization election.

At Affinity, non-employee union organizers stalked, reported on, and attempted to get company management to retaliate against nurses who exercised their rights to oppose the unionization of their workplace. Company officials, at the behest of NNOC union bosses, even made one of the nurses who opposed unionization document the activities of fellow nurses who campaigned against unionization. The unionization election was "officially" decided by 4 votes with an additional 7 votes contested.

Two of the Affinity nurses are contesting the results of the election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), pointing out that the secret deal between Affinity and NNOC union officials, combined with the intimidation of nurses who spoke out against unionization, likely affected the outcome of the union vote. However, the nurses have been repeatedly denied a chance to challenge the forced unionization of their hospitals by NLRB Regional Director Frederick Calatrello.

In their lawsuit, the four Affinity nurses allege that the NNOC union hierarchy acted in bad faith and violated its duty of fair representation by illegally pre-negotiating nurses' benefits and working conditions in exchange for company assistance, keeping the terms of the agreement and other negotiations concealed from the nurses in the lead up to the election, and accepting illegal assistance from the company to unionize the nurses.

"Nurses at three separate hospitals have been stripped of their rights to oppose forced unionism in their workplace," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Medical professionals shouldn't be subjected to backroom deals that give union operatives preferential treatment at the expense of employees' workplace rights."

"Because Ohio does not have a Right to Work law, Affinity's nurses may now be compelled to pay union dues and fees to a union hierarchy that clearly does not have their best interests at heart," added Mix. "That is why Ohio should pass Right to Work protections for its 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

Right to Work Foundation Announces Offer of Free Legal Aid to Chattanooga Volkswagen Employees

Union and company are reportedly colluding to force workers into union ranks

Springfield, VA (April 1, 2013) – Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation, has issued the following statement in response to recent media reports that United Auto Worker (UAW) union and Volkswagen AG (VOW.DE) officials are in talks to unionize the VW workers at the Chattanooga, Tennessee plant:

"Recent media reports suggest that UAW union officials are working to negotiate the workplace conditions of Volkswagen's Chattanooga employees even though the workers are not represented by the UAW union hierarchy.

"The National Right to Work Foundation has seen again and again the UAW union hierarchy pressure companies to cut backroom deals designed to push workers into union ranks whether the employees like it or not. For example, UAW officials vetoed pay increases and secretly pre-negotiated bargaining concessions at the expense of Freightliner workers in North and South Carolina in exchange for company assistance in unionizing the workers.

"Whenever UAW union officials have brokered secret agreements with companies, history shows that workers often end up with a raw deal. Volkswagen workers may suffer the same fate.

"National Right to Work attorneys have assisted workers across the country who have suffered the consequences of these top-down organizing campaign designed by UAW union officials.

"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.

Terms of Web Site Use      Related Links: National Right to Work Committee | National Institute for Labor Relations Research

Copyright © 2010 National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation
 National Right to Work Legal Defense and Education Foundation, Inc.
8001 Braddock Road / Springfield, Virginia 22160
(703) 321-8510 | (800) 336-3600 / (703) 321-9613 fax - general (703) 321-9319 fax - legal department