Top Down Organizing (card check) 

News Release

Union Faces Charges for Attempting to Bribe Employees with Money, Immigration Promises

Ironworker organizers mixed threats, bribes in an attempt to goad employees into supporting their union

Toledo, OH (February 13, 2013) – With the help of National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a Nova Services employee has filed unfair labor practice charges against the Ironworkers Local 55 union for attempting to bribe and threaten him and his coworkers into supporting a recent union organizing drive.

Fifteen other Nova Services employees have also retained a Foundation staff attorney to represent them.

Ironworkers Local 55 is currently engaged in an aggressive organizing campaign at Nova Services facilities. In August 2012, a union official told employees at an organizing meeting that he could provide them with legal immigration status in exchange for supporting the union. Union operatives also made similar offers individually to at least six employees.

Later that month, union officials threatened to report their employer’s immigration violations if employees failed to support the Ironworkers’ organizing drive. Union officials have continued to make similar threats and offers over the past six months.

The charge details how union organizers also resorted to outright bribery to obtain employee support. In August, one union organizer offered a worker $50,000 in exchange for supporting the union’s campaign. Another worker was offered $3,000 to back the union. Other employees were offered weekly payments and waivers for union initiation fees.

The charges will now be investigated by the National Labor Relations Board, a federal agency responsible for administering private-sector labor law.

“Instead of making a straightforward case to employees for their union, Ironworker operatives resorted to threats and outright bribery,” said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “The union’s underhanded strategy once again emphasizes the importance of secret ballot elections in the workplace, which ensure that employees are free from threats, bribery, or coercion when making their decision about whether or not to support a union.”

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 Brief in Federal Dispute over Forced Unionization in Michigan Public Projects

Union bosses seek to uphold discriminatory system in awarding public contracts

Cincinnati, OH (January 24 2013) – Staff attorneys from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation have filed a brief in support of a Michigan law prohibiting state and local government agencies from imposing so-called "project labor agreements" (PLAs) that require unionized workers for public projects.

Foundation staff attorneys filed the amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief yesterday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit located in Cincinnati.

Michigan recently passed a law prohibiting government-mandated PLAs on public construction projects. Shortly thereafter, Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council and Genesse, Lapeer, Shiawassee Building and Construction Trades Council union bosses challenged the law in federal court, claiming federal labor law preempts the state's ability to opt out of mandating PLAs on state-funded public construction projects.

National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys – joining attorneys representing the Associated Builders and Contractors and its Michigan affiliate and the National Federation of Independent Business – argue that a lower court's ruling striking down the new PLA law is both radical and insupportable. The lower court held that federal labor law governing private-sector labor relations somehow compels state governments to require the unionization of workers on public projects.

Foundation attorneys also point out the discriminatory nature of PLAs sacrifices workers' rights of free choice and imposes unwanted union representation on workers if they work on a public project.

Foundation attorneys have filed similar briefs in numerous federal courts supporting the constitutionality of state governments repealing PLA mandates.

"Project Labor Agreements effectively discriminate against the 85 percent of all construction workers who are not under union monopoly control," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "State and local governments owe it to the taxpayers to award public construction contracts to those who will do the best work at the best price, not employers who work with bureaucrats to shove a union down their workers' throats."

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

Local Cold Storage Warehouse Worker Files Federal Charge against Company for Discrimination

Americold Logistics management seek to put on ice workers’ push to remove union

Rochelle, IL (December 31, 2012) – An Americold Logistics warehouse employee has filed a federal charge against the company for violating her rights.

Karen Cox of Dixon filed the federal charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

A local affiliate of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) unionized Cox's workplace in June 2012. However, union and company officials have yet to reach a contract. Cox began a campaign to remove the unwanted union from her workplace. However, Americold company management is denying her the same access it granted union organizers, preventing her from informing her coworkers of the downsides of unionization and asking them to petition the NLRB for a secret ballot election to remove the union hierarchy.

On December 10, Americold management discriminately enforced its policy to bar Cox and other independent-minded employees from collecting petition signatures while off duty, even threatening to fire Cox from her job if she continued – while non-employee union organizers are given wide-ranging access to company facilities to counteract Cox's efforts. The charges allege that Americold Logistics is discriminating against workers like Cox and giving union organizers unlawful support and assistance to squash the workers' efforts to remove the union from their workplace – in violation of NLRB precedent.

Because Illinois does not have Right to Work protections for its workers, Cox and her coworkers undoubtedly will be forced to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment once company and union officials reach a contract.

"Americold Logistics management gave union organizers license to browbeat employees into acceding to unionization but is discriminating against workers who wish to remain free from union affiliation and dues payments," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Unfortunately, companies like Americold all too often sell out workers in exchange for short-term concessions from union officials."

Twenty-four states have Right to Work protections for their workers. Recent public polling shows that 80 percent of Americans and union members support the Right to Work principle of voluntary unionism.

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

West Boca Medical Center Nurses Challenge Corrupt Agreement between SEIU and Hospital

Nurses who oppose forced unionization of workplace suffer from viewpoint discrimination

Boca Raton, FL (October 10, 2012) – A local nurse has filed a federal charge against West Boca Medical Center and its parent company for enacting a secret deal that discriminates against the nurses and gives Service Employees International Union (SEIU) operatives preferential access to the facility.

With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, Registered Nurse Jenna Orlando filed the charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office in Tampa.

According to the charge, SEIU union officials entered into a "neutrality agreement" with West Boca Medical Center and its parent company, Tenet Healthcare Corporation. The agreement successfully greased the skids for the nurses unionization.

However, a tenacious group of nurses are seeking to petition the NLRB for a secret-ballot election to remove the unwanted union. While the so-called neutrality agreement gives SEIU union officials wide-ranging access to employee break rooms, lounges, bulletin boards, and other company facilities, nurses who oppose the union hierarchy are being denied equal access. Tenet even changed workplace procedures to deny off-duty nurses from entering the premises.

Nurses from across the country are challenging neutrality agreements signed by Tenet management. Recently, a group of nurses in McAllen, Texas filed for a decertification election with the NLRB and in July 2012 successfully voted a union out of their hospital. Just last week, two nurses in El Paso filed federal charges against Tenet and the California Nurses Association-affiliated National Nurses Organizing Committee union challenging a similar discriminatory agreement.

"So-called 'neutrality agreements' like this one between SEIU union officials and hospital management are hardly neutral: They give union organizers license to browbeat and intimidate workers into acceding to unionization," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Tag-teamed by union bosses and corporate executives who abandon their employees to gain what will likely be very short term union boss favors, these nurses have been stripped of their rights to organize against forced unionism in their workplace."

"Medical professionals shouldn't be subjected to backroom deals that give union operatives preferential treatment at the expense of their workplace 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

Providence Memorial Nurses Challenge Corrupt Agreement between California Union and Hospital

Nurses who oppose forced unionization of workplace suffer from viewpoint discrimination

El Paso, TX (October 3, 2012) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, an El Paso nurse filed federal charges against a California-based nurse union and Providence Memorial Hospital for enacting a secret deal that gives union organizers preferential access to the facility.

Nurse Perry Pielaet filed the charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office in Phoenix.

California Nurses Association-affiliated National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC) union officials entered into a "neutrality agreement" with Providence Memorial Hospital and its parent company, Tenet Healthcare Corporation, designed to grease the skids for the nurses' unionization.

The agreement gives union organizers wide-ranging access to employee break rooms, lounges, and other company facilities. On the other hand, Tenet is refusing to grant nurses who oppose unionization equal access to its facilities, going so far as to change workplace procedures to deny off-duty nurses access to company facilities.

Despite the company's blatant viewpoint discrimination, a tenacious group of nurses led by Pielaet are working to educate their fellow nurses about the impact of unionization.

NNOC union officials have pushed hard for "neutrality agreements" with healthcare providers nationwide. Most recently, a group of nurses in McAllen, Texas filed for a decertification election with the NLRB and in July 2012 successfully voted the union out of their hospital.

"So-called 'neutrality agreements' like this one between union officials and hospital management are hardly neutral: They give union organizers license to browbeat and intimidate workers into acceding to unionization," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Caught between union bosses and corporate executives who abandon their employees to gain what will likely be very short term union boss favors, these nurses have been stripped of their rights to organize against forced unionism in their workplace."

"Medical professionals shouldn't be subjected to backroom deals that give union operatives preferential treatment at the expense of employees' workplace 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

California Nurse Union Booted Out of McAllen, TX Hospital

Worker advocate thwarts union boss scheme to coercively interrogate independent-minded nurse

McAllen, TX (September 10, 2012) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Legal Foundation staff attorneys, a group of McAllen nurses have succeeded in removing a California-based union from their workplace.

About two years ago, National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC) union officials entered into a "neutrality agreement" with Rio Grande Regional Hospital and its parent company, HCA Holdings, designed to grease the skids for the nurses' unionization. Such agreements give union organizers access to workers in the workplace, workers' home addresses and other personal information, and impose gag rules on what company managers can say about the union.

NNOC union bosses unionized the nurses after conducting a stealth organizing campaign under the neutrality agreement. But a tenacious group of nurses led by Victoria Lynn Glass, RN, filed for a decertification election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and in July 2012 successfully voted the union out of their hospital by a tally of 156-128.

NNOC bosses filed "objections" to the election with the NLRB. However, rather than litigate their objections publicly under NLRB election rules, the union bosses simultaneously invoked a private "arbitration" procedure created by the HCA-NNOC pact and held a "hearing" on the objections before an "arbitrator" handpicked by union officials and the company.

Making a further mockery of the NLRB's election rules, NNOC union officials subpoenaed Glass to appear and testify under oath about the campaign to remove the union from her workplace. She was also directed to produce for union inspection all documents that the nurses created in their election campaign to oppose the NNOC union bosses.

In response, Foundation staff attorneys filed federal charges against NNOC and Rio Grande/HCA challenging the crude attempt to coercively interrogate Glass about her legally protected activities. Due to her representation by Foundation attorneys, Glass neither testified in the union-boss "arbitration" hearing nor produced a single document demanded by the union.

On September 6, 2012, NNOC union officials were forced to drop their objections to the nurses' decertification election and the NLRB Region in Texas certified the vote.

"So-called 'neutrality agreements' like this one between union officials and hospital management give union bosses license to browbeat and intimidate workers into acceding to unionization," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "These nurses endured union boss harassment and kangaroo courts to ultimately exercise their right to remove the unwanted union from 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

Federal Settlement Will Force SEIU to Leave Local Hospital Workers Alone

Union organizers conspired to force healthcare workers into union ranks using coercive “card check” tactics

Orange, CA (August 3, 2012) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, Chapman Medical Center workers have won federal settlements that will remove unwanted Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Workers West officials' representation from their workplace.

Chapman management and SEIU officials have signed National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) settlements after Marlene Felter of Costa Mesa filed charges with the agency in response to SEIU organizers colluding with Chapman management to illegally rig a union organizing "vote" to pave the way for the union to claim to "represent" the workers. Under the settlements, SEIU must give up its "exclusive representation" and Chapman will publicly withdraw recognition of the union.

SEIU and hospital officials entered into a backroom deal, known as a so-called "neutrality agreement," in which hospital management granted union operatives access to company facilities to conduct a coercive "card check" organizing campaign, and waived the right to have a federally-supervised secret ballot election to determine whether employees wished to be unionized. Union organizers frequently use "card check" organizing tactics to bribe, browbeat, or cajole workers into union representation and forced-union-dues payments against their will.

In response to the union's coercive tactics, a majority of hospital workers signed cards, letters, and petitions stating that they did not want the SEIU bosses' so-called "representation." Instead of respecting the employees' wishes, Chapman management accepted SEIU officials as the workers' monopoly bargaining agents after a rigged "card count" was held. Chapman and SEIU officials were in the process of negotiating a contract which almost certainly would include a provision to force the workers to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, because California does not have a Right to Work law that makes union membership and dues payment strictly voluntary.

The NLRB Regional Office subpoenaed records from SEIU and found that SEIU union bosses illegally claimed to represent the Chapman workers without majority support.

"Chapman and SEIU officials colluded to shove SEIU union bosses' 'representation' – and with it forced dues payments – down workers' throats," said Mark Mix, President of National Right to Work. "Schemes like this show that the ultimate goal of union officials is more forced dues collected from workers, even when rank-and-file employees want nothing to do with the union. This further makes the case that California desperately needs a Right to Work law on the books making union affiliation completely voluntary."

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 Agency to Prosecute SEIU and Local Hospital for Rigging Union Card Check ‘Vote’

Union organizers enter into corrupt agreement with hospital to force healthcare workers into union ranks using coercive card check tactics

Orange, California (June 27, 2012) – The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Regional Director in Los Angeles has authorized the issuance of a complaint against a major healthcare union and hospital officials for forcing workers to accept an unwanted union in the workplace.

With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, Marlene Felter of Costa Mesa filed charges with the NLRB after Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Workers West officials and Chapman Medical Center colluded to illegally rig a union organizing "vote" to pave the way for the union to claim to "represent" the workers.

SEIU officials and Chapman Medical Center management entered into a backroom deal, known as a so-called "neutrality agreement," in which company officials granted union operatives access to company facilities to conduct a coercive "card check" organizing campaign, and waived the right to have a federally-supervised secret ballot election to determine whether employees 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.

In response to the union's coercive tactics, a majority of hospital workers signed cards, letters, and petitions stating that they did not want the SEIU bosses' so-called "representation." Instead of respecting the employees' wishes, Chapman officials accepted SEIU officials as the workers' monopoly bargaining agents after a rigged "card count" was held. Chapman and SEIU officials were in the process of negotiating a contract which almost certainly would include a provision to force the workers to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, because California does not have a Right to Work law that makes union membership and dues payment strictly voluntary.

The NLRB Regional Office subpoenaed records from SEIU and found merit to Felter's charges. The agency will prosecute the union and hospital if a settlement is not reached. Such settlement will, of necessity, include rescission of the union's representational status at Chapman.

"Chapman and SEIU officials have colluded to shove SEIU union bosses' 'representation' – and with it forced dues payments – down workers' throats," said Mark Mix, President of National Right to Work. "Schemes like this show that the ultimate goal of union officials is more forced dues collected from workers, even when rank-and-file employees want nothing to do with the union. This further makes the case that California desperately needs a Right to Work law on the books making union affiliation completely voluntary."

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. Appeals Court Rejects Obama Administration Stance in Case Challenging Backroom Union Deals

Obama Labor Board and Departments of Labor, Justice sought to roll back worker’s federal court victory

Hollywood, FL (May 3, 2012) – The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has shot down the Obama Administration's attempt to roll back a worker's protracted, precedent-setting legal victory against a local union.

The case is a legal challenge initiated by Hollywood, Florida-area Mardi Gras Gaming groundskeeper Martin Mulhall with free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation.

In 2008, Mardi Gras entered into an agreement with Unite Here Local 355 union officials promising that it would hand over employees' personal contact information (including home addresses), grant union operatives access to company facilities for the purpose of organizing through a coercive card check campaign, and refrain from speaking about the downsides of unionization. In return, the Unite Here officials expended over one hundred thousand dollars to support a gambling ballot initiative and guaranteed not to picket, boycott, or strike the facility.

Federal law aimed at preventing unions from agreeing to undermine workers' rights in exchange for concessions from management explicitly prohibits employers from giving "any money or other thing of value" to unions. Mulhall sued Unite Here Local 355 and Mardi Gras in 2008, arguing that the company's organizing assistance to the union is of substantial monetary value to the union.

In a precedent-setting decision, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit agreed with Mulhall, ruling that organizing assistance can be an unlawful "thing of value." Union lawyers subsequently petitioned the full court to rehear the case.

Obama Justice and Labor Department officials, along with controversial National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon, filed an amicus curiae brief supporting the union lawyers' position.

The court rejected the union bosses' petition, even noting that not one of its regular active judges requested a poll on whether to grant the union lawyers' request for rehearing.

"Union bosses and the Obama Administration have failed to roll back a major, precedent-setting victory for workers," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Today, the court reaffirmed that union organizing is indeed a thing of value to union bosses who want to sell out workers to pave the way for monopoly control over a 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

Obama Administration Sides with Union Bosses Over Workers in Federal Court Case on Backroom Union Deals

Hollywood, FL (April 19, 2012) – The Obama administration is weighing in on a worker’s protracted, precedent-setting federal legal victory against a local union and Mardi Gras Gaming.

The case stems from a legal challenge initiated by Mardi Gras Gaming groundskeeper Martin Mulhall with free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation.

In 2008, Mardi Gras officials entered into an agreement with Unite Here Local 355 union officials promising that they would hand over employees' personal contact information (including home addresses), grant union operatives access to company facilities for the purpose of organizing through a coercive card check campaign, and refrain from speaking about the downsides of unionization. In return, Unite Here Local 355 union officials expended over one hundred thousand dollars to support a gambling ballot initiative and guaranteed not to picket, boycott, or strike against the facility.

Federal law aimed at preventing unions from agreeing to undermine workers' rights in exchange for concessions from management explicitly prohibits employers from giving "any money or other thing of value" to unions. Mulhall sued Unite Here Local 355 and Mardi Gras in 2008, arguing that the company's organizing assistance to the union is of substantial monetary value to the union.

In a precedent-setting decision, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit agreed with Mulhall, ruling that organizing assistance can be an unlawful "thing of value." Union lawyers subsequently petitioned the full court to rehear the case.

Obama Justice and Labor Department officials, along with controversial National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon, now have filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the union lawyers' position.

"Union bosses are using the power of their bought-and-paid-for White House in an attempt to roll back a major, precedent-setting victory for workers," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Of course, Obama administration radicals have already proven they will do what they can to support the union bosses' forced-unionism agenda at workers’ expense."

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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