Worker Decertification and Deauthorization Drives 

News Release

Union Officials Leave Carteret Holiday Inn to Avoid Worker Vote

Holiday Inn employees had to endure a two-year legal process to force an election that would have removed obstinate union bosses

Carteret, NJ (January 29, 2016) – Faced with the prospect of an embarrassing election loss, The New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council Local 6 union officially walked away from the Carteret Holiday Inn. The campaign to remove the unwanted union was spearheaded by employees who received free assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys throughout the legal process.

Holiday Inn employee Michelle Buniak originally submitted a union decertification petition in September 2014. The petition, which was signed by a majority of her coworkers, asked her employer to remove Local 6 from the hotel. Buniak’s employer responded by withdrawing recognition from the union, but union officials refused to leave without a fight.

Instead of acceding to the employees’ wishes, union lawyers avoided immediate eviction by filing a barrage of spurious unfair labor practice charges against Holiday Inn at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). After dismissing the charges several months later, the NLRB scheduled a union decertification election for February 12, 2016.

In the lead-up to the election, several of Buniak’s coworkers said that union officials resorted to bribes and harassment to persuade Holiday Inn employees to vote for Local 6. Despite these efforts, union officials ultimately decided to officially “disclaim representation” over all Carteret Holiday Inn employees and walk away from the bargaining unit to avoid suffering an embarrassing election loss at the hands of the very workers for whom the union had claimed to speak.

Local 6 officials had bargained for all Carteret Holiday Inn employees, including those who didn’t belong to the union, for over two decades. The union contract with the hotel included a provision that allowed union officials to collect mandatory dues from all employees, even those who refrained from joining Local 6 and opposed the union’s presence.

“After two long years, union officials have finally left a workplace where they were no longer wanted,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Foundation. “We applaud the determination of Michelle Buniak and her colleagues to see this process through, but employees shouldn’t have to endure a lengthy legal battle to exercise their right to remove stubborn union bosses.”

“Unfortunately, union officials – aided and abetted by a pliant NLRB – have become very skilled at gaming the federal labor bureaucracy to protect their workplace privileges,” continued Mix. “That’s why the union decertification process should be streamlined to better reflect employees’ wishes.”

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

SEIU Disclaims “Representation” over Des Peres Hospital Employees on the Eve of Vote to Kick Union Out

After employees pushed to remove the union, SEIU bosses gave up their workplace privileges to avoid an embarrassing election loss

St. Louis, MO (January 14, 2016) – On the eve of an election that almost certainly would have resulted in a defeat for SEIU Healthcare IL/IN/MO/KS, union officials renounced their workplace bargaining privileges over approximately 170 Des Peres Hospital employees.

In late December 2015, a Des Peres employee, who received free legal aid from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, submitted a petition to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) asking for a vote to remove the SEIU. The employee-led drive to remove the union prompted the NLRB to schedule a union decertification election for January 13, but that vote was cancelled after union officials announced they were “disclaiming representation” and walking away from the Des Peres bargaining unit. The affected employees consisted of technicians, secretaries, and other hospital support staff.

Because Missouri lacks a Right to Work law, union officials can be empowered to require all employees in a given workplace – including those who don’t belong to or support the union – to pay dues or fees. The contract between Des Peres Hospital and SEIU Healthcare IL/IN/MO/KS included a provision that required all employees in the bargaining unit, including nonmembers, to contribute money to the union. Now that the union has left, these 170 employees can no longer be forced to pay dues to the SEIU.

“SEIU officials read the writing on the wall and fled before these employees could vote them out,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “We are happy to report that these workers are now free from the burden of paying dues to an organization they don’t support.”

“Unfortunately, many of their fellow Missouri employees aren’t so lucky,” continued Mix. “That’s why Missouri should make all union dues completely voluntary by adopting a Right to Work 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.
News Release

Federal Judge Denies Attempt to Force Union Back Into Chicago Workplace

NLRB and union lawyers sought to nullify workers’ decision to get rid of unwanted union

Chicago, IL (December 3, 2015) – United States District Court Judge Amy J. St. Eve has just denied a petition by the Obama National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and United Steelworkers (USW) union lawyers to force the USW back into a Franklin Park workplace after a majority of employees decided to remove the union. National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys represented Arlington Metals employee Brandon DeLaCruz and 20 of his co-workers in a federal court injunction hearing and filed an amicus brief affirming the employees’ opposition to the union’s continued presence.

Unwilling to accept the employees’ verdict, USW officials asked the Obama NLRB to seek an injunction to nullify the results of a 2014 decertification drive, in which 16 out of 26 employees at Arlington Metals’ Franklin Park facility successfully petitioned to remove the union from their workplace.

In September 2014, USW lawyers filed unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB in an attempt to nullify the employees’ petition and force the union back into their workplace. The NLRB’s General Counsel issued a complaint seeking to require the company to restore the union as the workers’ monopoly bargaining agent, and the full NLRB in Washington authorized the filing of a petition for an injunction to immediately reinstate union officials’ workplace privileges.

Although the judge’s decision forecloses the possibility of immediately restoring union officials’ bargaining privileges, DeLaCruz and his coworkers can still be pushed back into union ranks if the full NLRB later upholds the union’s unfair labor practice charges.

If the federal judge had issued the NLRB’s requested injunction, all Arlington Metals employees at the Franklin Park facility would have been immediately forced to accept unwanted Steelworkers “representation.” Union officials would have been empowered to dictate workers’ wages and working conditions, and likely would have demanded forced dues from all employees at the facility.

In November 2015, the federal judge allowed DeLaCruz to file an amicus curiae brief opposing the NLRB and the union’s petition. That brief urged the Court to deny the injunction because a majority of employees continue to oppose the USW. Although the NLRB unsuccessfully tried to block DeLaCruz from even submitting his brief, approximately 20 of his co-workers joined his effort and sought legal representation from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

“This story is all too familiar,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “The Obama NLRB will go to great lengths to keep union bosses in power, even in the face of overwhelming employee opposition. For now, these workers are free from the burden of unwanted union representation and the specter of being forced to pay dues to an organization they do not support. But it shouldn’t take years of legal procedures to get rid of one stubborn union.”

“Instead of actively hindering their efforts, the NLRB should respect the wishes of employees who wish remove unwanted union bosses,” 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

Employee Files Federal Charges after Teamster Officials Threaten Workers Who Seek to Vote Union Out

Employee Files Federal Charges after Teamster Officials Threaten Workers Who Seek to Vote Union Out

Santa Cruz, CA (November 20, 2015) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a local Threshold Enterprises employee has filed federal unfair labor practice charges against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 912 union. Threshold employee Hector Garcia states that union officials threatened to have workers fired for voting to remove the Teamsters.

A union decertification election is scheduled for November 23 and 24 at Garcia’s workplace to determine whether Teamster officials will continue to collect mandatory union dues and bargain over wages and working conditions for all Threshold employees. In the months leading up to the election, union officials have repeatedly harassed independent-minded employees to discourage them from voting against the union.

Local 912 is currently the monopoly bargaining agent for all Threshold employees in Garcia’s workplace. Because California lacks a Right to Work law, this means that Teamster officials are legally empowered to collect mandatory union dues or fees from all workers, including those who oppose the union’s presence.

Garcia’s charges follow similar allegations leveled by his coworker, Enriqueta Morales, in September 2015. Morales also filed federal charges after Teamster officials threatened her job for gathering signatures for a petition to remove the union. Both Garcia and Morales’ charges contend that other employees have faced harassment and intimidation from Teamster operatives for opposing the union’s presence.

Garcia and Morales’ charges will now be investigated by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a federal agency responsible for administering private-sector labor law.

“It’s outrageous that union officials are resorting to harassment and intimidation to hold onto their forced-dues powers over workers,” said Patrick Semmens, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Employees should be free to vote their consciences without interference from Teamster goons. The National Right to Work Foundation stands ready to defend the rights of any victims of union boss harassment.”

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

Fifth Time’s a Charm? Alabama NTN-Bower Employees Vote to Remove Unwanted Union Again in Fifth Election in Two Years

The UAW lost three previous votes and the fourth was thrown out due to ballot stuffing, but union lawyers resorted to legal stalling tactics to delay union decertification

Hamilton, AL (May 20, 2015) – Employees at a local NTN-Bower plant voted yesterday 74-52 to remove the United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 1990 union from their workplace. This marks the fifth time in less than two years employees at the facility have voted on decertifying the union. The UAW has lost four out of the past five elections, and the only vote the union won was tainted by blatant ballot-stuffing.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) scheduled a fifth decertification election at the facility after a hearing officer found merit to UAW lawyers’ objections to the February 2015 vote against the union’s presence. Union officials now have one week to file objections with the NLRB contesting the most recent results.

Ginger Estes, who is receiving free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, first requested a decertification election in 2013 along with many of her coworkers.

Estes believes that the UAW has mistreated independent-minded employees. “We have endured their intimidation,” she said.

Although a majority of workers voted against the UAW in the first election, union and company officials agreed to set aside the results and allow the employees to vote a second time. In the second election, workers also voted to remove the union. UAW officials promptly challenged the results, and a divided NLRB panel voted 2-1 to invalidate the outcome and schedule a third election.

On January 16, 2015, workers voted a third time on removing the UAW. The union narrowly avoided another loss, but the results were tainted by obvious ballot-stuffing. Despite the fact that only 140 employees at the facility were eligible to vote, 148 ballots were cast. Estes formally challenged the results with the help of Foundation staff attorneys, and the NLRB quickly agreed to schedule a fourth vote. On February 20, NTN-Bower employees again voted to eject the UAW from their workplace by a wide margin. Shortly afterwards, UAW lawyers convinced the NLRB to set aside the results and hold yet another vote.

"Once again, employees at the Hamilton NTN-Bower plant have made it abundantly clear that they are not interested in the UAW's so-called 'representation',” said Patrick Semmens, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Unfortunately, it has already taken these workers five elections in less than two years to rid themselves of one stubborn union.”

“While we applaud Ginger Estes and her coworkers for standing up for their right to represent themselves, employees shouldn't have to clear this many hurdles to remove an unwanted union,” continued Semmens. “It is our hope that the Obama NLRB will finally certify these results and not allow UAW bosses and lawyers to play more games to thwart the will of the employees at NTN-Bower."

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

NLRB Schedules Fifth Union Decertification Election at Alabama Plant Despite Workers Repeatedly Voting Against the UAW

Case highlights the obstacles workers face when attempting to eject an unwanted union

Hamilton, AL (May 7, 2015) – The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has scheduled a fifth union decertification election at a local NTN-Bower plant after a hearing officer found merit to United Auto Worker (UAW) lawyers’ objections to a February vote against the union’s presence. This will mark the fifth time in less than two years employees at the facility have voted on removing the union.

The UAW Local 1990 union is currently the exclusive bargaining agent for 140 employees at NTN-Bower’s Hamilton plant. Ginger Estes, who is receiving free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, first requested an election with the NLRB in 2013 along with many of her coworkers to remove the UAW from their workplace.

Although a majority of workers voted against the UAW in the first election, union and company officials agreed to set aside the results and allow the employees to vote a second time. In the second election, workers elected to remove the union by a margin of two votes. UAW officials promptly challenged the results, and an NLRB panel voted to invalidate the outcome and schedule a third election.

On January 16, 2015, workers voted a third time to determine whether to remove the UAW. The union narrowly avoided another loss, but the results were tainted by obvious ballot stuffing. Despite the fact that only 140 employees at the facility were eligible to vote, 148 ballots were cast.

Estes formally challenged the results with the help of Foundation staff attorneys, and the NLRB quickly agreed to schedule a fourth vote. On February 20, NTN-Bower employees voted 82-50 to eject the UAW from their workplace. Despite losing the election by a wide margin, UAW lawyers convinced an NLRB hearing officer to set aside the results yet again and hold another vote.

The new election is scheduled for May 19, 2015.

“It shouldn’t take five votes to get rid of a union that has clearly overstayed its welcome,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “The NLRB has stacked the deck against workers seeking to remove unwanted unions, allowing union officials to throw out results that don’t go their way and hold onto power.”

“Ginger Estes’ saga highlights an ugly double standard in federal labor law,” continued Mix. “While the activist Obama NLRB makes it easier to organize workplaces by enacting new ‘ambush election’ rules to get unions certified, union lawyers are allowed to game the system by blocking or overturning workers’ votes against unwanted unions.”

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

Workers to Have Fourth Vote on Whether to Remove Union after Ballot Box Stuffing Taints Third Vote

Case underscores workers' difficulty in removing unwanted unions from their workplaces as workers take fourth vote in response to blatant irregularities in third election

Hamilton, AL (February 3, 2015) – Workers in a local parts manufacturing plant are voting a fourth time in a federally-supervised union election after union officials skirted being kicked out of the workplace in a recent election tainted by ballot stuffing and mishandling of ballots.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will conduct the fourth election after NTN-Bower Corporation employee Ginger Estes, who is receiving free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, filed objections to the tainted third election.

United Auto Workers (UAW) union officials currently hold monopoly bargaining power over 140 NTN-Bower manufacturing workers. Ginger Estes and other employees at the plant requested an election with the NLRB in 2013 to determine whether to remove the UAW union from their workplace.

After workers cast ballots in the first election, union and company officials agreed to set aside that election and allow the workers to vote in a second election. In the second election, workers voted to remove the union by a margin of two votes. Union officials challenged the results of that election, and a 2-1 panel of the Obama Labor Board voted to invalidate the results and schedule a third election.

On January 16, 2015, workers voted a third time to determine whether to remove the UAW union from their workplace. Even though 139 workers voted in the third election out of the 140 eligible, 148 ballots were cast. UAW union officials skirted being kicked out of the workplace by a small margin.

After Estes formally challenged the results of the tainted third election, the NLRB and all parties agreed to hold a fourth election.

"This is a good example of a rigged election characterized by obvious ballot box stuffing and mishandling of ballots," said Mark Mix, president of National Right to Work. "This case underscores the difficulty workers often experience when trying to remove unwanted unions from their workplaces."

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

Rogue Obama NLRB Appointee Again Moves to Prevent Workers from Removing Unwanted Union from Workplace

General Counsel seeks to block workers' majority petition to end employer recognition of an unsupported union

Chicago, IL (October 23, 2014) – An Arlington Metals Corporation steelworker has moved to intervene to stop a federal agency from foisting unwanted union representation back on his workplace after he and his coworkers attempted to remove the union.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Franklin Park-area Arlington Metals employee Brandon De La Cruz filed the motion with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office in Chicago. Predictably, the NLRB General Counsel filed a brief in opposition to the workers' motion.

De La Cruz and a majority of his coworkers petitioned their employer to remove the United Steelworkers (USW) union from their workplace. After the workers presented the petition, Arlington Metals management withdrew recognition of the union as the workers' bargaining representative, as long-standing law permits.

USW union officials filed federal charges with the NLRB in an attempt to nullify the workers' petition and force the union hierarchy back into the workplace. The NLRB's General Counsel then issued a complaint to force the company to once again recognize the union as the workers' monopoly bargaining representative.

This new policy, in direct violation of U.S. Supreme Court precedent, is being pushed by union lawyer Richard Griffin, who was installed as NLRB General Counsel in October 2013. Prior to being the Board's top lawyer in charge of enforcing federal labor laws, Griffin's "recess" appointment to the NLRB was deemed illegal by the U.S. Supreme Court in late June.

"The NLRB General Counsel's rogue complaint and his opposition to employees' right to intervene to protect their decertification efforts flies in the face of long-standing precedent allowing workers to remove a union from their workplace with a showing of majority support," explained Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "And the very workers who have a direct interest in the result of these proceedings have been thus far shut out."

"Highlighting the Obama Board's pro-forced unionism bias, the NLRB still maintains that a company can recognize a union if a majority of workers sign union 'cards' through the coercive and unreliable card check method, while its top lawyer works to eliminate workers' ability to use the same procedure to oust an unwanted union," 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

Obama Labor Board Bucks Precedent and Positions Itself to Weaken Worker-Backed Elections to Remove Unwanted Unions

Workers will challenge NLRB attempt to destroy their ballots in vote to oust union

Chehalis, WA (October 20, 2014) – Disregarding its own long-standing precedent, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued an order that continues the impoundment of Bradken, Inc. workers' ballots cast to determine whether the workers want to remove a local Machinist union from their workplace.

The NLRB's ruling endangers the results of an election initiated by Jonathan Fuller and his coworkers at the steel manufacturing facility to determine whether to remove the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) District W24 union as their monopoly bargaining representative. Fuller is receiving free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

On August 16, 2013, IAM union officials filed federal charges against Bradken during a contract dispute. On August 30, 2013, Fuller and his coworkers filed a petition seeking a decertification election to determine their union representation. On April 23, 2014, an NLRB Regional Director approved an agreement between IAM and Bradken officials that settled the union's charges with no admission of liability by Bradken. On June 5, the Regional Director ruled based on long-standing NLRB precedent that the facility's approximately ninety-eight workers could vote in a decertification election, which was held on July 1 despite IAM union officials' objections.

However, IAM union officials asked the NLRB in Washington, DC to review the Regional Director's decision allowing the election, causing the NLRB to impound the workers' ballots. IAM union lawyers argue that the Board should overturn the precedent that permits workers' decertification elections when union unfair labor practice charges are settled without an employer admission of wrongdoing.

On October 10, a three-member panel of the Board issued a 2-1 order granting the IAM's request for review, thereby leaving impounded the workers’ ballots. By not counting the ballots the NLRB leaves the union in place even though a majority of workers may have voted it out over a year ago. The grant of review signals the NLRB majority's embrace of the union officials' position that the ballots should be destroyed and the vote ruled invalid even though there is no current Board precedent for doing so under these circumstances.

"Taking its cue from Machinist union bosses, the Obama NLRB is positioning itself to eliminate a longstanding worker right to remove an unwanted union from their workplace during a dispute between the union and their employer," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "If the Board does so, it would not be the first time the Obama NLRB destroyed workers' ballots when they sought to determine their own union representation."

In 2011, the NLRB overturned earlier Foundation-won protections for workers challenging union recognition via card check unionization. As a result, workers must now wait up to three years after the date of the first bargaining agreement between their employer and union officials before they can petition for a secret ballot vote. In the wake of that ruling, hundreds of worker ballots were destroyed.

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 Security Guards Win Federal Settlement to End Illegal Forced Union Dues Payments

Case underscores need for Maryland Right to Work law

White Oak, MD (September 9, 2014) – Four local Coastal International Security, Inc. security guards have won a federal settlement from a local union and their employer for illegally forcing them into paying union dues and fees.

The settlement comes in the wake of federal charges filed by the security guards with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

In December, Coastal security guard Karif King, who has been employed by Coastal International since 2008, and his coworkers voted to deauthorize the "Union Rights for Security Officers" union, thus revoking the union's power to force nonmember workers into forced dues payments. Federal law requires that union officials cease forcing nonmember workers into forced dues payments upon request if a majority of workers vote to deauthorize the union's forced dues powers.

King and his coworkers Pius Eroraha, Obi Orji, and Grace Rayemo filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) after union officials continued to force the workers into forced dues payments despite the workers' effort to revoke the union hierarchy's forced dues powers.

Coastal International also faced charges for its role in assisting the union in the collection of union dues payments despite the workers' repeated requests for the union dues and fees payments to cease.

The settlement requires the union hierarchy to return all illegally-seized union dues, plus interest, and to post informational notices in the workplace informing workers of their right to refrain from union dues or fees.

"These security guards had to file federal charges to force union officials and Coastal International Security management to back off from forcing workers into illegal union dues payments," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "This case underscores why Maryland needs to pass a Right to Work law making union membership and dues payments completely voluntary."

Twenty-four states have Right to Work protections for workers. Public polling shows that nearly 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.

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