School bus drivers desperately need Right to Work protections
Lyons, IL (April 26, 2012) – A large majority of Latino Express bus drivers in Lyons, Illinois have petitioned the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office in Chicago for a secret-ballot election to remove an unwanted local Teamster union hierarchy from their workplace.
Led by Ramiro Lopez, who learned about his legal rights from the National Right to Work Foundation, over 50 of the 76 total drivers signed the petition.
Teamster Local 777 seized monopoly bargaining control over the workplace a year ago. However, Teamster union bosses have yet to negotiate a contract with Latino Express, a conflict that has resulted in union legal accusations against the company and picketing of the workplace, alienating workers.
Meanwhile, Teamster union operatives have singled out workers who want nothing to do with the union hierarchy. For example, union operatives reportedly stalked and videotaped Lopez, who has refrained from formal union membership, while on his route and posted them on Youtube.com. At least one of those videos resulted in disciplinary action against Lopez even though it is impossible to decipher if it was actually him in the video.
Federal law prohibits further contract negotiations between Latino Express and Teamster Local 777 officials because a majority of workers in the bargaining unit signed a petition requesting a decertification election, indicating the union no longer has majority support at the workplace. The workers must now wait to see if the NLRB will grant them the election or if Teamster union bosses will do the workers the favor of disclaiming representational powers over them.
Until then, workers who refrain from formal union membership are still forced to pay union dues and fees to the Teamster union hierarchy because Illinois does not have Right to Work protections for its workers.
"Now that a clear majority of Latino Express bus drivers have shown their disdain of the Teamster union hierarchy, union bosses should remove themselves from the workplace," said Mark Mix, President of National Right to Work. "Even though Teamster union officials clearly lack the support they need to maintain their grip over the workplace, workers who want nothing to do with the union will still be forced to pay union dues and fees to the union as a condition of employment."
"This is why Illinois desperately needs to join Indiana and pass a Right to Work law making union affiliation and dues payments completely voluntary," added Mix.