Union officials' illegal forced-dues scheme violated possibly thousands of workers' rights
Washington, DC (December 19, 2012) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, several employees from Fry's Food Stores locations in Arizona are challenging President Barack Obama's recent purported recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Shirley Jones of Mesa, Karen Medley and Elaine Brown of Apache Junction, Kimberly Stewart and Saloomeh Hardy of Queen Creek, and Tommy and Janette Fuentes of Florence initially filed federal unfair labor practice charges against the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 99 union hierarchy and Fry's management after union and company officials continued to seize union dues from their paychecks despite repeated requests to stop.
Because Arizona has a Right to Work law, workers cannot be required to pay union dues as a condition of employment. Upset by a UFCW Local 99 boss-initiated strike threat, the employees resigned union membership and revoked their dues deduction authorizations – used to automatically extract union dues from employee paychecks – during a time in which the union did not have a contract at their workplaces.
The charges spurred the NLRB Regional Director in Phoenix to find that the dues deduction authorizations used by UFCW Local 99 union officials at all Arizona Fry's Food Stores locations were misleading because they do not allow employees to revoke them once a contract terminates, as required by federal law.
In the workers' latest brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., Foundation staff attorneys argue that the "recess appointments" are unconstitutional and, therefore, the Board lacks the quorum necessary to hear any cases. If Obama's NLRB appointments are unconstitutional, then the Board has only two valid members and lacks a quorum to enact rules or enforce federal labor law under a U.S. Supreme Court precedent established in 2010.
Two other Foundation-supported challenges to Obama's purported recess appointments are pending in federal appeals courts in Washington, D.C. and Chicago.
"The Constitutional chaos created by Barack Obama's so-called recess appointments to the Labor Board continues to reverberate across the country," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Foundation staff attorneys are prepared to challenge Obama's unconstitutional actions before the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary."