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.