Right to Work legal challenge could determine if companies are allowed to hand over sensitive employee information to aggressive union organizers
Washington, DC (November 13, 2013) – Wednesday morning, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys will argue a case before the United States Supreme Court that could determine what kind of organizing assistance union officials can receive from a targeted company during coercive card check unionization schemes.
The case, Mulhall v. UNITE HERE, could determine whether union organizers can receive workers’ personal information and other valuable organizing tools in exchange for concessions at employees' expense. Jamie Raskin, professor at American University law school, was quoted in the Washington Examiner as stating "This is by far the most important labor case in a generation."
In 2004, UNITE HERE Local 355 and Mardi Gras Gaming entered into an agreement in which union officials promised to devote over one hundred thousand dollars to help pass a gambling ballot initiative and guaranteed not to picket, boycott, or strike against Mardi Gras facilities.
In return, Mardi Gras agreed to give union operatives workers' personal contact information (including home addresses), grant them access to company facilities during a coercive 'card check' organizing campaign, refrain from informing workers about the impact of unionization, and refrain from requesting a federally-supervised secret ballot election to determine whether employees unionized.
Under the Labor Management Relations Act, employers are prohibited from handing over "any money or other thing of value" to union organizers, a provision that is supposed to prevent union officials from selling out workers' rights in exchange for corporate support of unionization.
Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement:
"Instead of relying on the traditional shop-floor organizing methods, union officials are increasingly cutting backroom deals with company management that allows both sides to sell out the workers. Workers' freedom of association and free choice should not be a bargaining chip. Over the years, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys have assisted many workers from across the country who were victims of card check instant organizing and neutrality agreements.
"We feel strongly that what happened in this case is a perfect example of the corrupt dealings that the Labor Management Relations Act was enacted to outlaw. We hope the Court will agree and decide that union officials' top-down organizing campaigns targeting workers are designed to obtain 'a thing of value' and thus illegal under federal law."