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Utah Workers File Appeal to Stop Union Power Grab Involving Jobs Connected to West Coast Ports

Salt Lake City, Utah (June 4, 2003) – Threatened with losing their jobs simply because they had rejected unionization, over thirty Salt Lake City area workers are appealing a preliminary decision by a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office that whitewashes actions by union officials and a conglomerate of port employers to transfer Utah-based jobs to unionized marine clerks on the West Coast. With the help of attorneys with the National Right to Work Foundation, over thirty non-union employees of Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) are filing an appeal in Washington, DC with NRLB General Counsel Arthur Rosenfeld. Unless Rosenfeld issues a complaint, the employees will likely lose their jobs simply because they chose to refrain from union representation. Despite the fact that the employees’ case was based on well-established law, the NLRB regional office dismissed the unfair labor practice charges last month. Last February, several members of Utah’s Congressional delegation, including Senator Hatch, Senator Bennett, and Representative Cannon, urged the NLRB to take quick action to protect the employees. “Now is the time for NRLB General Counsel Arthur Rosenfeld to step up and protect these workers from another blatant union power grab,” stated Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “It is wrong for employees to lose their jobs because they exercised their freedom of association.” In November 2002, with the help of attorneys from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, the workers filed charges with the NLRB against the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) for making an agreement that would require SSA to eliminate jobs at its non-union Salt Lake City facility. The employees are responsible for tactical management of day-to-day activities and perform computerized planning work over the company’s rail, yard, and vessel functions. By insisting that this planning work instead be performed at new facilities at the ports staffed by unionized “marine clerks” rather than non-union employees, ILWU and PMA officials violate the employees’ right to refrain from unionization under federal law and Utah’s Right to Work Law. If allowed to stand, the NRLB’s decision solidifies union control over vital jobs performed by non-union employees. Control over the clerk jobs was a top bargaining priority for the union hierarchy, whose actions sparked a $2-billion-a-day shutdown of West Coast ports last Fall. Before the 10-day lockout in October, the ILWU hierarchy employed a variety of work slowdown tactics, including deliberately understaffing key operations and sending workers to jobs for which they were not qualified, which made it impossible for the ports to function. “The shutdown of West Coast ports was a naked attempt to exploit an economic crisis for the purpose of increasing union coercive power at the expense of workers,” said Gleason. “Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Union bosses have a long history of using economic and wartime crises to grab power.”

News Release

Utah Workers File Appeal to Stop Union Power Grab Involving Jobs Connected to West Coast Ports

Salt Lake City, Utah (June 4, 2003) – Threatened with losing their jobs simply because they had rejected unionization, over thirty Salt Lake City area workers are appealing a preliminary decision by a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office that whitewashes actions by union officials and a conglomerate of port employers to transfer Utah-based jobs to unionized marine clerks on the West Coast.

With the help of attorneys with the National Right to Work Foundation, over thirty non-union employees of Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) are filing an appeal in Washington, DC with NRLB General Counsel Arthur Rosenfeld. Unless Rosenfeld issues a complaint, the employees will likely lose their jobs simply because they chose to refrain from union representation.

Despite the fact that the employees’ case was based on well-established law, the NLRB regional office dismissed the unfair labor practice charges last month. Last February, several members of Utah’s Congressional delegation, including Senator Hatch, Senator Bennett, and Representative Cannon, urged the NLRB to take quick action to protect the employees.

“Now is the time for NRLB General Counsel Arthur Rosenfeld to step up and protect these workers from another blatant union power grab,” stated Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “It is wrong for employees to lose their jobs because they exercised their freedom of association.”

In November 2002, with the help of attorneys from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, the workers filed charges with the NLRB against the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) for making an agreement that would require SSA to eliminate jobs at its non-union Salt Lake City facility.

The employees are responsible for tactical management of day-to-day activities and perform computerized planning work over the company’s rail, yard, and vessel functions. By insisting that this planning work instead be performed at new facilities at the ports staffed by unionized “marine clerks” rather than non-union employees, ILWU and PMA officials violate the employees’ right to refrain from unionization under federal law and Utah’s Right to Work Law. If allowed to stand, the NRLB’s decision solidifies union control over vital jobs performed by non-union employees.

Control over the clerk jobs was a top bargaining priority for the union hierarchy, whose actions sparked a $2-billion-a-day shutdown of West Coast ports last Fall. Before the 10-day lockout in October, the ILWU hierarchy employed a variety of work slowdown tactics, including deliberately understaffing key operations and sending workers to jobs for which they were not qualified, which made it impossible for the ports to function.

“The shutdown of West Coast ports was a naked attempt to exploit an economic crisis for the purpose of increasing union coercive power at the expense of workers,” said Gleason. “Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Union bosses have a long history of using economic and wartime crises to grab power.”

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.

Union Hit With Charges for Illegally Fining Raytheon Employee

San Diego, Calif. (May 15, 2003) — With the help of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an employee of Raytheon Technical Services Company filed charges against union officials for refusing to honor her resignation from the union, threatening her with internal union “disciplinary” charges, and illegally fining her $3,300. The employee, Diana Huynh, filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the Electronic and Space Technicians (EST) Local 1553 and its affiliate, the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters (SWRCC). The NLRB is responsible for investigating the charges and will decide whether to prosecute the union for unfair labor practices. “This is a clear case of union bosses trampling the rights of the workers they claim to represent,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. The case began in August 2002, when Huynh notified EST and SWRCC union officials of her resignation from the union. EST Local 1553 officials claimed to accept her resignation, but nevertheless threatened to “discipline” Huynh. In an attempt to further harass Huynh, on April 28, union officials told her that as a penalty she was being fined $3,300 and her membership is “subject to suspension.” Since Huynh is a non-member, it is illegal for EST and SWRCC union officials to impose a fine on her or threaten her with other disciplinary action. The actions of EST and SWRCC union officials violate the workers’ rights established by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Pattern Makers v. NLRB decision. “Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident at this facility,” stated Gleason. “Union officials have been violating the rights of these workers for years.” In September 2002, two other employees of Raytheon Technical Services, Michael Adams and Brent Bull, filed charges against EST and SWRCC officials for refusing to honor their resignations from the union, and for threatening them with internal union “disciplinary” charges. In response to these charges, filed with the help of National Right to Work Foundation attorneys, the NLRB issued a formal complaint against the unions, and set a trial date in that case for August 11, 2003.

News Release

Union Hit With Charges for Illegally Fining Raytheon Employee

San Diego, Calif. (May 15, 2003) — With the help of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an employee of Raytheon Technical Services Company filed charges against union officials for refusing to honor her resignation from the union, threatening her with internal union “disciplinary” charges, and illegally fining her $3,300.

The employee, Diana Huynh, filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the Electronic and Space Technicians (EST) Local 1553 and its affiliate, the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters (SWRCC). The NLRB is responsible for investigating the charges and will decide whether to prosecute the union for unfair labor practices.

“This is a clear case of union bosses trampling the rights of the workers they claim to represent,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation.

The case began in August 2002, when Huynh notified EST and SWRCC union officials of her resignation from the union. EST Local 1553 officials claimed to accept her resignation, but nevertheless threatened to “discipline” Huynh. In an attempt to further harass Huynh, on April 28, union officials told her that as a penalty she was being fined $3,300 and her membership is “subject to suspension.”

Since Huynh is a non-member, it is illegal for EST and SWRCC union officials to impose a fine on her or threaten her with other disciplinary action. The actions of EST and SWRCC union officials violate the workers’ rights established by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Pattern Makers v. NLRB decision.

“Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident at this facility,” stated Gleason. “Union officials have been violating the rights of these workers for years.”

In September 2002, two other employees of Raytheon Technical Services, Michael Adams and Brent Bull, filed charges against EST and SWRCC officials for refusing to honor their resignations from the union, and for threatening them with internal union “disciplinary” charges. In response to these charges, filed with the help of National Right to Work Foundation attorneys, the NLRB issued a formal complaint against the unions, and set a trial date in that case for August 11, 2003.

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.

Feds Balk at Protecting Utah Workers From Union Power Grab Involving West Coast Ports

Salt Lake City, Utah (May 6, 2003) – The Denver Regional Office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) today refused to intervene and protect over thirty Salt Lake City area employees of Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) from losing their jobs in retaliation for refraining from union representation. In November 2002, with the help of attorneys from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, the workers filed charges with the NLRB against the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) for demanding that SSA take jobs away from its non-union employees at a Salt Lake City facility. Despite the fact that the employees’ case was based on well-established law, the NLRB office today released a letter dismissing the charges. Foundation attorneys plan to file an appeal with NLRB General Counsel Arthur Rosenfeld. “The shutdown of West Coast ports was a naked attempt to exploit an economic crisis for the purpose of increasing union coercive power at the expense of workers,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Union bosses have a long history of using economic and wartime crises to grab power.” Control over the clerk jobs was a top bargaining priority for the union hierarchy, whose actions sparked a $2-billion-a-day shutdown of West Coast ports last Fall. Before the 10-day lockout in October, the ILWU hierarchy employed a variety of work slowdown tactics including deliberately understaffing key operations and sending workers to jobs for which they were not qualified, which made it impossible for the ports to function. Last February, several members of Utah’s Congressional Delegation, including Senator Hatch, Senator Bennett, and Representative Cannon, urged the NLRB to take quick action. “Now is the time for NRLB General Counsel Arthur Rosenfeld to step up and protect these workers from being the victim of another blatant union power grab,” stated Gleason. The employees are responsible for tactical management of day-to-day activities and perform computerized planning work over the company’s rail, yard, and vessel functions. By insisting that this planning work instead be performed at new facilities at the ports staffed by unionized “marine clerks” rather than non-union employees, ILWU and PMA officials are in violation of the employees’ right to refrain from unionization under federal law and Utah’s Right to Work Law. If allowed to stand, the NRLB’s decision solidifies union control over vital jobs performed by non-union employees.

News Release

Feds Balk at Protecting Utah Workers From Union Power Grab Involving West Coast Ports

Salt Lake City, Utah (May 6, 2003) – The Denver Regional Office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) today refused to intervene and protect over thirty Salt Lake City area employees of Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) from losing their jobs in retaliation for refraining from union representation.

In November 2002, with the help of attorneys from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, the workers filed charges with the NLRB against the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) for demanding that SSA take jobs away from its non-union employees at a Salt Lake City facility.

Despite the fact that the employees’ case was based on well-established law, the NLRB office today released a letter dismissing the charges. Foundation attorneys plan to file an appeal with NLRB General Counsel Arthur Rosenfeld.

“The shutdown of West Coast ports was a naked attempt to exploit an economic crisis for the purpose of increasing union coercive power at the expense of workers,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Union bosses have a long history of using economic and wartime crises to grab power.”

Control over the clerk jobs was a top bargaining priority for the union hierarchy, whose actions sparked a $2-billion-a-day shutdown of West Coast ports last Fall. Before the 10-day lockout in October, the ILWU hierarchy employed a variety of work slowdown tactics including deliberately understaffing key operations and sending workers to jobs for which they were not qualified, which made it impossible for the ports to function.

Last February, several members of Utah’s Congressional Delegation, including Senator Hatch, Senator Bennett, and Representative Cannon, urged the NLRB to take quick action.

“Now is the time for NRLB General Counsel Arthur Rosenfeld to step up and protect these workers from being the victim of another blatant union power grab,” stated Gleason.

The employees are responsible for tactical management of day-to-day activities and perform computerized planning work over the company’s rail, yard, and vessel functions. By insisting that this planning work instead be performed at new facilities at the ports staffed by unionized “marine clerks” rather than non-union employees, ILWU and PMA officials are in violation of the employees’ right to refrain from unionization under federal law and Utah’s Right to Work Law. If allowed to stand, the NRLB’s decision solidifies union control over vital jobs performed by non-union employees.

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.

Settlement Forces Teamsters Union to Stop Discriminating Against Non-union Employees

Chattanooga, Tenn. (May 5, 2003) — Responding to charges brought by an employee of Van Heusen Company, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) forced Teamsters Local Union 515 to eliminate key contract provisions that violated the rights of non-union employees. Enjoying free legal aid from attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Sheila Elliot filed unfair labor practice charges against the Teamsters union. As part of their contract with Van Heusen, Teamsters officials required the company to encourage all associate employees to become and remain full union members – despite the existence of Tennessee’s Right to Work law. Teamsters Local Union 515 officials attempted to use the clause to force workers into joining the union and to waive their right to refrain from union activities. “This settlement will give Elliot, and her coworkers, the freedom to decide for themselves if they want to join the union, without being forced into it by Teamsters union bosses,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “It is clear union officials were using these tactics to try and get around Tennessee’s Right to Work law.” Under the state’s highly popular and effective Right to Work law, non-union employees are freed from paying membership dues to an unwanted union as a condition of employment. In an attempt to undermine Right to Work laws around the country, Teamsters union officials are enlisting companies to help them pressure workers into joining the union. Employees laboring in America’s 22 Right to Work states have the right to refrain from union affiliation without interference from officials of a union or an employer. “Teamsters officials wrote this agreement as a direct assault on Right to Work laws around the country,” stated Gleason. “As more workers enjoy the benefits of a Right to Work law, union bosses are turning to more strong-arm tactics to take away their freedoms.”

News Release

Settlement Forces Teamsters Union to Stop Discriminating Against Non-union Employees

Chattanooga, Tenn. (May 5, 2003) — Responding to charges brought by an employee of Van Heusen Company, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) forced Teamsters Local Union 515 to eliminate key contract provisions that violated the rights of non-union employees.

Enjoying free legal aid from attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Sheila Elliot filed unfair labor practice charges against the Teamsters union.

As part of their contract with Van Heusen, Teamsters officials required the company to encourage all associate employees to become and remain full union members – despite the existence of Tennessee’s Right to Work law. Teamsters Local Union 515 officials attempted to use the clause to force workers into joining the union and to waive their right to refrain from union activities.

“This settlement will give Elliot, and her coworkers, the freedom to decide for themselves if they want to join the union, without being forced into it by Teamsters union bosses,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “It is clear union officials were using these tactics to try and get around Tennessee’s Right to Work law.”

Under the state’s highly popular and effective Right to Work law, non-union employees are freed from paying membership dues to an unwanted union as a condition of employment.

In an attempt to undermine Right to Work laws around the country, Teamsters union officials are enlisting companies to help them pressure workers into joining the union. Employees laboring in America’s 22 Right to Work states have the right to refrain from union affiliation without interference from officials of a union or an employer.

“Teamsters officials wrote this agreement as a direct assault on Right to Work laws around the country,” stated Gleason. “As more workers enjoy the benefits of a Right to Work law, union bosses are turning to more strong-arm tactics to take away their freedoms.”

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.

Machinist Union Hit with Federal Charges for Threatening Swissport Workers

San Francisco, Calif. (May 2, 2003) — An employee of Swissport Corporation filed federal charges against officials of a local machinists union for illegally delaying the efforts of workers in the course of a successful election to strip the union hierarchy of its power to get employees fired for refusal to pay union dues. Enjoying free legal aid provided by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Kirk Williams, a non-union member at Swissport, filed the unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the International Association of Machinists (IAM) union District Lodge 190, Local 1414. “This is a clear example of union bosses doing everything they can to try and keep workers in the grasp of compulsory unionism,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. Last October, Swissport employees voted by a margin of 212-11 in the NLRB-supervised deauthorization election to remove the mandatory dues provision in the collective bargaining agreement with IAM union District Lodge 190, Local 1414. Despite the overwhelming vote, however, the IAM and its lawyers tried to overturn the election on the grounds that Swissport illegally intervened. The NLRB rejected all of the union’s claims as unsubstantiated. Williams decided to seek the deauthorization election after becoming frustrated that IAM union officials were indifferent to the needs of the rank-and-file. To trigger the deauthorization election, Williams needed to obtain signatures from at least 30 percent of his coworkers. Once that occurred, an absolute majority of workers in the bargaining unit had to vote “yes.” This requirement for an absolute majority established by the National Labor Relations Act is more difficult for employees to attain than the standard for certifying or decertifying a union, which requires only a majority of those actually voting. Though federal law still denies the employees their right to bargain with their employer individually on their own merits, IAM union officials may no longer compel Swissport employees to pay for unwanted union representation.

News Release

Machinist Union Hit with Federal Charges for Threatening Swissport Workers

San Francisco, Calif. (May 2, 2003) — An employee of Swissport Corporation filed federal charges against officials of a local machinists union for illegally delaying the efforts of workers in the course of a successful election to strip the union hierarchy of its power to get employees fired for refusal to pay union dues.

Enjoying free legal aid provided by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Kirk Williams, a non-union member at Swissport, filed the unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the International Association of Machinists (IAM) union District Lodge 190, Local 1414.

“This is a clear example of union bosses doing everything they can to try and keep workers in the grasp of compulsory unionism,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation.

Last October, Swissport employees voted by a margin of 212-11 in the NLRB-supervised deauthorization election to remove the mandatory dues provision in the collective bargaining agreement with IAM union District Lodge 190, Local 1414. Despite the overwhelming vote, however, the IAM and its lawyers tried to overturn the election on the grounds that Swissport illegally intervened. The NLRB rejected all of the union’s claims as unsubstantiated.

Williams decided to seek the deauthorization election after becoming frustrated that IAM union officials were indifferent to the needs of the rank-and-file.

To trigger the deauthorization election, Williams needed to obtain signatures from at least 30 percent of his coworkers. Once that occurred, an absolute majority of workers in the bargaining unit had to vote “yes.” This requirement for an absolute majority established by the National Labor Relations Act is more difficult for employees to attain than the standard for certifying or decertifying a union, which requires only a majority of those actually voting.

Though federal law still denies the employees their right to bargain with their employer individually on their own merits, IAM union officials may no longer compel Swissport employees to pay for unwanted union representation.

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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