Uncategorized 

News Release

National Employee Rights Advocate Calls Upon Ohio Attorney General to Oppose Union Discrimination

Columbus, Ohio (March 4, 2003) — Today, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation sent a letter calling on Attorney General Jim Petro to file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court of the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision striking down the state’s highly popular Open Contracting Act.

Last December, in Ohio State Building & Construction Trades Council v. Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners, the elected judges threw out the Open Contracting Act, which bans mandatory union-only contracts, or project labor agreements (PLAs), on government construction projects.

If the attorney general does not file an appeal by the deadline of March 27, union officials will be able to force workers across Ohio to submit to compulsory unionism on all state construction projects. The National Right to Work Foundation is also contacting thousands of its Ohio supporters, asking them to contact the attorney general and Governor Bob Taft.

“Union lawyers are trying to strip away any protections that workers and taxpayers have from compulsory unionism,” said Foundation Vice President and Legal Director Ray LaJeunesse. “This is an opportunity for Attorney General Petro to defend Ohio’s workers and taxpayers from the numerous abuses associated with union-only PLAs on government construction projects.”

A PLA is a scheme that requires all contractors, whether they are unionized or not, to subject themselves and their employees to unionization in order to work on government-funded construction projects. PLAs usually require contractors to grant union officials monopoly bargaining privileges over all workers; use exclusive union hiring halls; force workers to pay dues as a condition of employment; and pay above-market prices resulting from wasteful work rules and featherbedding.

After the Ohio legislature passed the Open Contacting Act in 1999, union lawyers sued the Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners to retain forced unionism on state construction projects. In October 1999, a trial court permanently enjoined enforcement of the law. An Ohio appellate court later reversed the lower court’s decision, ruling that the National Labor Relations Act does not prohibit states from banning government-mandated discriminatory, union-only PLAs on government construction projects.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation participated as an amicus curiae in support of the Open Contracting Act. Foundation attorneys argued that the state legislature has the right not to finance a form of compulsory unionism with public construction funds. Ohio’s intermediate appellate court used the Foundation’s arguments to uphold the law in its now reversed ruling. Foundation attorneys plan to file a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the Open Contracting Act, if Ohio’s attorney general appeals.

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.

National Right to Work Foundation Adds New Attorney to Expert Legal Team

Springfield, Va. (February 25, 2003) — The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation announced today that it has hired Hilary Funk., a member of the Virginia State Bar and a magna cum laude graduate of Regent University School of Law. “Hilary Funk brings to our legal aid organization a real commitment to helping employees fight back against the abuses of compulsory unionism,” said Ray LaJeunesse, Legal Director of the National Right to Work Foundation. As a staff attorney, Funk will help build on the Foundation’s successful litigation record on behalf of union-abused workers. The Foundation is currently assisting thousands of workers in over 300 case around the country. Prior to joining the Foundation Funk had served as a counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform. While attending law school, she also worked as a law clerk for the American Center for Law and Justice, and she participated in national and regional student moot court competitions. She received Regent University’s Most Outstanding Law Student Award, Class of 2001. Funk holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Point Loma Nazarene University, where she received a perfect 4.0 grade point average. She originally hails from Elkville, Ill.

News Release

National Right to Work Foundation Adds New Attorney to Expert Legal Team

Springfield, Va. (February 25, 2003) — The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation announced today that it has hired Hilary Funk., a member of the Virginia State Bar and a magna cum laude graduate of Regent University School of Law.

“Hilary Funk brings to our legal aid organization a real commitment to helping employees fight back against the abuses of compulsory unionism,” said Ray LaJeunesse, Legal Director of the National Right to Work Foundation.

As a staff attorney, Funk will help build on the Foundation’s successful litigation record on behalf of union-abused workers. The Foundation is currently assisting thousands of workers in over 300 case around the country.

Prior to joining the Foundation Funk had served as a counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform. While attending law school, she also worked as a law clerk for the American Center for Law and Justice, and she participated in national and regional student moot court competitions. She received Regent University’s Most Outstanding Law Student Award, Class of 2001.

Funk holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Point Loma Nazarene University, where she received a perfect 4.0 grade point average. She originally hails from Elkville, Ill.

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.

Dem Candidates Seek Union Endorsement

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewPolitics.asp?Page=\\Politics\\archive\\200302\\POL20030220a.html

Union Sued for Violating Lorain County Teacher’s Religious Freedom

Cleveland, Ohio (February 20, 2003) – With the help of attorneys from the National Right to Work Foundation, a teacher of deep religious conviction filed suit against the Lorain County Joint Vocational School Teachers Association (LCTA) for refusing to honor his religious objection to supporting the union financially. Daniel Reed, a history teacher at the Lorain County Vocational School and a member of Camden Baptist Church, objects to supporting the LCTA local union and its affiliates because they actively promote pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality positions. Foundation attorneys filed the religious discrimination suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio Eastern Division. “No one should be forced to support a union and social agenda that they find morally offensive,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Teachers across the country, regardless of their faith, are being shaken down to pay for this radical agenda.” On August 14, 2001, Reed asked LCTA officials to honor his protected rights as a religious objector. Since then, teacher union officials have refused to fully honor Reed’s request. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, union officials may not force any employee to support financially a union if doing so violates the employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs. To avoid the conflict between an employee’s faith and a requirement to pay fees to a union he or she believes to be immoral, the law requires union officials to accommodate the employee – most often by designating a mutually acceptable charity to accept the funds. As part of the lawsuit, Reed wants the LCTA and its affiliates to accommodate his status as a religious objector and send all of the union fees that have been illegally confiscated since August 2001 to a mutually agreed upon charity. In addition, Reed is asking for the LCTA to notify all employees of the Lorain County Vocational School of their right to file a religious objection to joining or supporting the union. The LCTA is an affiliate of the Ohio Education Association (OEA) and the National Education Association (NEA), two of the most powerful and politically active teacher unions in the country. Many teachers object to the unions’ support for abortion, special rights for homosexuals, and other objectionable social causes. In recent months, the OEA has faced multiple findings of discrimination by the EEOC.

News Release

Union Sued for Violating Lorain County Teacher’s Religious Freedom

Cleveland, Ohio (February 20, 2003) – With the help of attorneys from the National Right to Work Foundation, a teacher of deep religious conviction filed suit against the Lorain County Joint Vocational School Teachers Association (LCTA) for refusing to honor his religious objection to supporting the union financially.

Daniel Reed, a history teacher at the Lorain County Vocational School and a member of Camden Baptist Church, objects to supporting the LCTA local union and its affiliates because they actively promote pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality positions. Foundation attorneys filed the religious discrimination suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio Eastern Division.

“No one should be forced to support a union and social agenda that they find morally offensive,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Teachers across the country, regardless of their faith, are being shaken down to pay for this radical agenda.”

On August 14, 2001, Reed asked LCTA officials to honor his protected rights as a religious objector. Since then, teacher union officials have refused to fully honor Reed’s request.

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, union officials may not force any employee to support financially a union if doing so violates the employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs. To avoid the conflict between an employee’s faith and a requirement to pay fees to a union he or she believes to be immoral, the law requires union officials to accommodate the employee – most often by designating a mutually acceptable charity to accept the funds.

As part of the lawsuit, Reed wants the LCTA and its affiliates to accommodate his status as a religious objector and send all of the union fees that have been illegally confiscated since August 2001 to a mutually agreed upon charity. In addition, Reed is asking for the LCTA to notify all employees of the Lorain County Vocational School of their right to file a religious objection to joining or supporting the union.

The LCTA is an affiliate of the Ohio Education Association (OEA) and the National Education Association (NEA), two of the most powerful and politically active teacher unions in the country. Many teachers object to the unions’ support for abortion, special rights for homosexuals, and other objectionable social causes. In recent months, the OEA has faced multiple findings of discrimination by the EEOC.

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.

NLRB Orders Union to Respect Worker’s Right to Know How Confiscated Dues Are Spent

Richland, Wash. (February 19, 2003) — After International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 280 violated previous settlement agreements, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued an order requiring the union to stop forcing non-union employees of Fluor Daniel Hanford Inc. to pay full union-dues, including dues spent for politics. The NLRB issued the decision in response to charges filed by attorneys with the National Right to Work Foundation on behalf of Jeanne Olsen, an employee of Fluor Daniel Hanford. Since November 1996 union officials have violated Olsen’s rights by illegally seizing compulsory union dues from her without observing her due-process rights, including providing an audited statement of how forced dues are spent. As a non-union member Olsen cannot be forced to fund non-bargaining activities, such as political activities. On October 25, 2001 Olsen, the NLRB’s general counsel and IUOE Local 280 union officials entered into an agreement in which the union agreed finally to follow the law. However, union officials ignored the agreement and continued illegally to seize dues from Olsen. The full NLRB has now approved the agreement. If IUOE Local 280 does not obey the board’s order then the union will be prosecuted in federal court. “What incredible arrogance. For years these union officials just thumbed their noses at the government’s prosecutors and the employees the union claims to represent,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “This shows the lengths that union officials will go keep workers’ mandatory union dues flowing into their coffers.” As part of the decision, the NLRB mandated the posting of a notice alerting employees of Fluor Daniel Hanford, Inc. of their right to refrain from formal union membership and payment of full union dues. The actions of IUOE Local 280 officials violated Olsen’s rights established by the U.S. Supreme Court Communications Workers v. Beck decision. Under Beck, a case that Foundation attorneys argued and won, workers may halt and reclaim forced union dues spent on politics and other activities unrelated to collective bargaining.

News Release

NLRB Orders Union to Respect Worker’s Right to Know How Confiscated Dues Are Spent

Richland, Wash. (February 19, 2003) — After International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 280 violated previous settlement agreements, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued an order requiring the union to stop forcing non-union employees of Fluor Daniel Hanford Inc. to pay full union-dues, including dues spent for politics.

The NLRB issued the decision in response to charges filed by attorneys with the National Right to Work Foundation on behalf of Jeanne Olsen, an employee of Fluor Daniel Hanford. Since November 1996 union officials have violated Olsen’s rights by illegally seizing compulsory union dues from her without observing her due-process rights, including providing an audited statement of how forced dues are spent.

As a non-union member Olsen cannot be forced to fund non-bargaining activities, such as political activities. On October 25, 2001 Olsen, the NLRB’s general counsel and IUOE Local 280 union officials entered into an agreement in which the union agreed finally to follow the law. However, union officials ignored the agreement and continued illegally to seize dues from Olsen.

The full NLRB has now approved the agreement. If IUOE Local 280 does not obey the board’s order then the union will be prosecuted in federal court.

“What incredible arrogance. For years these union officials just thumbed their noses at the government’s prosecutors and the employees the union claims to represent,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “This shows the lengths that union officials will go keep workers’ mandatory union dues flowing into their coffers.”

As part of the decision, the NLRB mandated the posting of a notice alerting employees of Fluor Daniel Hanford, Inc. of their right to refrain from formal union membership and payment of full union dues.

The actions of IUOE Local 280 officials violated Olsen’s rights established by the U.S. Supreme Court Communications Workers v. Beck decision. Under Beck, a case that Foundation attorneys argued and won, workers may halt and reclaim forced union dues spent on politics and other activities unrelated to collective bargaining.

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 Faces Trial At Labor Agency For Threatening to Kill Dissident Workers

Orlando, Fla. (February 14, 2003) — The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 835 officials face federal prosecution for illegally threatening to “kill” or otherwise harm workers who participated in efforts to toss out the union and breaking a previous settlement agreement with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Local 835 officials operate an exclusive union hiring hall that provides workers for the trade show, convention, and exhibition service industry in the Orlando area. After investigating the unfair labor practice charges filed by James Zitis and Clay Wayman – who obtained free legal representation from attorneys with the National Right to Work Foundation – the NLRB investigators found that union officials had “threatened to kill employees” and “threatened employees with the loss of work opportunities and the loss of their homes and possessions” if they engaged in activity to decertify the union through an NLRB-supervised election. In addition to naming IATSE Local 835, the NLRB complaint cites two of its top officials, Susan Wolfgang and Peter Merrifield, for their involvement in the harassment. “The outrageous threats issued by these union officials show they have no respect for the law or employees’ well being,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. On May 16, 2002, IATSE union officials agreed to accept an NLRB settlement agreement of some of the employees’ charges, which required them to post a notice alerting workers that they only had to pay fees equal to the cost of running the hiring hall. Union officials have failed to live up to the NLRB settlement and continue forcing non-union members to pay fees as a condition of using the hiring hall’s referral process without explaining how the fee was calculated. The NLRB has set the hearing date for July 21, 2003 to examine the charges against IATSE Local 835. Even though Florida has a highly popular and effective Right to Work law that frees nonunion employees from paying membership dues to an unwanted union, IATSE union officials use their monopoly bargaining privileges to set up exclusive hiring halls. In such halls, the union decides which employees to refer for work at conventions and trade shows, and the workers are forced to pay the union to be eligible for work.


Terms of Web Site Use      Related Links: National Right to Work Committee | National Institute for Labor Relations Research

Copyright © 2010 National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation
 National Right to Work Legal Defense and Education Foundation, Inc.
8001 Braddock Road / Springfield, Virginia 22160
(703) 321-8510 | (800) 336-3600 / (703) 321-9613 fax - general (703) 321-9319 fax - legal department