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News Release

Legal Action Forces Statewide Teacher Union To Respect Rights of Religious Teachers

Cincinnati, Ohio (January 30, 2003) - Facing religious discrimination charges and embarrassing media exposure, Ohio Education Association (OEA) union officials have agreed to honor the right of two Gallia County Public Schools teachers, Donna Barnes and Frances Phillips, to have their union dues re-directed to charity because the union’s social advocacy violates their religious convictions.

With free legal assistance from attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Barnes originally filed religious discrimination charges against the OEA in 1999. A practicing Christian and member of the New Life Lutheran Church, Barnes objected to supporting the union because it advocates pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality positions.

As part of the agreement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Barnes’ forced union fees, those which non-members must pay to the union for costs related to collective bargaining, will be diverted to a mutually agreed charity.

“No one should be forced to support financially an agenda they find morally objectionable,” stated 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.”

In a related highly publicized ruling last summer, the EEOC found that the National Education Association (NEA) union, the OEA’s national affiliate, is systematically discriminating against religious objectors. An Ohio teacher, Dennis Robey, brought charges against the NEA and its local affiliates after they refused to honor his religious objection to supporting the union because it promotes pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality positions and constantly attempts to interfere with parental rights.

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 diverting the funds to a mutually acceptable charity.

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.

Supreme Court Upholds Bush Ban on Discriminatory Union-Only Contracting

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 28, 2003) — The U.S. Supreme Court struck down efforts by union lawyers to overturn the Bush Administration’s Executive Order 13202, which bans government-mandated discriminatory union-only contracts, also known as project labor agreements (PLAs), on federally funded construction projects. The court denied certiorari to an attempt by union officials to appeal a U.S. Court of Appeals decision in AFL-CIO et al., v. Allbaugh et al., which upheld the president’s right to issue the Executive Order banning government-imposed union-only contracts. The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation filed an amicus curiae (Friend of the Court) brief with Associated Builders and Contractors and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce arguing that the executive order was not preempted by the congressionally enacted National Labor Relations Act and that President Bush acted within his constitutional authority. “The Supreme Court’s decision is a step toward protecting workers and taxpayers from higher costs and other abuses that flow from compulsory unionism,” said National Right to Work Foundation Vice President Stefan Gleason. A PLA is a scheme which requires that all contractors, whether they are unionized or not, subject themselves and their employees to unionization 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. A coalition of union officials filed Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, et al. v. Allbaugh, et al. after President Bush issued the order in February 2001 to establish a policy of non-discrimination on federal contracting. More than 80 percent of American contractors and their employees have refrained from unionization. “PLAs are nothing more than a shakedown — union officials use them to demand taxpayer handouts and government-granted special privileges in exchange for not ordering strikes or causing other disruptions,” said Gleason.

National Agreement Between Teamsters Union and UPS Illegally Undermines Right to Work Laws

Raleigh, NC (January 28, 2003) – Attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation today filed an employee’s legal challenge to the national contract signed by United Parcel Services (UPS) and the Teamsters union that illegally requires company officials to pressure tens of thousands of workers to join 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. Douglas Ragone, a non-union member, filed the unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against UPS and the Teamsters. The NLRB is responsible for investigating the charges and will decide whether to prosecute the union and UPS. A contract provision requires UPS officials in Right to Work states to tell new employees that they should become full dues-paying union members. Ragone is challenging the agreement because the National Labor Relations Act prohibits employers from supporting unions and coercing employees into joining them. “Teamsters officials are afraid to let workers choose for themselves; they know that without the fear of coercion workers will reject unionization,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. In running afoul of federal statutes, the agreement violates the spirit of North Carolina’s highly popular Right to Work law. Also, a state Right to Work law frees workers from being forced to join or to pay union dues as a condition of employment. “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

Supreme Court Upholds Bush Ban on Discriminatory Union-Only Contracting

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 28, 2003) — The U.S. Supreme Court struck down efforts by union lawyers to overturn the Bush Administration’s Executive Order 13202, which bans government-mandated discriminatory union-only contracts, also known as project labor agreements (PLAs), on federally funded construction projects.

The court denied certiorari to an attempt by union officials to appeal a U.S. Court of Appeals decision in AFL-CIO et al., v. Allbaugh et al., which upheld the president’s right to issue the Executive Order banning government-imposed union-only contracts. The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation filed an amicus curiae (Friend of the Court) brief with Associated Builders and Contractors and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce arguing that the executive order was not preempted by the congressionally enacted National Labor Relations Act and that President Bush acted within his constitutional authority.

“The Supreme Court’s decision is a step toward protecting workers and taxpayers from higher costs and other abuses that flow from compulsory unionism,” said National Right to Work Foundation Vice President Stefan Gleason.

A PLA is a scheme which requires that all contractors, whether they are unionized or not, subject themselves and their employees to unionization 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.

A coalition of union officials filed Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, et al. v. Allbaugh, et al. after President Bush issued the order in February 2001 to establish a policy of non-discrimination on federal contracting. More than 80 percent of American contractors and their employees have refrained from unionization.

“PLAs are nothing more than a shakedown — union officials use them to demand taxpayer handouts and government-granted special privileges in exchange for not ordering strikes or causing other disruptions,” said Gleason.

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.
News Release

National Agreement Between Teamsters Union and UPS Illegally Undermines Right to Work Laws

Raleigh, NC (January 28, 2003) – Attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation today filed an employee’s legal challenge to the national contract signed by United Parcel Services (UPS) and the Teamsters union that illegally requires company officials to pressure tens of thousands of workers to join 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.

Douglas Ragone, a non-union member, filed the unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against UPS and the Teamsters. The NLRB is responsible for investigating the charges and will decide whether to prosecute the union and UPS.

A contract provision requires UPS officials in Right to Work states to tell new employees that they should become full dues-paying union members. Ragone is challenging the agreement because the National Labor Relations Act prohibits employers from supporting unions and coercing employees into joining them.

“Teamsters officials are afraid to let workers choose for themselves; they know that without the fear of coercion workers will reject unionization,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation.

In running afoul of federal statutes, the agreement violates the spirit of North Carolina’s highly popular Right to Work law. Also, a state Right to Work law frees workers from being forced to join or to pay union dues as a condition of employment.

“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.
News Release

Johnson Controls and UAW Hit With Federal Charges for Collusion in Coercing Workers to Join Union

Milwaukee, Wis. (January 23, 2003) – In an unprecedented employee challenge to an emerging unionization tactic, attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation today filed federal charges against Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI) and the United Auto Workers union for jointly coercing employees to sign union authorization cards as part of a so-called “neutrality” agreement.

Robert Walach, a non-union member, sought free legal aid from Foundation attorneys to file the unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which will investigate the charges and decide whether to prosecute the defendants for unfair labor practices.

Last summer, bowing to pressure brought by UAW union operatives, JCI signed a so-called “neutrality agreement.” Under the agreement union organizers are given full access to non-union employees’ personal information and company facilities. Also, non-union employees are forced to attend “captive audience” speeches in which they are told that, if they do not support the union’s organizing effort, they could risk losing potential job opportunities. (A copy of the text of JCI’s “captive audience” speech is available bly clicking here.)

“This agreement is nothing more than a license for union bosses and weak-kneed employers to threaten and intimidate workers into accepting compulsory unionism,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation.

As part of the agreement, workers are denied the ability to reject unionization through a secret ballot election, and union operatives are allowed to sign up workers under a “card check” authorization scheme. Once UAW officials sign up a majority of the workers, then JCI declares the union as the exclusive representative of all the workers, even those who did not sign a card. Under the “card check” unionization process, workers are often misled, harassed, or threatened into signing union authorization cards.

In recent years, as union organizers have had less success in persuading employees to vote for unionization during secret ballot elections, unions have focused on organizing employers. Bolstered by a series of Clinton NLRB rulings, union operatives increasingly use “neutrality agreements” and other “top-down” organizing techniques to force employers to recognize unions without a vote by the workers.

“Big Labor is afraid to let workers choose for themselves in a fair secret ballot election; they know that without the fear of union coercion, the workers will reject unionization,” stated Gleason.

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.

Legal Action Forces Teacher Union to Respect Rights of Religious Objector

Pasadena, Calif. (January 16, 2003) – Rather than a face an adverse judgment in a religious discrimination suit, California Teachers Association (CTA) union officials begrudgingly have agreed to honor the right of an Arcadia elementary school teacher to have her monthly union fees re-directed to charity because the union’s social advocacy violates her religious convictions. With free legal assistance from attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Victoria Heggem filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against the CTA and its affiliates, the Arcadia Teachers Association (ATA) and National Education Association (NEA), for forcing her to follow the union’s illegal policy that requires teachers to pay a large lump-sum payment as a condition of accommodating religious objections to supporting the union. Victoria Heggem, a member of the Lake Avenue Congregational Church, objected to association with the CTA union because of its support of resolutions calling for special legal protections for homosexuality and support for abortion. “It’s outrageous for the union hierarchy to demand that a teacher put allegiance to the union’s radical social agenda ahead of her religious faith,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. The case arose when Heggem asked ATA officials to accommodate her religious beliefs and divert the dues to a mutually agreed upon charity. To discourage requests for religious accommodations, ATA union officials demanded she pay $700.00, union dues for a full year, in one lump sum at the start of the school year. ATA officials told Heggem that if she did not meet this demand (a demand not imposed on teachers who were not religious objectors), they would not honor her religious objection and would deduct fees from her paycheck that would go directly to the union. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, union officials may not force any employee to financially support 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.

News Release

Legal Action Forces Teacher Union to Respect Rights of Religious Objector

Pasadena, Calif. (January 16, 2003) – Rather than a face an adverse judgment in a religious discrimination suit, California Teachers Association (CTA) union officials begrudgingly have agreed to honor the right of an Arcadia elementary school teacher to have her monthly union fees re-directed to charity because the union’s social advocacy violates her religious convictions.

With free legal assistance from attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Victoria Heggem filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against the CTA and its affiliates, the Arcadia Teachers Association (ATA) and National Education Association (NEA), for forcing her to follow the union’s illegal policy that requires teachers to pay a large lump-sum payment as a condition of accommodating religious objections to supporting the union.

Victoria Heggem, a member of the Lake Avenue Congregational Church, objected to association with the CTA union because of its support of resolutions calling for special legal protections for homosexuality and support for abortion.

“It’s outrageous for the union hierarchy to demand that a teacher put allegiance to the union’s radical social agenda ahead of her religious faith,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation.

The case arose when Heggem asked ATA officials to accommodate her religious beliefs and divert the dues to a mutually agreed upon charity. To discourage requests for religious accommodations, ATA union officials demanded she pay $700.00, union dues for a full year, in one lump sum at the start of the school year. ATA officials told Heggem that if she did not meet this demand (a demand not imposed on teachers who were not religious objectors), they would not honor her religious objection and would deduct fees from her paycheck that would go directly to the union.

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, union officials may not force any employee to financially support 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.

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.

Government Issues Complaint Against Union for Illegally Fining Workers During “Justice for Janitors” Strike

Los Angeles, Calif. (January 13, 2003) – After two years of foot dragging, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint against a powerful California union for illegally coercing 43 janitors, 31 of whom have been fined up to $500 each, for exercising their right to continue working during the so-called “Justice for Janitors” strike in April 2000. With the help of attorneys from the National Right to Work Foundation, the janitors employed by American Building Maintenance Janitorial Services Company and two other janitorial services, filed unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB against Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1877 alleging unfair labor practices. In July 2000, Local 1877 union officials started levying the illegal fines and demanded that the janitors pay the fines or perform “community service” such as scrubbing floors at the union hall after a “rolling” strike against various employers during contract negotiations. SEIU union officials hit them with the illegal fines and demands because the janitors chose to work rather than sacrifice crucial family income. “SEIU union bosses have a perverted view of exactly what constitutes ‘Justice for Janitors,’” said Foundation Vice President Stefan Gleason. “There will be no justice for janitors until the union hierarchy ends its hypocrisy and ceases its bully tactics.” The intent of the union’s fines appears to be to drive the janitors toward financial ruin in retaliation for defying union edicts, as starting janitors are paid only approximately $7.00 per hour. Foundation attorneys forced the same union to rescind similar fines against Oakland janitors in 1997. The NLRB will also prosecute the SEIU officials for failing to notify the janitors of their right to refrain from formal union membership and pay a reduced fee that covers only the cost of activities directly related to collective bargaining. The Foundation-won Supreme Court decision in Communications Workers v. Beck and subsequent NLRB rulings prohibit union officials from requiring formal union membership or the payment of full union dues as a condition of employment.

News Release

Government Issues Complaint Against Union for Illegally Fining Workers During “Justice for Janitors” Strike

Los Angeles, Calif. (January 13, 2003) – After two years of foot dragging, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint against a powerful California union for illegally coercing 43 janitors, 31 of whom have been fined up to $500 each, for exercising their right to continue working during the so-called “Justice for Janitors” strike in April 2000.

With the help of attorneys from the National Right to Work Foundation, the janitors employed by American Building Maintenance Janitorial Services Company and two other janitorial services, filed unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB against Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1877 alleging unfair labor practices.

In July 2000, Local 1877 union officials started levying the illegal fines and demanded that the janitors pay the fines or perform “community service” such as scrubbing floors at the union hall after a “rolling” strike against various employers during contract negotiations. SEIU union officials hit them with the illegal fines and demands because the janitors chose to work rather than sacrifice crucial family income.

“SEIU union bosses have a perverted view of exactly what constitutes ‘Justice for Janitors,’” said Foundation Vice President Stefan Gleason. “There will be no justice for janitors until the union hierarchy ends its hypocrisy and ceases its bully tactics.”

The intent of the union’s fines appears to be to drive the janitors toward financial ruin in retaliation for defying union edicts, as starting janitors are paid only approximately $7.00 per hour. Foundation attorneys forced the same union to rescind similar fines against Oakland janitors in 1997.

The NLRB will also prosecute the SEIU officials for failing to notify the janitors of their right to refrain from formal union membership and pay a reduced fee that covers only the cost of activities directly related to collective bargaining.

The Foundation-won Supreme Court decision in Communications Workers v. Beck and subsequent NLRB rulings prohibit union officials from requiring formal union membership or the payment of full union dues as a condition of employment.

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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