Your Legal Rights: Private Sector Employee

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Question: If I believe my rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses, can I file my own unfair labor practice charges against the union or the employer at the National Labor Relations Board?

Answer: If you work in the private sector and are not covered by the Railway Labor Act (i.e., you do not work for a railroad or an airline), you can file your own unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board.

For further information and to download the appropriate forms from the National Labor Relations Board's web site, click here. (Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat version 3 or later in order to use the NLRB's downloadable forms.)

Choosing to file charges against the union or against your employer is a personal decision which the Foundation neither recommends nor opposes. However, if you do decide to file charges at the National Labor Relations Board against the union or against your employer, please feel free to contact the Foundation for free legal advice regarding the correct procedures to use and the best circumstances under which charges may be filed. Advice will be limited to cases involving abuses of compulsory unionism within the charter purposes of the Foundation.

To contact the Foundation, you may:



If you would like to learn more about your rights as a private sector employee, click on the appropriate question below:

Workers Forced to Call Police on SEIU Union Thugs

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Workers West organizers in Orange County, California are turning up the heat on healthcare workers who want nothing to do with the union.

SEIU officials have been trying to unionize workers at Chapman Medical Center through a backroom deal known as a "neutrality agreement" designed to grease the skids for workers to be forced into union ranks.

The agreement was anything but "neutral:" Company officials granted union operatives access to company facilities to conduct a coercive "card check" organizing campaign in which union organizers pressure workers to fill out cards that count as votes for union control of the workplace. Meanwhile, Chapman waived the right to have a federally-supervised secret ballot election to determine whether employees really wish to be unionized.

SEIU organizers then resorted to harassing late night phone calls, blocking workers' driveways while they were heading to work, bribing workers with food to sign "cards" that would later count as "votes," and stalking workers.

Now, SEIU organizers are sneaking in without identification through the back door of the medical center's jam-packed cafeteria and refused to leave when approached by hospital administration, human resources, and even workers.

Eventually workers had to resort to calling the police to remove the unwanted SEIU militants from their workplace.

"This is just getting out of hand," one concerned worker told the National Right to Work Foundation.

If you are experiencing union intimation, harassment, or violence at the hands of union organizers or union officials, contact the National Right to Work Foundation for help right away.

Workers at JCIM Grand Rapids Plant Seek Ejection of UAW Union

In Michigan, Foundation staff attorneys are providing legal aid to Johnson Controls (JCIM) Grand Rapids employees who want the UAW union hierarchy removed as the monopoly bargaining agent. Meanwhile UAW union organizers are attempting to force their way into JCIM’s Holland plant:

Grand Rapids, MI (December 23, 2008) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, a Johnson Controls (JCIM) employee at the Talon Court facility in Kentwood has filed a decertification petition seeking an election to oust the United Auto Workers (UAW) union as the JCIM workers’ monopoly bargaining agent.

The development is another blow to the UAW union hierarchy which has taken a major public relations hit in recent months because of its role in driving the Big Three automakers to the brink of bankruptcy.

JCIM worker Dawn Lambert filed the decertification petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which should conduct a secret-ballot election to determine whether or not a majority of the workforce wants to retain the UAW union as their monopoly bargaining agent. Under federal labor law governing the private sector, once the NLRB grants union officials monopoly bargaining status, it is illegal for any present or future employees – whether they are members of the union or not – to negotiate with their employer for themselves unless they can prove that the union hierarchy does not retain majority support.

Because a clear majority of the employees at the Talon Court facility in Kentwood have expressed their intent to remove the UAW, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys have also sent a letter to JCIM management demanding that they cease further contract negotiations and also withdraw recognition of what is now a minority union. Under the law, recognizing and negotiating with a union that does not have majority support is an unfair labor practice.

Read the rest of the Foundation's press release here.

News Release

Majority of Workers at JCIM Grand Rapids Plant Seek Ejection of UAW Union

Grand Rapids workers want UAW union out while organizers attempt to force their way into JCIM’s Holland plant

Grand Rapids, MI - With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, a Johnson Controls (JCIM) employee at the Talon Court facility in Kentwood has filed a decertification petition seeking an election to oust the United Auto Workers (UAW) union as the JCIM workers’ monopoly bargaining agent.

The development is another blow to the UAW union hierarchy which has taken a major public relations hit in recent months because of its role in driving the Big Three automakers to the brink of bankruptcy.

JCIM worker Dawn Lambert filed the decertification petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which should conduct a secret-ballot election to determine whether or not a majority of the workforce wants to retain the UAW union as their monopoly bargaining agent. Under federal labor law governing the private sector, once the NLRB grants union officials monopoly bargaining status, it is illegal for any present or future employees – whether they are members of the union or not – to negotiate with their employer for themselves unless they can prove that the union hierarchy does not retain majority support.

Because a clear majority of the employees at the Talon Court facility in Kentwood have expressed their intent to remove the UAW, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys have also sent a letter to JCIM management demanding that they cease further contract negotiations and also withdraw recognition of what is now a minority union. Under the law, recognizing and negotiating with a union that does not have majority support is an unfair labor practice.

The decertification drive against the UAW in Kentwood comes amidst a UAW campaign to unionize JCIM workers in nearby Holland. In Holland, UAW union bosses are pressuring JCIM to provide union organizers with access to company facilities and personal information about its employees, including their names, phone numbers, and home addresses.  Numerous employees at the JCIM Holland facility have responded by sending JCIM a letter asking that the company not release their personal information to the UAW union. To view a sample of the letter, click here.

Union bosses use this information to pressure employees to sign union authorization cards at work and at home. History shows that during “card check” campaigns union organizers frequently harass and even mislead workers into signing these cards. Once union officials collect signed cards from a majority of the workers, JCIM in Holland could be forced to recognize the union as the monopoly bargaining agent of all employees in the bargaining unit, even for those workers who would prefer to negotiate their own wages and working conditions based on their individual merit.

“Employees are apparently sick and tired of the UAW bosses’ role in fomenting conflict in the workplace, job losses, corruption, and Far Left political activism,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation.

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 Launches Official Facebook Group

The National Right to Work Foundation has launched its official Facebook.com group. The group will help virally spread information about the Right to Work movement while keeping supporters up-to-date on the Foundation's latest news and views. The latest press releases, blog posts, and YouTube videos can be found on the Facebook group’s profile page, while the discussion board allows group members talk about current issues relating to compulsory unionism.

The group has already garnered the support of over 80 members in just a few days and the Foundation will randomly select ten of the first 200 group members to receive a free book -- either “Power Grab: How the National Education Association is Betraying Our Children” by G. Gregory Moo or “Free Choice for Workers: A History of the Right to Work Movement” by George C. Leef.

The Foundation’s Facebook group can be found by the group name “National Right to Work”, under the group categories Organizations – Non-Profit Organizations, or here.

Join the National Right to Work Foundation’s Facebook group today for your chance to win a copy of “Power Grab” or “Free Choice for Workers”!  Also, tell your friends!

News Release

Employees Hit Union with Federal Charges for Its Illegal and Retaliatory Strike Fines

Union officials levy more than $200,000 in confiscatory fines against workers who would not abandon their jobs

Chicago, IL (September 11, 2008) - With free legal aid from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, nine Lechner and Sons employees have filed federal charges against an International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union local for exorbitant and illegal retaliatory fines levied against them.

The employees filed the unfair labor practice charges at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Teamsters Local Union 731. Union officials hit the employees with fines ranging from $13,946 to $40,000 each for working during the strike, despite the fact that none of the employees were truly voluntary members of the union during the strike. Union officials never informed any of the employees of their right to refrain from formal union membership and pay a reduced amount of forced dues. Instead, union officials deceived the employees into believing that formal, full-dues-paying union membership was a condition of employment.

In July 2006, union bosses ordered the employees, all truck drivers, to abandon their jobs during a so-called “sympathy strike” involving a different bargaining unit of workers at the plant where the strike occurred. After the strike ended in June 2007, union brass claimed the power to use fines to discipline non-striking employees.

The union hierarchy also claimed the power to discipline two employees for working during the strike even though they were not union members during the strike. The union bosses illegally threatened one employee that if he did not pay the fine, he would never again work in a “union-shop.” All of the employees have now resigned from the union.

“It is unconscionable for union bosses to mislead employees into union membership and then attempt to drive them into the poorhouse in vicious retaliation for working,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “This disturbing, yet increasingly-used tactic of union intimidation is all too common in states like Illinois where there is no Right to Work law on the books.”

A Right to Work law secures the right of employees to decide for themselves whether or not to join or financially support a union. The NLRB Regional Director’s Office will now investigate the charges and decide whether to issue a formal complaint and prosecute the union.

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.

Foundation Pushes NLRB to Make Its Shadowy “Card Check" Database Public

Responding to a request from the National Right to Work Foundation, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has finally made its so-called "voluntary recognition” database available to the public by posting it online.

So-called “voluntary recognitions” occur when union bosses and leveraged employers agree to bargain without the affected employees ever having chosen the union through an NLRB-supervised secret-ballot election. Such recognitions are the ultimate goal of most vicious, multi-pronged pressure campaigns waged by union forces against targeted employers.

As result of the Foundation's Dana/Metalydyne victory, employees may now obtain a traditional decertification election immediately after finding themselves pressured into union ranks through "card check" or other means.

However, in order to obtain the ability to block employees from freeing themselves from union monopoly bargaining once 45 days have elapsed, union officials must now report the occurance of a voluntary recognition in the first place. This “VR Database” is now available on-line and allows the public to see the over 380 so-called “voluntary recognitions” recorded in the past year.

As of September 9, interested persons may access the database by going to the NLRB website and clicking on “ Frequently Requested Documents” under the “What’s New” column. The database can be found by scrolling down to “Dana Corp. and Metaldyne Briefs and Documents” and clicking on “Post Dana Corp. Case Processing” or by going here.

Many Ways to Get Wired in to America's Right to Work Movement

Since you already read this blog (after all you're here aren't you) here are some other ways you can keep up with everything the National Right to Work Foundation does to defend employees from the abuses of compulsory unionism:

  • Email Alerts - Sign up to get exclusive Foundation emails sent right into your inbox. There is a signup box in on the top right corner of every page on this site.
  • Subscribe to our Newsletter - Read the latest edition of the National Right to Work Foundation’s newsletter, Foundation Action, and sign up for your free subscription today. You'll receive a hard copy in your mailbox every two months.
  • Watch our Videos - Check out our Youtube.com and Eyeblast.tv channels to get the latest video updates about NRTW, its cases, and how it helps average working Americans fight the evils of compulsory unionism.
  • Network With Us - Join our Facebook.com group and connect with other National Right to Work supporters from across the country.

These are just a few of the many ways to stay on top of the critical developments in the Right to Work movement. Whether you are at work, at home, or on vacation, all you need is a computer to get started.


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