Free Right to Work Stocking Stuffers

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation!

Year round we distribute and give away hundreds of books so that employees know their legal rights, and so that Americans understand why the fight for employee free choice is so vital. But with the holiday season upon us, a reminder about the FREE books you can receive from the National Right to Work Foundation seems in order.

If you act now, you can order two free books Stranglehold - How union bosses have hijacked our government by Reed Larson and Union Dues and Religious Do Nots by Foundation attorney Bruce N. Cameron, and they should arrive in time for Christmas.

In Stranglehold, Reed Larson reveals the astonishing story of how organized labor has acquired incredible, hidden power over local, state, and national government in America.

Union Dues and Religious Do Nots is a guide for employees who find their forced full-dues-paying union membership in conflict with their sincere religious beliefs and want to explore ways to save their conscience.

Order these books today - they would make the ultimate stocking stuffer for the Right to Work supporter in your family!

News Release

Air Traffic Controller Union Officials Forced to Respect Rights of Nonunion Employees

Under federal settlement, union officials must inform nonmember employees of their right to retroactively object to forced union dues and obtain refunds

Harrisburg, PA (December 29, 2008) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, four air traffic controllers have forced National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) union officials to halt their illegal forced union dues extraction methods.

The settlement is a result of unfair labor practice charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by Foundation attorneys for the four controllers in September 2008. The unfair labor practice charges challenged the union officials’ confiscatory scheme of forcing nonmember employees to support financially union activities unrelated to collective bargaining, as well as their refusal to provide a legally required independent financial audit of forced-dues union expenditures. The charges also challenged the union hierarchy’s policy that forced nonunion employees to object annually to full, forced-dues paying union membership.

Finalized today, the settlement requires union officials to post public notices informing affected controllers of their right to refrain from formal, full dues-paying membership. The notice also rescinds the union’s onerous annual objection policy – a policy that requires nonunion members annually to inform union officials of their decision not to pay for union activities unrelated to collective bargaining – and commits union officials to providing employees with an audited financial breakdown of all organizational expenditures. The union hierarchy has also agreed to allow nonunion workers to challenge retroactively dues payments unrelated to workplace representation.

Under the Foundation-won precedent established in the Supreme Court case Communications Workers v. Beck, all private sector employees are entitled to refrain from formal, full dues-paying union membership. The Foundation’s Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson Supreme Court victory also requires unions to provide employees with an independently-audited financial breakdown of all forced-dues union expenditures. The financial breakdown originally provided by NATCA officials was vague and did not include an independent audit.

“NATCA union officials kept the rank-and-file in the dark to keep the union’s forced dues gravy train going.” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Although we applaud the NLRB for reaching an equitable settlement, this type of abuse will remain all too common until Pennsylvania enacts a Right to Work law. Making union membership and dues payment completely voluntary is the only way to make union officials accountable.”

The NATCA union is an affiliate of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). Airport sites where NATCA officials enjoy monopoly bargaining privileges over private sector air traffic controllers include Bridgeport, Connecticut; Alton, Illinois; Marion, Illinois; Barnes, Massachusetts; Hyannis, Massachusetts; Worchester, Massachusetts; Middle River, Maryland; Lebanon Tower, New Hampshire; Ithaca, New York; Stewart, New York; Latrobe, Pennsylvania; Kenosha, Wisconsin, and Mosinee, Wisconsin.

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.

Air Traffic Controller Union Officials Forced to Respect Rights of Nonunion Employees

In Pennsylvania, staff attorneys from the Foundation helped four air traffic controllers reach a settlement with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) union. NATCA union officials were illegally forcing nonmember employees to financially support union activities unrelated to collective bargaining, as well as refusing to provide a legally required independent financial audit of forced-dues union expenditures:

Harrisburg, PA (December 29, 2008) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, four air traffic controllers have forced National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) union officials to halt their illegal forced union dues extraction methods.

The settlement is a result of unfair labor practice charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by Foundation attorneys for the four controllers in September 2008. The unfair labor practice charges challenged the union officials’ confiscatory scheme of forcing nonmember employees to support financially union activities unrelated to collective bargaining, as well as their refusal to provide a legally required independent financial audit of forced-dues union expenditures. The charges also challenged the union hierarchy’s policy that forced nonunion employees to object annually to full, forced-dues paying union membership.

Finalized today, the settlement requires union officials to post public notices informing affected controllers of their right to refrain from formal, full dues-paying membership. The notice also rescinds the union’s onerous annual objection policy – a policy that requires nonunion members annually to inform union officials of their decision not to pay for union activities unrelated to collective bargaining – and commits union officials to providing employees with an audited financial breakdown of all organizational expenditures. The union hierarchy has also agreed to allow nonunion workers to challenge retroactively dues payments unrelated to workplace representation.

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

Free Ride: UAW Bosses Want Taxpayers (and Workers) to Foot the Bill for Their Fat Cat Lifestyles

Today, columnist Michelle Malkin did a follow up piece on the United Autoworkers (UAW) union for-profit "championship caliber" golf course and "family education center" that has lost over $23 million in the past five years. Malkin examined the financial reports of the UAW union and found that UAW forced union dues expenditures are going into a lot more than the $33 million golf course and "family education center":

In May and November 2007, the UAW forked over nearly $53,000 for union staff meetings at the Thousand Hills Golf Resort in Branson, Mo. In September 2007, the UAW dropped another $5,000 at the Lakes of Taylor Golf Club in Taylor, Mich., and another $9,000 at the Thunderbird Hills Golf Club in Huron, Ohio. Another bill for $5,772 showed up for the Branson, Mo., golf resort. On Oct. 26, 2007, the union spent $5,000 on another "golf outing" in Detroit. In May and June 2007, UAW bosses spent nearly $11,000 on a golf tournament and related expenses at the Hawthorne Hill Country Club in Lima, Ohio. And in April 2007, the UAW spent $12,000 for a charity golf sponsorship in Dearborn, Mich. In August 2007, the UAW paid nearly $10,000 to its for-profit Black Lake golf course operator, UBG, for something itemized as "Golf 2007 Summer School." UBG had nearly $4.4 million worth of outstanding loans from the union. Another for-profit entity that runs the education center, UBE, had nearly $20 million in outstanding loans from the union.

Malkin also points to other so-called "investments" made by UAW union bosses using forced union dues, including a $9.75 million bid made by former UAW union president Steve Yokich to buy a 100-room resort and spa, a $14.7 million "investment" in a failed airline, and $5 million "investment" in a failed liberal talk radio station.

While UAW union officials make bank being subsidized by employees' forced union dues, they spend millions of dollars on their fat cat lifestyles; and then they have the audacity to demand the American taxpayers foot the bill in the form of a bailout for companies the UAW's forced unionism stranglehold is helping drive into bankruptcy.

The government should bail out the workers by releasing them from forced union dues.  Then they would have the freedom to choose whether or not to hand over their hard-earned money to financially support the UAW bosses' ponzi schemes.

News Release

UAW Tries to Block Employee Election to Toss Out Union at JCIM Grand Rapids

Meanwhile, UAW operatives work to pressure employees at Holland JCIM plant into union ranks

Grand Rapids, MI (January 13, 2009) – A majority of Johnson Controls (JCIM) employees at the Talon Court facility in Kentwood have filed a decertification petition seeking an election to oust the United Auto Workers (UAW) union as the JCIM workers’ monopoly bargaining agent, but UAW union lawyers argued in a formal hearing yesterday that the employees should be barred from access to a decertification election.

JCIM worker Dawn Lambert filed the decertification petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) seeking 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, when a union hierarchy has been granted monopoly bargaining authority, 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.

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

However, in yesterday’s hearing, union lawyers claimed that the plant is not its own bargaining group but had been sucked into a large amorphous group that includes other JCIM plants across America, making the petition by a majority of Talon Court workers insufficient to trigger a decertification. Of course, it would be nearly impossible for employees to organize and muster a broad effort at unknown facilities far away from Grand Rapids. This UAW claim flies in the face of the fact that the union officials and management have been bargaining over local issues, and that a local contract is not in place after nearly two years since the union became the monopoly bargaining agent at Talon Court.

“Despite over 50 percent of employees wanting the union gone, bosses have the nerve to deny them even a vote,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Apparently the UAW is like a roach motel, easy to get in, but nearly impossible to leave.”

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 have pressured JCIM to provide union organizers with access to company facilities and sensitive personal information about its employees, including their names, phone numbers, and home addresses.

Union bosses apparently intend to use this information to pressure employees to sign union authorization cards at work and at home. In fact, union operatives are also planning a captive audience meeting later this week to pressure workers to sign the cards. History shows that during “card check” campaigns union organizers frequently harass and even mislead workers into signing these cards with the ultimate goal of installing the union without even the minimal protections of a secret ballot election. Additionally, union officials will doubtlessly fail to tell Holland employees that they will not be able to vote the union out.

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.

UAW Tries to Block Employee Election to Toss Out Union at JCIM Grand Rapids

News Release

UAW Tries to Block Employee Election to Toss Out Union at JCIM Grand Rapids

Meanwhile, UAW operatives work to pressure employees at Holland JCIM plant into union ranks

Grand Rapids, MI (January 13, 2009) — A majority of Johnson Controls (JCIM) employees at the Talon Court facility in Kentwood have filed a decertification petition seeking an election to oust the United Auto Workers (UAW) union as the JCIM workers’ monopoly bargaining agent, but UAW union lawyers argued in a formal hearing yesterday that the employees should be barred from access to a decertification election.

JCIM worker Dawn Lambert filed the decertification petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) seeking 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, when a union hierarchy has been granted monopoly bargaining authority, 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.

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

(Continue reading this news release...)

Podcast: Supreme Court Examines Union Scheme to Waive Employees' Right to Sue for Discrimination

In a Federalist Society “SCOTUScast” (podcast) last month, Vice President and Legal Director of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation Ray LaJeunesse discussed the U.S. Supreme Court case 14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett, in which the Foundation filed an amicus brief.

In 14 Penn Plaza, the Supreme Court was asked to consider the question of whether a union-negotiated collective bargaining agreement can waive an employee's right to a judicial forum for discrimination. Oral arguments for the case were heard by the Court in December.

You can download and listen to the podcast hereWARNING: This audio involves a highly technical legal discussion that is not suited for all audiences!

News Release

Public Employee Union Officials Sued for Forcing Employees to Stay in Union Ranks

Union bosses’ illegal scheme violates employees’ constitutional rights

Harrisburg, PA (February 9, 2009) – Three Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) employees filed a federal suit challenging two Pennsylvania laws that unconstitutionally prohibit workers from leaving union ranks.

National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys, providing CATA employees Brenda Hall, Karen Ilgen, and Martha Hoy with free legal aid, filed the suit today in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Union officials rebuffed the employees’ repeated requests to resign from formal union membership in the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) local affiliate 1203B and District Council 83 unions.

Local 1203B and District Council 83 union officials are using the Pennsylvania Public Employee Forced Unionism Law and the Public Employee Relations Act as justification to compel the employees into continuing formal union membership and require the CATA illegally to extract full union dues from the employees.

As well as challenging the state law, the employees are suing for their right to retroactively object to formal union membership and obtain refunds. The employees are backed by decades of case law and U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

As a result of the National Right to Work Foundation’s precedent-setting case Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that public employees can be forced to pay some union dues, but cannot be compelled to pay for politics and other union dues beyond the cost of collective bargaining. Abood thus also established that full union membership cannot constitutionally be required as a condition of employment. The Foundation’s Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson Supreme Court victory requires union officials to provide employees with an independently-audited financial breakdown of all forced-dues union expenditures. Local 1203B or District 83 union officials did not provide such a breakdown.

“These union bosses know full well what the law requires of them, but they have deliberately kept rank-and-file workers in the dark to keep the forced-dues gravy train going,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation.

“Pennsylvania needs a Right to Work law making union membership and dues payment completely voluntary,” added 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.

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