Three Years Later, Workers Ask for Secret Ballot Vote After Obama Labor Board Kills Card Check Protections

News Release

Three Years Later, Workers Ask for Secret Ballot Vote After Obama Labor Board Kills Card Check Protections

NLRB's ruling removing workers' protection against card check unionization exposed as a farce

Houston, TX (August 12, 2014) – Three years after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) eliminated workers' right to challenge union card check recognition with a secret ballot vote, the very workers involved in that case have petitioned for an election to remove the unwanted union from their workplace.

In 2007, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys secured a new NLRB precedent in Dana Corp. which held that workers may collect signatures to request a secret ballot election during a 45-day window period following notice that their employer has recognized a union based on a card check organizing drive. The ruling was intended to counteract coercive practices frequently associated with card checks, which allow organizers to bully or mislead employees into signing cards that count as "votes" toward unionization.

In 2011, the Obama NLRB overturned the Dana precedent in Lamons Gasket.

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News Release

Federal Court Hears Challenge to Minnesota Homecare Providers' Unionization

SEIU seeks to push home-based personal care providers into union ranks

Minneapolis, MN (August 19, 2014) – Today, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota will consider a motion brought by a group of home-based personal care providers to immediately halt the unionization of the state's homecare providers.

With free legal aid from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Teri Bierman and eight other providers from around the state filed a federal lawsuit last month against Governor Mark Dayton and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

The suit challenges a law that authorizes the forcible unionization of the state's providers on the grounds that it violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of free political expression and association.

Today, the court will consider the homecare providers' motion for a temporary injunction immediately halting implementation of the law intended to designate SEIU officials as the monopoly political representative of thousands of providers in the state. The SEIU seeks to unionize the providers via a mail-in vote that started on August 1.

In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in Harris v. Quinn, a Foundation case challenging whether Illinois homecare providers can be forced into union ranks against their will. The Court held that individuals who indirectly receive state subsidies based on their clientele cannot be forced to pay compulsory union fees. The Court's ruling frees home-based childcare and personal care providers from forced union dues and fees in at least 13 other states.

"In effect Governor Dayton is picking the SEIU as the lobbyists for Minnesota's personal care providers as payback for the union bosses who have been some of his most generous political supporters," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "The court should immediately halt this violation of homecare providers' fundamental right of free association."

The hearing will be held in Courtroom 15E at the Minneapolis Federal Courthouse at 9:30 a.m.

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.

Federal Court Hears Challenge to Minnesota Homecare Providers' Unionization

News Release

Federal Court Hears Challenge to Minnesota Homecare Providers' Unionization

SEIU seeks to push home-based personal care providers into union ranks

Minneapolis, MN (August 19, 2014) – Today, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota will consider a motion brought by a group of home-based personal care providers to immediately halt the unionization of the state's homecare providers.

With free legal aid from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Teri Bierman and eight other providers from around the state filed a federal lawsuit last month against Governor Mark Dayton and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

The suit challenges a law that authorizes the forcible unionization of the state's providers on the grounds that it violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of free political expression and association.

Today, the court will consider the homecare providers' motion for a temporary injunction immediately halting implementation of the law intended to designate SEIU officials as the monopoly political representative of thousands of providers in the state. The SEIU seeks to unionize the providers via a mail-in vote that started on August 1.

Click here to read the full release.

News Release

Ford Employee Slaps UAW & Company with Federal Charges for Illegal Dues Deductions

Despite a worker's repeated requests, company and union officials continue to collect full union dues from his paychecks

Dearborn, MI (August 20, 2014) – A Dearborn-area Ford Motor Company worker has filed federal charges against the United Auto Workers (UAW) union and the company for violating his rights.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Todd Lemire, a 16-year Dearborn Tool & Die plant worker, filed the charges last week with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

On April 7, 2014, Lemire sent a letter to Ford Motor and UAW union officials exercising his statutory rights to resign his union membership and refrain from full union dues. Under Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court precedent, nonmember workers can refrain from paying for union boss politics and members-only events. The current contract was agreed to before Michigan's Right to Work law came into effect, which is why Lemire cannot yet cut off all union dues and fees.

Even though UAW union officials acknowledged Lemire's request, Ford continued to confiscate full union dues from Lemire's paychecks. Lemire sent a second letter, this time informing UAW union officials that full dues were still being taken from his paychecks. UAW union officials returned the illegally-taken union dues.

Despite Lemire's repeated attempts to refrain from full dues-paying union membership, Ford Motor continues to confiscate, and UAW union officials continue to accept, full union dues from Lemire's paychecks.

"No worker should be forced to jump over hurdles to exercise their right to refrain from union affiliation," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "This case underscores just how important Michigan's Right to Work law making union dues payments completely voluntary is for workers."

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.

Ford Employee Slaps UAW & Company with Federal Charges for Illegal Dues Deductions

News Release

Ford Employee Slaps UAW & Company with Federal Charges for Illegal Dues Deductions

Despite a worker's repeated requests, company and union officials continue to collect full union dues from his paychecks

Dearborn, MI (August 20, 2014) – A Dearborn-area Ford Motor Company worker has filed federal charges against the United Auto Workers (UAW) union and the company for violating his rights.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Todd Lemire, a 16-year Dearborn Tool & Die plant worker, filed the charges last week with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

On April 7, 2014, Lemire sent a letter to Ford Motor and UAW union officials exercising his statutory rights to resign his union membership and refrain from full union dues. Under Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court precedent, nonmember workers can refrain from paying for union boss politics and members-only events.

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News Release

Labor Day Statement: "Despite Big Victories for Worker Freedom, More Work Remains"

Gains threatened by union bosses' power grabs via government fiat

Washington, DC (August 29, 2014) – Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and National Right to Work Committee, released the following statement regarding this year's Labor Day holiday:

"This Labor Day, many workers will enjoy a well-deserved long weekend. But as we celebrate the gains for workplace freedoms workers have made across the country, union officials are working aggressively to protect and expand their forced dues powers through government fiat.

"This year, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys have assisted tens of thousands of workers nationwide achieve victories for workplace freedom. In America's newest Right to Work state, a growing number of workers from across Michigan are joining the fight to protect their Right to Work free from union compulsion.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, when given a chance to vote, staved off unwanted unionization, overcoming a coercive card check campaign, pushed by company management and United Auto Workers union officials.

"And in Illinois, parents and other family members of special needs individuals successfully challenged a government unionization scheme at the U.S. Supreme Court. In that case, now-imprisoned former Illinois Governor Rob Blagojevich and current Governor Pat Quinn issued executive orders forcing home-based personal care providers into SEIU ranks. The effects of that ruling are reverberating across the nation, and thousands of home-based personal care and childcare providers have been freed from forced union dues or fees.

"Despite these big victories for worker freedom, more work remains. Millions of American workers are still compelled to pay dues or fees to union officials as a condition of getting or keeping a job. And millions more workers are required by law to accept a union's so-called 'representation,' even if they would rather negotiate with their employer on their own merits.

"Not satisfied with these unique coercive powers, union officials continue to spend billions of workers’ money on politics and lobbying seeking to expand their reach over American workers.

"That's why the National Right to Work Committee and its 2.8 million members are leading the fight for a National Right to Work Act making union affiliation completely voluntary – a principle supported by three out of four Americans.

"Although union officials have powerful friends in the Obama Administration, the National Right to Work organizations will continue to fight back against government-backed union boss power grabs and the resulting injustices they inflict upon American workers."

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.

SPECIAL NOTICE TO MICHIGAN SCHOOL EMPLOYEES

On September 2, 2014, a Michigan Employment Relations Commission ("MERC") Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") issued recommended orders ruling that the Michigan Education Association's August window for resignations is illegal because it restricts an employee's right to resign his or her membership at will, a right guaranteed by Michigan's public-sector Right to Work law.

This recommended order is not the final step towards ensuring that Michigan employees have the right to resign at will, because the MEA has announced that it will appeal the ALJ's decision to the full Commission. We will keep you informed as the case progresses.

The ALJ also recommended that MERC hold an employee can waive this right to resign at will so long as the wavier is "clear, explicit, and unmistakable." Therefore, if you wish to retain your right to at any time resign from membership in the MEA and its affiliates and stop paying dues or fees to them, do not sign any documents agreeing to waive that right or to financially support the union after resigning.

In addition, the August window for resignation from membership in the Michigan Education Association and its affiliates has now closed.

Foundation Staff Attorneys are available to provide legal advice and assistance to school employees whose resignations have been rejected by those unions, whether submitted during the August window or outside of it. If that has happened to you, and you want legal advice or assistance, please call the Foundation at 1-800-336-3600 or click here. You should act promptly if your resignation has been rejected, because there is a six-month limit on when charges can be filed concerning conduct that may violate the Right to Work law.

News Release

Judge Strikes Down Michigan Teacher Union's Illegal "Window Period" Scheme

Michigan union officials stonewall workers' attempts to exercise their rights under Michigan's Right to Work law

Lansing, MI (September 4, 2014) – A Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) judge has struck down the Michigan Education Association (MEA) union hierarchy's scheme to prohibit public school teachers and employees from exercising their rights to refrain from union membership.

The ruling stems from state charges filed by Mark Norgan, a Standish-Sterling Community Schools janitor, Alphia Snyder, a Battle Creek Public Schools secretary, and Mary Carr, a Grand Blanc Community Schools special education department secretary, with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

The charges challenged MEA's policy of requiring workers to resign union membership and refrain from union dues payments only during a "window period" of August 1 through August 31.

The MERC administrative law judge agreed with Foundation staff attorneys who argued that Michigan’s Right to Work law protects workers' unequivocal right to refrain from union membership at any time. Similarly, federal labor law protects workers' absolute right to refrain from union membership at any time without penalty.

"Across the state, union officials are pulling out all the stops to keep workers from exercising their rights under Michigan's Right to Work law," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "This ruling is a huge victory for workers throughout the state whose rights under Michigan's Right to Work law are being denied by unscrupulous union officials."

In similar cases across Michigan, Foundation staff attorneys are assisting several other public-sector workers who filed charges with the MERC challenging union officials' schemes to stonewall workers attempting to exercise their rights under Michigan’s Right to Work law.

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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