Albertsonís Rehires College Student Fired at Unionís Demand
Supporters play role in Foundation victory

July/August 2000 Issue

CORVALLIS, Oregon -- Thanks to a one-two punch by Foundation supporters and Foundation attorneys, an Albertsonís grocery store employee regained his job after local union officials had him fired for exercising his right not to join the union.

Earlier this year, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 555 officials successfully demanded that Albertsonís fire Brandon Gressett for refusing to join the union.

Spooked by the bad publicity resulting from federal unfair labor practice charges filed by Foundation attorneys, Albertsonís quickly agreed to rehire Gressett, and union officials reluctantly agreed to compensate him for lost wages. (Albertsonís lawyers claim the firing was merely a bureaucratic mess up.)

ďNo matter what the explanation, getting Brandon Gressett fired was a heartless and inexcusable act of union thuggery,Ē said Foundation Vice President Stefan Gleason.

Employee thanks Foundation for help

Gressett expressed his gratitude to the Foundation for its assistance. ďIím just glad the Foundation was around to help me. I really donít know what I could have done if they hadnít championed this fight for me.Ē

Union officials never provided Gressett with his rights as required by the Foundation-won Supreme Court Beck decision. Instead, they demanded that he pay $450 in back dues or lose his job Ė a job he desperately needed to pay for college.

After hearing about the Foundation from a former co-worker who faced a similar situation, Gressett contacted Foundation attorneys. This is not the first time that Foundation attorneys have filed unfair labor practice charges against UFCW Local 555 for violating an employeeís rights. Ironically, last August, the NLRB prosecuted the same union for threatening to have Gary Smith fired for exercising his right not to join the union.

A number of Foundation supporters also played an important role in this victory by quickly responding to news of Gressettís firing by sending e-mails to Albertsonís. ďThis victory was made possible, in part, by the activism of freedom-loving Foundation supporters,Ē noted Gleason.

Based on promises made by Albertsonís lawyers, Foundation attorneys are hopeful that the grocery store chain will unequivocally honor employee rights in the future.


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