St. Johns, Mich. (January 27, 2004) – Two St. Johns-area Dana Corp. employees filed new federal charges seeking a court order to halt the use of threats and other coercion directed against non-union employees pursuant to a secret, back-room agreement between Dana Corporation and the United Auto Workers (UAW). The pact is intended to corral some 300 St. Johns workers into union membership despite their objections. Dana employees Joseph Montague and Kenneth Gray filed the unfair labor practice charges this week with help from National Right to Work Foundation attorneys against both Dana Corp. and the UAW union at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The charges seek an injunction against the UAW and Dana Corp. that would block implementation of a “partnership agreement” that requires the company actively to support union organizing efforts. The charges are related to a separate case recently filed at the NLRB by worker Gary Smeltzer to void the same agreement. Montague’s charges allege that, even after a majority of the St. Johns facility workers had signed a petition stating their opposition to unionization by the UAW union, union and Dana officials began bargaining over health benefits and other terms of employment, despite the union’s lack of majority support from workers. Moreover, Gray alleges that, as the UAW union’s organizational efforts repeatedly failed, union officials have now conspired with Dana to “gerrymander” employees in or out of the bargaining unit – and to re-classify their employment status – strictly on the basis of their support for the union. Gray claims that workers who do not sign union authorization cards have been informed by management that they will face demotion to less-favored “salaried” positions, which would result in losses of salary and benefits. Upon receipt of the employees’ charges, the NLRB must investigate the allegations and decide whether to issue formal complaints and prosecute the charges. “Dana and UAW union officials are shamelessly using numerous illegal tactics to strong-arm workers into union ranks despite their wishes,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Their goal is to force dissenting workers either to knuckle under – or face severe consequences.” As part of the legally suspect “partnership agreement” between Dana and the UAW, company officials handed over employees’ personal information to union organizers and granted them wide access to employees in the plant. Union officials also made it difficult for employees to void previously signed union authorization cards, announcing that the only way they could rescind those cards would be upon a special visit from UAW operatives at the worker’s home – an intimidation tactic obviously intended to discourage dissent. Frustrated that workers are not voluntarily choosing to join or be represented by unions, union officials have increasingly turned to bullying employers into actively aiding unions in imposing unionization on employees through so-called “partnership” and “neutrality” agreements. Through these “top-down” organizing techniques, employees are denied the opportunity to determine their union status through the less-abusive, NLRB-supervised secret ballot election process.