Union Steward Threatens to Destroy Radio Producer's Career
Right to Work attorneys fight to save producer's job

July/August 1999 Issue

Washington, D.C. -- After a union steward issued the threat "you will never work again" to National Public Radio (NPR) producer Maureen Hanley if she continued her federal case against the union, Foundation attorneys filed new unfair labor practice charges on her behalf.

Foundation attorneys filed the original charges after NPR producer Maureen Hanley was illegally removed from her job by American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) Washington-Baltimore Local officials who tried to force her to join the union and pay full compulsory dues.

Radio producer arrives at Right to Work headquarters asking for help

Ms. Hanley's charges -- filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) -- demand a federal court injunction to reinstate Ms. Hanley and an investigation into her wrongful termination.

The federal unfair labor practice charges detailed how Hanley's removal was in blatant violation of numerous U.S. Supreme Court precedents and NLRB decisions -- including the Foundation-won Communications Workers v. Beck Supreme Court decision. Beck established that workers may not be forced to become formal members of the union or pay full dues as a condition of employment. Employees may not be forced to pay dues spent for activities unrelated to collective bargaining.

"The union had Ms. Hanley fired simply for exercising her Foundation-won rights," said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the Foundation.

Under pressure from the Foundation's swift action, AFTRA bosses allowed Ms. Hanley to return to work. But that wasn't the end of it.

AFTRA steward threatens to "blacklist" innocent employee
"If you don't drop this lawsuit, you will never work again. You will be blacklisted. That is what happens, and it is very hard to prove."

After only a week back on the job, Ms. Hanley received a "friendly" phone call from a union steward.

However, the steward's tone quickly turned sour when Ms. Hanley informed her that she had no intention of dropping her NLRB charges against AFTRA.

The union steward threatened, "If you don't drop this lawsuit, you will never work again. You will be blacklisted. That is what happens, and it's very hard to prove."

Upon hearing of this attempt at intimidating Ms. Hanley, Foundation attorneys socked local AFTRA officials with a new set of NLRB charges for a vicious campaign of retribution against Hanley for trying to protect her rights.

"Foundation attorneys will not stand idly by and allow union bosses to threaten and intimidate workers who have the courage to stand up to Big Labor," said Gleason.

Both sets of charges are now under investigation. Foundation attorneys are working to persuade the NLRB Regional Director to prosecute local AFTRA officials for violating Hanley's rights in both cases.


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