Goshen, Ind. (July 7, 2005) – Approximately 200 employees at Cequent Towing Product’s Goshen facility have filed a “deauthorization” petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) asking the agency to hold an election to rid their work place of mandatory union dues. The employees filed the petition with free legal aid from National Right to Work Foundation attorneys after the agency has failed for 15 months to address an earlier petition for an election to throw out the union as the Cequent workers’ monopoly representative altogether. While the majority of Cequent workers who signed the earlier “decertification” petition were awaiting an NLRB election to throw out the union that had been imposed upon them without even the basic protections of a secret ballot election, Cequent entered into a forced unionism contract with the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) union, authorizing the firing of any Cequent worker who refuses to pay forced union dues. Under the National Labor Relations Act, employees have the right to call for a deauthorization election at any time. If 30% or more of the employees in the bargaining unit sign a deauthorization petition, the NLRB will conduct a secret ballot election to determine if a majority of the employees wish to cancel the forced union dues clause and restore employees’ freedom to decide whether to join or pay dues to the union. “Cequent and USWA officials have negotiated away the freedom of the company’s employees,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Meanwhile, the NLRB has stood idly by while USWA officials cemented themselves in place and helped themselves to forced dues from workers’ paychecks.” In March 2004, more than 230 workers signed the “decertification” petition, which was given to Cequent before it recognized the USWA union as their “exclusive bargaining representative.” If a decertification election is allowed and is successful, all Ceuqent employees then would be free to negotiate their own terms and conditions of employment. In June 2004, the NLRB in Washington, DC, voted 3-2 to take up the Cequent case and consider whether union-opposition petitions signed by a majority of employees may be completely ignored during a so-called “card check” organizing drive. Workers at the facility found themselves unionized by the USWA union despite the fact that a majority of employees had submitted a petition expressing their desire to remain union free in advance of the union’s recognition by their employer as their “exclusive bargaining representative.” Cequent officials had implemented a “neutrality agreement” with the USWA union that severely limited employee freedoms. The NLRB’s ultimate decision will impact the enforceability of controversial “neutrality agreements,” contracts between unions and employers under which the employer agrees to actively assist organizers in unionizing its workers.