Teamsters’ aggressive top-down organizing campaign includes boycott threat, seeks to impose union on workers without even a secret-ballot vote
Santa Rosa, CA (April 11, 2022) – Following multiple inquiries by Amy’s Kitchen employees, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation has issued a special alert to California and Oregon employees of the vegetarian prepared food company, which is currently the subject of a top-down campaign by Teamsters Local 665 union officials to install union control.
The notice and offer of Foundation staff attorneys’ free legal aid come as Teamsters bosses and allied groups are using increasingly hostile tactics to attack the company, including calling for boycotts of Amy’s Kitchen products. News reports demonstrate many workers oppose the attacks on their employer and want nothing to do with Teamsters union officials.
This union attack strategy is a classic example of a Big Labor “corporate campaign,” in which, rather than seeking to win the voluntary support of workers in a secret-ballot vote, union organizers attack an employer with the goal of having the company assist in imposing the union on the workers, usually via a coercive “card check” scheme. Under National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rulings, union officials armed with a “card check” deal can bypass the secret-ballot election process and gain power in a workplace simply by submitting untested “union cards” to the employer.
The Foundation’s special legal notice informs Amy’s Kitchen workers of their rights to resist affiliating with the Teamsters union, including that they cannot be required to sign any “union cards.” It further alerts workers that there is a long history of union agents using pressure tactics and misleading workers into signing such cards, and informs workers that should they witness such tactics they should immediately contact the Foundation for free legal aid.
The special alert also apprises Amy’s Kitchen employees of their right to sign counterpetitions expressing opposition to unionization that workers at the facility are currently circulating. Such counterpetitions make it clear workers oppose the Teamsters’ organizing campaign and the Teamster boss-led boycott of Amy’s Kitchen products. The legal notice informs workers that signing a counterpetition can assist in preventing the union from being imposed on them against their will and without a secret-ballot election.
The special alert in both English and Spanish and is available on the Foundation’s website: https://www.nrtw.org/amys-special-notice/ (in English) and https://www.nrtw.org/es/amys-special-notice/ (en español).
Biden Labor Board Targets Independent-Minded Workers
The legal notice comes as Jennifer Abruzzo, the former union lawyer who was installed by President Biden as the NLRB’s General Counsel, is advocating for radical changes to NLRB policies that would expand union bosses’ coercive “card check” powers.
Example after example shows employees are often unaware of the true purpose of “union cards” when pressured by union organizers to sign them. Workers frequently sign merely to get union organizers to leave them alone. In fact, an AFL-CIO organizing guide even admits that a “card check” drive supposedly demonstrating 75 percent support for a union among employees often only translates to a 50/50 chance in a secret-ballot election among the same workers because workers’ signatures made in the presence of one or multiple union agents frequently don’t reflect actual support for the union.
NLRB General Counsel Abruzzo has publicly said she wants to revive the controversial Joy Silk theory, which the NLRB and federal courts rejected a half century ago. Abruzzo seeks to mandate “card check” recognition even if an employer and many workers want the protection offered by a secret-ballot vote before workers are swept into union ranks. As General Counsel, Abruzzo has wide discretion to choose which cases come before the NLRB, and the situation at Amy’s Kitchen might serve as a vehicle for resurrecting Joy Silk.
“If Teamsters officials and their allies truly respected the free and un-coerced choice of the Amy’s Kitchen workers for whom they are claiming to speak, they would not be using such aggressive tactics to try to impose union control from the top down on workers,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “Unfortunately, such tactics are being greenlighted by President Biden’s handpicked Big Labor cronies at the National Labor Relations Board, who in their effort to expand forced union dues ranks want to deprive workers of the protection against union intimidation tactics afforded by a secret-ballot vote.”
“Amy’s Kitchen workers who witness or are subjected to Teamsters organizers’ coercive tactics should not hesitate to contact the Foundation for free legal aid,” Mix added.
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, assists thousands of employees in around 250 cases nationwide per year.