Washington, DC (March 17, 2011) – An ABC Studios movie/television driver has won over $55,000 in lost income after Teamster union officials refused to allow him to do his job for nearly a year.
National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys helped the driver win the case before a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) administrative law judge in Charleston, South Carolina.
Teamster Local 509 union officials currently enjoy exclusive bargaining privileges with ABC Studios in Charleston – and thus have a monopoly bargaining agreement with ABC that forces workers to go through Teamster Local 509’s hiring hall in order to obtain a job.
However, because Local 509 union members were working on other television and movie productions, Thomas Coghill – who was from Wilmington, North Carolina and a member of Teamster Local 391 – worked on the set of the Charleston-based Army Wives television series. Coghill worked during the show’s first two seasons beginning in 2008 as a makeup truck driver.
However, as more Local 509 union members became available to work on the production of Army Wives, a dispute over who should be eligible to work on the set of Army Wives erupted between various Teamster union officials and Coghill was removed from Local 509’s “Movie Referral List” because he was not a member of Local 509. Meanwhile, Local 509 union members continue to receive preferential treatment in job placement on the set of Army Wives.
Federal law prohibits union bosses who operate an exclusive union hiring hall from barring employees who are not a member of that union from gaining employment at a workplace.
With free legal assistance from the National Right Work Foundation, Coghill pursued federal unfair labor practice charges against the Teamster Local 509 union bosses’ discrimination. A regional NLRB administrative law judge ruled in Coghill’s favor late last week, and ordered the Teamster Local 509 union hierarchy to pay Coghill $55,467.62 in lost wages (plus interest) and post a notice of employees’ rights in the workplace.
“In this tough economy, it is unconscionable that Teamster Local 509 union bosses would inflict such petty and disgusting discrimination on someone working to put food on the table” said Patrick Semmens, National Right to Work Foundation legal information director. “To prevent these types of ugly forced unionism abuses from occurring in the future, entertainment industry union bosses should be stripped of their government-granted special privileges to force workers under union boss control in order to get or keep a job.”
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 more than 250 cases nationwide per year.