Teachers and teachers’ assistants at immigrant youth facility seek Labor Board vote to remove Operating Engineers union officials
El Paso, TX (November 9, 2022) – A teacher’s assistant at Southwest Key Programs Casa Trail House, a charity organization for immigrant children in Texas, has filed a petition to free her and her coworkers from unwanted so-called “representation” by union officials of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 351. Brenda Muñoz is receiving free representation from National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys to navigate the decertification process before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Muñoz’s petition comes on the heels of another decertification effort by Southwest Key employee Maria Amaya, also filed with Foundation legal aid. Ms. Amaya is in a separate bargaining unit from Ms. Muñoz, although they both work for the same employer and both seek to eliminate unwanted IUOE union officials from their workplace.
Because Texas is one of 27 states with Right to Work protections for private sector employees, unions cannot force workers to pay union dues or fees as a condition of keeping their jobs. However, even in Right to Work states union officials are empowered to impose monopoly representation on entire units of workers even over the objections of many workers within the unit, necessitating decertification elections to remove unwanted union “representation.”
The decertification efforts at Casa Trail House come as interest in holding votes to remove unions increases nationwide. The NLRB’s own data show that, currently, a unionized private sector worker is more than twice as likely to be involved in a decertification effort as the average nonunion worker is to be involved in a unionization campaign.
“No worker anywhere should be forced under a union’s so-called ‘representation’ against their will. A decertification vote should be scheduled promptly for these workers who do not wish to be associated with IUOE,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “Foundation staff attorneys stand ready to provide legal aid to workers wanting to hold a decertification election to oust a union they oppose and believe they would be better off without.”
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.