**Hartford, CT (June 28, 2006)** – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation attorneys, a group of employees at the Hartford Marriott Downtown Hotel are seeking to intervene in a dispute between their employer and the UNITE HERE union to prevent union officials from short-circuiting the traditional government-supervised process for deciding whether to unionize.
The union hierarchy is waging a coordinated pressure campaign against Marriott to force union monopoly bargaining on all employees through the coercive “card check” unionization process rather than the less-abusive secret ballot election process supervised by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Because of the prevalence of union intimidation tactics directed at employees, card check is known to severely curtail workers’ freedom of choice in deciding whether or not to unionize.
The motion, filed by the employees with the full NLRB in Washington, DC, makes it clear that they do not support UNITE HERE officials’ push for the coercive card check privileges. The motion reminds the agency that examining the situation without allowing employee input would turn labor law “on its head.” Specifically, Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act states that employees, not employers or union officials, solely have the right to choose whether or not to unionize.
As the Marriott employees detail in their motion, union organizers often bully or mislead workers into signing authorization cards during these card check drives which then are counted as “votes” in favor of unionization. Many workers report that union officials set up complex procedures making later rescission of such cards nearly impossible.
Under many so-called “neutrality agreements” between bullied employers and union officials that usually precipitate such card check drives, union officials are given unfettered access to workers on company property, and the home addresses and phone numbers of employees. Employees are then subjected to workplace harassment and menacing home visits from groups of union organizers. Also, such agreements usually include a gag rule preventing the employer from commenting on the potential impact of unionization.
But the Marriott employees make clear in the declarations being filed with their motion, that they want to be able to hear both arguments for and against unionization, and they do not want their employer to give UNITE HERE officials their personal information or to have union officials approach them while working. Additionally, they point out that UNITE HERE union officials “never asked employees of the Hotel if [they] want such a ‘neutrality agreement’….”
“UNITE HERE union officials have shown disdain for even the most minimal worker protections in their charge to corral workers into their forced dues-paying ranks,” said Stefan Gleason, National Right to Work Foundation Vice President. “Rather than building support for unionization from the ground up, union officials are trying to impose unionization on these employees from the top down – like it or not.”
*For more information on the abusive “card check” scheme, visit our Spotlight on Top Down Organizing*
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.