NLRB Charge: UNITE HERE officials are waging an illegal campaign to coerce Terranea workers into union forced-dues ranks without a vote
Los Angeles, CA (August 27, 2018) – With free legal aid from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a Rancho Palos Verdes resort worker has filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) challenging an aggressive organizing campaign being waged by UNITE HERE Local 11 union officials, who are demanding that the resort assist them in forcing their employees into a union.
Sophal Im is a concierge coordinator at the five-star Terranea Resort, which is currently being picketed as part of UNITE HERE Local 11 officials’ campaign against the resort. The charge states that union officials are violating federal labor law by demanding that Terranea assist UNITE HERE Local 11 in forcing Im and his co-workers into the union’s monopoly representation.
Union officials demand that Terranea support their efforts to unionize the employees through a “card check” drive. To force Terranea to comply, union officials have been picketing and attacking the resort for months without filing an election petition. The charge points out that this is illegal because union bosses are not allowed to picket in an attempt to organize a workplace for more than thirty days unless they also file a petition for an NLRB vote.
In union-demanded card check schemes, organizers often pressure, intimidate, or mislead workers into signing cards, which then are counted as “votes” for unionization, bypassing the NLRB-supervised secret ballot election process. If union officials have the support of just 30 percent of workers, they can move for an NLRB-supervised vote to determine whether a majority of workers support unionization. However, UNITE HERE officials haven’t filed for an election at Terranea, instead demanding that the company agree to bypass a secret ballot vote.
Because California lacks a Right to Work law, in a unionized workplace even workers who choose not to be union members can be forced to pay dues or fees to union officials, or else be fired. Im, concerned that he might be forced into accepting and subsidizing a union he opposes as a result of the unions’ aggressive campaign against his employer, came to the National Right to Work Foundation and received free legal aid in filing the charge, which will now be investigated by the NLRB.
“If they have sufficient support from the workers they seek to represent, UNITE HERE union bosses could file for an NLRB secret ballot election at any time,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Because they either lack that support or are too scared workers would reject the union in such a vote, they have instead launched an apparently never-ending campaign designed to bully the employer into handing over the workers so they can be forced to pay union fees.”
“This type of corporate campaign is a clear violation of the National Labor Relations Act and the Labor Board should swiftly move to prosecute union officials for their coercive, underhanded tactics designed to subvert the rights of Mr. Im and his colleagues,” added Mix.
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.