RWDSU rejected twice by Alabama Amazon workers; union may soon also lose power over large unit of beauty company employees
Piscataway, NJ (September 19, 2023) – Employees of L’Oreal USA Products’ facility in Piscataway, NJ, have just filed a petition requesting a vote to remove Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU-UFCW) Local 262 officials from power at their workplace. L’Oreal employee Ana Maria Hoyos Lopez submitted the petition to National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region 22 in Newark with free legal representation from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.
Hoyos Lopez’s petition contains signatures from the required number of her coworkers to prompt the NLRB to hold a union decertification vote at the Piscataway facility. The work unit under the control of the RWDSU union is large (over 100 employees) and includes production workers, maintenance workers, truck drivers, and warehouse workers.
Because New Jersey lacks Right to Work protections for its private sector workers, RWDSU union officials have the power to force Hoyos Lopez and her coworkers to pay union fees as a condition of keeping their jobs. In contrast, in states with Right to Work laws, union bosses can’t enter agreements with employers that force employees to fork over a portion of their paychecks to the union just to get or keep a job.
“RWDSU union officials have spent a lot of time campaigning around our workplace, but they have not been standing up for me and my coworkers,” commented Hoyos Lopez. “My coworkers and I deserve a chance to exercise our right to vote the union out, and I’m confident we will decide to kick them out.”
Biden NLRB Planning New Restrictions on Workers’ Right to Vote Out Unwanted Union Officials
Hoyos Lopez and her colleagues’ effort comes as the Biden NLRB in Washington, D.C., is attempting to make it more difficult for employees to obtain votes to remove unwanted unions, while giving union officials more tools to gain power in a workplace without even a vote. The NLRB will soon issue a final rule overturning the Election Protection Rule, a Foundation-backed 2020 reform which made commonsense improvements to the decertification process.
The Election Protection Rule’s repeal, among other things, will grant union officials greater power to use so-called “blocking charges” to stop union decertification elections from happening. “Blocking charges” are often unverified allegations of employer misconduct that frequently have no relation or connection to workers’ desire to oust a union.
The repeal will also likely block workers from seeking a union decertification vote for a year after union bosses attempt to install themselves in a workplace via “card check.” The card check process lets union officials bypass the NLRB’s traditional secret ballot vote procedures and instead allege majority support by collecting union authorization cards directly from workers – often using coercive or intimidating tactics.
“It’s not particularly surprising that L’Oreal employees are seeking to oust RWDSU union bosses, who seem to have a penchant for ignoring workers’ will,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “RWDSU is still trying to impose itself on workers at the large Amazon facility in Bessemer, Alabama, despite those workers voting not once, but twice to reject the union’s presence.”
“Unfortunately, the Biden NLRB is trying to make it easier for union officials who seek to undermine worker votes to cling onto power, but Foundation attorneys will continue to defend Ms. Hoyos Lopez and any other employee who seeks to exercise their individual right to vote out unwanted union officials,” 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 about 200 cases nationwide per year.