National Right to Work Foundation Legal Brief Counters Farm Union Bosses’ Case Seeking Power to Impose Union, Top Down, via Lawsuits
Richmond, VA (February 24, 2022) – The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation has filed an amicus curiae brief with the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Farm Workers Organizing Committee v. Joshua Stein. This is a federal case brought by union officials seeking the power to impose monopoly union power and union dues deductions on agricultural workers and employers.
The brief defends a 2017 North Carolina law that bolsters farm workers’ Right to Work protections under the state’s longstanding and popular law. The 2017 law was passed to protect workers from having union monopoly representation foisted on them as a result of union-instigated lawsuits. The 2017 North Carolina law protects workers from union monopoly representation, the law also prevents union bosses from gaining the power to have union dues automatically deducted from agricultural workers’ paychecks.
Although they are private sector employees, agricultural workers are not covered by the National Relations Labor Act, which covers most private sector employees across the country. The Foundation brief argues this gives North Carolina the legal authority to prohibit union dues payroll deductions as a means of strengthening the existing protections of the state’s Right to Work law, which applies to agricultural workers in addition to those under NLRB jurisdiction.
The brief cites the fact that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals specifically rejected the argument that union officials have a right to payroll deduction in South Carolina Education Association v. Campbell. It also points out that the U.S. Supreme Court rejected union arguments that they had a right to payroll deductions for union political activities in Ysursa v. Pocatello Education Association.
The Foundation brief notes the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) has “no more constitutional entitlement to have agricultural employers collect money for it than FLOC has a constitutional entitlement to having the state act as its collection agent.”
The Foundation brief further notes it is “well-established that prohibitions on collective bargaining do not infringe on union constitutional rights because unions have no constitutional entitlement to act as a monopoly bargaining representative.” It follows that North Carolina is well within its authority to protect workers and employers from being subjected to such monopoly “representation” through the misuse of litigation designed to sweep farmworkers under union control.
“Apparently union bosses have become so accustomed to their government-granted monopoly bargaining powers that they believe, incredibly, that the United States Constitution entitles them to impose monopoly unionization on workers unilaterally,” said National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “Although farm workers, like others, can of course associate with a union if they choose, FLOC union bosses should not be able to abuse the legal process to impose unionization on employees against their will.”
“It is entirely appropriate for North Carolina to protect agricultural workers against having a union imposed on them against their will,” added Mix. “Union association must be fully voluntary, not the result of backroom dealing in lawsuits by union officials designed to force a union on workers from the top down.”
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.