NNOC union officials blocked access to informational table, pushed incomplete dues authorization forms, to obstruct petition to remove union
Kansas City, MO (May 25 2018) – With free legal aid from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a hospital worker has filed federal charges against a local union after officials harassed her and other employees as they attempted to gain signatures for a petition to remove the union.
Kacy Warner, a nurse at Research Medical Center, filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the local National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC). In the charge, Warner states that union officials violated her and other employees’ right to choose their representative by their attempts to intimidate employees from approaching an information table about a decertification petition.
Warner is not a member of the union. She is circulating a petition to decertify the union, which if supported and voted for by a majority of workplace employees would remove the union from the workplace.
Warner and her colleagues set up an informational table in a reserved room, with the petition on the table for employees to sign. She and a fellow employee were then approached by the union’s chairman with two forms: a membership form and a nonmember form, both of which required her to authorize the union to siphon money from her paycheck.
The chairman demanded that Warner and her colleague sign one of the forms immediately. The demand was only made after Warner began circulating the petition.
As the situation continued to escalate, union officials began “loudly badgering” Warner and her colleagues as they tried to inform other employees about the petition. Officials blocked their table, sat in chairs on either side of the doorway, and intercepted employees who entered the room in efforts to squelch the decertification petition.
Unwilling to be intimidated into silence, Warner turned to the National Right to Work Foundation for free legal assistance in filing charges. The NLRB will now investigate.
Because Missouri’s Right to Work law is pending a voter referendum, employees can currently still be required to pay dues or fees to unions to keep their jobs, even if they are not union members. Under the Foundation-won 1988 U.S. Supreme Court Beck decision, the Court provided limited protection by stating that employees can only be forced to pay union dues for certain union activity, and that unions must justify the amount of the compulsory fee. The forms that the union chairman demanded Warner and her colleague sign failed to comply with those requirements.
Additionally, under certain parameters, employees have the right to hold a petition for decertification, which revokes the union’s “certification” to be the exclusive bargaining representative. If 30% or more of workplace employees sign the petition, the NLRB will hold a secret ballot to determine whether a majority of workers wish to decertify the union. If so, the union is effectively removed from the workplace.
“Union bosses are trying to cling to their power by taking away the voices of the workers they claim to represent,” said National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “Time and time again, union bosses display huge amounts of entitlement when they try to force fees from the hands of workers rather than earn workers’ voluntary support. Warner is doing the right thing by holding them accountable for their intimidation tactics. Workers will only be protected from the injustice of forced union dues after the citizens of Missouri put their Right to Work law into effect.”
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 more than 250 cases nationwide per year.