Pensacola, Fla. (September 5, 2002) – In response to perceived union arrogance, employees of Raytheon, LLC. filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for an election to prohibit the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) union from forcing workers to pay union dues as a job condition.
Led by Robert Prime, an employee for the federal contractor at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, the unionized workers are upset that IAM officials have shut them out of the decision making process on important areas such as shift change rules, retirement benefits, and general contract negotiations.
A majority of the employees object to the security clause that mandates a worker can be fired for not paying union dues or fees. Over 65 percent of Prime’s coworkers signed the deauthorization petition, far beyond the 30 percent of signatures that triggers the NLRB supervised-election.
“Without the ability to withhold union dues, workers have virtually no power to hold IAM union officials accountable for their lies and broken promises,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation, a charitable organization that is assisting the employees in vindicating their rights.
Although most Florida workers are protected by the state’s popular Right to Work Law, Raytheon employees work on federal property under exclusive federal jurisdiction, and they can thereby be forced to pay compulsory union dues as a condition of employment. As such, the only way under federal law for these employees to eliminate forced dues payment in their unionized workplace is through a deauthorization election.
If a majority of all employees in the bargaining unit vote in favor of deauthorization, union officials will be stripped of their special privilege to compel payment of compulsory dues. The requirement for an absolute majority, set by the National Labor Relations Act, is more difficult for employees to achieve than the standard for certifying a union, which requires only a majority of those voting.
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.