XPO Logistics employees in California and New Jersey have also recently ousted Teamsters officials
Albany, NY (December 13, 2022) – XPO Logistics truck driver William Chard and his coworkers are free from the control of unpopular Teamsters Local 294 union officials, following Chard’s filing of a worker-backed petition earlier this month requesting a vote to remove the union. Chard received free legal aid from the National Right to Work Foundation in filing the petition for his coworkers.
Chard submitted the petition, which 65 percent of his coworkers signed, at National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region 3 in Buffalo. The NLRB is the federal agency responsible for enforcing federal private-sector labor law and will generally conduct a “decertification vote” among workers when at least 30 percent of them express interest in ousting a union. However, likely unwilling to face a ballot-box rejection by the workers they claimed to “represent,” Teamsters bosses filed paperwork with the NLRB just days later disclaiming interest in Chard’s work unit.
Although the NLRB’s decertification process is still prone to union boss-created roadblocks, Foundation-backed reforms the NLRB adopted in 2020 have made it somewhat easier for workers to remove unwanted union officials.
Before the reforms, for example, union officials could stop workers who had requested a decertification vote from casting ballots by filing so-called “blocking charges,” which often contain unverified and unrelated allegations of employer misconduct. The rule changes improved the process so employees can usually at least have a chance to vote before any allegations surrounding the election are handled.
Because New York lacks Right to Work protections for its private sector employees, Teamsters union officials had the power to force Chard and his colleagues to pay dues or fees to the union hierarchy just to stay employed. In contrast, in Right to Work states, union membership and all union financial support are the choice of each individual worker and can’t be required as a condition of employment.
Foundation Aids XPO Logistics Employees from Coast-to-Coast in Kicking Out Teamsters Officials
Chard and his coworkers’ successful decertification is not the first in which Foundation staff attorneys have assisted XPO Logistics drivers in booting Teamsters officials out of their workplaces. In March 2021, Miguel Valle and his colleagues at XPO Logistics’ facility in Cinnaminson, NJ, voted 90 percent in favor of removing Teamsters Local 107 officials.
And that October, Los Angeles-based XPO Logistics employee Ozvaldo Gutierrez and his coworkers submitted a petition requesting a decertification vote to remove Teamsters Local 63 union bosses. Just as Local 294 officials did in Chard’s situation, Local 63 officials abandoned the Southern California facility before the NLRB scheduled an election.
Currently, the NLRB’s own data show that a unionized private sector worker is more than twice as likely to be involved in a decertification effort as the average nonunion worker is to be involved in a unionization campaign, with one analysis finding decertification petitions up 42 percent this year.
“Officials of the Teamsters union – a union that has spent a large portion of its history under federal supervision – have a well-earned reputation for prioritizing power and control over the needs of rank-and-file workers,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “Foundation attorneys were happy to assist Mr. Chard and his fellow drivers in exercising their right to throw out a Teamsters union that didn’t serve their interests, just as they’ve been happy to assist other XPO Logistics workers around the country in doing the same.”
“However, even as workers across a number of industries are exercising this right at a rising rate, the Biden NLRB has announced rulemaking to roll back the Foundation-backed reforms that make decertifying unpopular unions easier,” Mix added. “The Foundation will oppose this move to hamper workers’ free choice rights, and will also continue to aid workers nationwide in voting out unions they oppose.”
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.