Chattanooga, Tenn. (December 12, 2002) — With the help of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, a Van Heusen Company employee, Sheila Elliot today filed charges against the Teamsters union for illegally discriminating against non-union members.
Elliot, a non-union member, filed the unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the Teamsters Local Union 515 and Van Heusen. As part of their contract Teamsters officials have forced Van Heusen to favor employees who are union members over non-union employees for both hiring and job assignments.
“Teamsters union bosses are using these tactics to try and force workers to pay union dues in order to get or keep a job,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “This is a clear assault on Tennessee’s Right to Work Law, which is intended to free workers from this type of abuse.”
Under the state’s highly popular and effective Right to Work law non-union employees are freed from paying membership dues to an unwanted union as a condition of employment.
In addition to discriminating against non-union members, as part of their contract with the Teamsters union, Van Heusen is required to encourage all associate employees to become and remain full union members. In addition, Van Heusen must refer all new associates to a Teamsters union representative.
Both of these tactics are used to coerce workers into joining the union and violate the rights of workers to refrain from union activities. In helping Elliot file the charges, Foundation attorneys are seeking to have both provisions of the contract thrown out by the NLRB.
“These workers should be able to decide for themselves if they want to join the union, without being forced into it by Teamsters union bosses,” said Gleason.
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.