Unit of over 70 employees from Keurig Dr. Pepper locations in Eau Claire, Oshkosh, and Tomah will now be free from unwanted union “representation”

Wisconsin (January 30, 2024) – Workers from Keurig Dr. Pepper facilities across the Badger State have exercised their right to remove unwanted Teamsters Local 200 union officials from power at their workplaces. The ouster follows the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) January 26 certification of an election in which nearly 60% of participating drivers and warehouse workers from facilities in Oshkosh, Eau Claire, and Tomah voted to end the union’s bargaining power.

Oshkosh-based Keurig Dr. Pepper driver Ray Cotts spearheaded the effort to remove the union by submitting a union decertification petition to the NLRB in November 2023 with free legal aid from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. His petition contained more than enough employee signatures to trigger a union decertification vote under NLRB rules. The NLRB held the election beginning December 22, 2023, and counted ballots on January 16.

Wisconsin is a Right to Work state, meaning union officials cannot impose contracts that force workers to pay union dues just to get or keep a job. However, even in Right to Work states, union officials in a unionized workplace are empowered by federal law to impose a union contract on all employees in a work unit, including those who oppose the union. A successful decertification vote strips union officials of that power.

Employees Across U.S. Seeking Freedom from Union Control

Across the country, workers are increasingly attempting to exercise their right to vote out union officials they disapprove of. According to NLRB data, since 2020 decertification petitions filings have gone up by over 40 percent. Despite this trend, the Biden NLRB is attempting to make it substantially more difficult for workers to decertify unions, and could soon issue a final rule invalidating the Election Protection Rule, a policy which contains multiple important safeguards regarding employees’ right to decertify unions they oppose.

The Biden NLRB’s proposed rule, among other things, will give union bosses the power to use “blocking charges,” or unproven allegations of employer misconduct, to prevent workers from voting to decertify a union. The proposed rule will also strip workers of the ability to file for a secret ballot election after a union installs itself via “card check,” a coercive process that bypasses the NLRB’s standard election process and instead permits union bosses to collect cards from workers (often through strong-arm tactics) that are counted as “votes” for the union.

“We are proud to help Mr. Cotts, his coworkers, and a growing number of employees around the country exercise their right to vote out union officials that don’t serve their interests,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “It’s concerning, however, to see the Biden NLRB marching forward its scheme to grant union officials more power to trap workers under union control, while cutting back on employees’ rights to resist union influence.”

“The 23 flavors in Dr. Pepper may always be a mystery, but the Biden NLRB’s forced-unionism agenda is clear for everyone to see. At every turn this Board has sought to rewrite the law to give the Administration’s union political allies more coercive power while limiting the rights of independent-minded workers opposed to union affiliation,” Mix added.

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.

Posted on Jan 30, 2024 in News Releases