The following article is from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation’s bi-monthly Foundation Action Newsletter, May/June 2021 edition. To view other editions of Foundation Action or to sign up for a free subscription, click here.
Every employee signed a petition for vote to remove Carpenters Union from their workplace
Foundation staff attorneys are defending Neises Concrete Construction Corp. workers’ unanimous call to free themselves from the coercive reign of IKORCC union bosses.
CROWN POINT, IN – Mike Halkias and his coworkers at Neises Construction Corp. in Crown Point, Indiana, are subject to monopoly “representation” by officials of the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) union.
Every bargaining unit member exercised the right under Indiana’s Right to Work Law to decline formal union membership and to refuse to pay any union dues or fees, but union officials still have the authority under federal law to “negotiate” with Neises for the employees despite their objections to that representation.
NLRB Officials Snub Workers’ Unanimous Petition, Demand Union Bargaining
With free legal aid from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Halkias submitted a decertification petition to Region 13 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), signed by every member of his unit, to remove IKORCC union officials from their workplace.
Despite unanimous agreement by the unit’s workers to hold a vote to oust IKORCC bosses, NLRB Region 13 officials rejected the decertification petition. The Regional Director is demanding that the Indiana employer bargain with IKORCC, even though none of its employees want the union to “represent” them.
Union Bosses Won’t Give Up Monopoly Bargaining Power over Non-members
So far union officials have stymied the vote through “blocking charges,” unfair labor practice charges filed by union lawyers that, before they are resolved, prevent a vote from taking place. Union officials claim the vote cannot proceed until the company negotiates “in good faith” with the union.
That demand comes even though federal law makes it illegal for an employer to engage in bargaining with a union that it knows lacks the support of at least a bare majority of workers. The NLRB regional official’s order dismissing the employees’ petition did not even acknowledge that every employee in Mr. Halkias’ bargaining unit has shown a desire to be independent from the union by resigning union membership and asking for a decertification vote.
Foundation Attorneys Bring Fight to National Board
The Foundation staff attorneys who represent Halkias have appealed to the NLRB in Washington to overturn the rejection of the decertification petition and to allow the workers to vote so they can be rid of the union whose so-called “representation” they all oppose. “It is outrageous that in a workplace where every single worker wants nothing to do with a union, federal law still forces workers to accept the so-called ‘representation’ of union bosses,” said National Right to Work Foundation Vice President Patrick Semmens.
“The fact that this appeal is even necessary demonstrates how rigged federal law is against independent-minded workers who seek to exercise their right not to associate with a union.”
“This case is a reminder that, even in Right to Work states that protect workers from being forced to fund a union they don’t support, federal law still forces workers under union monopoly control even when those employees oppose the union and believe they would be better off without it.”