Foundation Attorneys & Latrobe Specialty Steel Employees Fight Steelworkers Union Contract Deception
Kerry Hunsberger and her coworkers at Latrobe Specialty Steel’s Franklin, PA, facility are currently defending their right to throw out unpopular Steelworkers union officials, after the union chiefs secretly signed a contract workers had voted down twice. […]
Steelworkers chiefs did so to activate a so-called “contract bar” and remain in power at the plant when they knew a decertification election was coming. Steelworkers officials held two ratification votes to make workers think they had control over whether the contract went into effect. But in reality, union officials have no legal obligation under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the federal statute that governs private sector labor relations, to even conduct such a ratification vote, much less heed the workers’ actual vote tally. […]
“The ‘contract bar’ arbitrarily blocks, often for years, workers’ statutory right under federal law to vote out union officials they oppose. Worse, it encourages union officials to cynically impose a contract at all costs, especially when union bosses know rank-and-file workers would see such a contract as a reason to get rid of so-called union ‘representation,’” commented National Right to Work Foundation Vice President Patrick Semmens. “This case presents an easy choice for the NLRB: defend the rights of rank-and-file workers, or side with Steelworkers union officials, who repeatedly misled those workers and disregarded their votes simply to protect union power. The case also demonstrates that there is no such thing as ‘union democracy’ in America.”
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