Trains & Planes Slowed By Big Labor Bosses and Forced Unionism
Transportation Workers Vote For ‘No Union’
Urged to Stop Coddling Airline, Railroad Union Dons
As stacked as
federal labor policy is against the rights of individual employees who don’t
want a union, it does at least allow most employees who are subject to an
unwanted monopolistic union to band together with others in the same business
to vote it out.
decades, American airline and railroad employees who were unhappy with the
union that wielded monopoly-bargaining power over them lacked any legally
recognized mechanism whatsoever to get rid of it.
unionized transportation workers who are subject to the jurisdiction of the
National Mediation Board (NMB) cannot secure a direct vote to go union-free.
But in the near
future, thanks largely to the persistence and hard work of National Right to
Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys, Trump appointees on the NMB may at
last let transportation employees who are currently under union monopoly
control secure an opportunity to vote for “no union.”
To an even greater
extent than the over 90% of American private-sector employees who have only
limited associational rights vis-à-vis labor unions under the National Labor
Relations Act (NLRA), employees who fall under the federal Railway Labor Act
(RLA) are legally unprotected against forced unionism.
State Right to
Work Laws Don’t Apply to Airline Or Railroad Employees
The U.S. Congress
is primarily to blame for airline and railroad workers’ plight.
When a Big Labor
Congress amended the RLA in 1951 to authorize forced membership in and forced
payments to unions, it also included language expressly prohibiting state laws
to the contrary.
states have no power to stop airline and railroad union bosses from getting
employees fired for refusal to fork over money to their organizations.
The policy of the
NLRA, in contrast, is and always has been to allow states to protect employees’
Right to Work.
Since 1951, the NMB
bureaucrats who are charged with implementing the coercive RLA have made
matters even worse by prohibiting “decertification” elections.
which are allowed under the NLRA, allow employees who are under the control of
a union they don’t want to vote to have “no union” instead.
Procedure Cumbersome, But Better Than Nothing at All
Thanks to Russell
v. NMB, a 1983 federal appellate court decision won on behalf of
independent-minded Texas railroad employees by Right to Work Foundation
attorneys, there is now a way, albeit a peculiar one, for RLA-covered employees
to oust a labor union they don’t want.
astonishingly anti-worker NMB decision, Russell found that employees under the
RLA may oust a union by designating, in its place, an individual who has
already made it clear he or she does not intend to exercise monopoly-bargaining
privileges over them.
“Russell is a
groundbreaking employee rights case that finally forced NMB bureaucrats to give
the workers in their domain a means to go union-free,” said National Right to
Work Committee Vice President Greg Mourad.
“But the ‘straw
man’ procedure the NMB recognizes is cumbersome. It’s an unjustifiable hurdle
for workers who are shackled to a union that isn’t acting in their best
Bill Now Pending
in Senate Would Protect RLA-Covered Workers From Forced Dues
continued: “Fortunately, the President Trump-appointed majority on the current
NMB recently issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks to create a
‘straightforward election process’ for union decertifications.
“If the NMB stands
up to Big Labor bosses and adopts the proposed rule, airline and railroad
employees who are subject to union monopoly bargaining, but don’t want to be,
will finally be able to vote, simply and directly, for ‘no union.’
“This spring, the
Right to Work Foundation is submitting comments in support of the change, which
is a step in the right direction.
“Meanwhile, the Right to Work Committee is pushing for passage of S.525, federal forced-dues repeal. If S.525 becomes law, airline and railroad employees, along with other private-sector employees, will have the Right to Work in all 50 states.”