Union power expandedunder veil of ‘organizing’
As a result of the Supreme Court
srefusal to hear the
case, the 7.8million American workers that labor incompulsory union shops under theNational Labor Relations Act (NLRA),in order to keep their jobs, must notonly continue to finance union monop-oly bargaining via their forced fees, butnow must also pay for union recruit-ment efforts.Before the case reached theSupreme Court, it had been on a long,twisting path. The NLRB shuffled thecase around for nearly a decade beforeruling in 1999 that objecting non-members can be required to subsidizeunion organizing in the same competi-tive market. Next, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit firstunanimously overturned the NLRB
sruling, but later unanimously upheld itduring an
rehearing.Many labor law experts agree that, inaddition to gutting the
ruling, theNinth Circuit
s decision affirming theNLRB directly violates the Foundation-won precedent
Ellis v. Railway Clerks
, the nation
s highest court deter-mined under the Railway Labor Act(RLA) that all union organizing expensesare, at most, only tenuously related toWASHINGTON, D.C.
The U.S.Supreme Court announced that it willnot review a key ruling issued by BillClinton
s National Labor RelationsBoard (NLRB) that dramatically dimin-ished the rights of employees to refrainfrom supporting objectionable unionactivities with their forced union dues.By declining to grant a
writ of cer-tiorari
in the case known as
, the Supreme Court has, for themoment, cleared the path for unionofficials to force millions of workers inthe private sector to finance union orga-nizing drives or lose their jobs. Unionofficials often spend in excess of 30% of union dues on organizing activities.Unfortunately, U.S. Solicitor GeneralTed Olson and NLRB General CounselArthur Rosenfeld, both Bush appointees,weighed in on behalf of the unionlawyers
position. Olson and Rosenfeldargued that the Supreme Court shoulddeny the petition for review filed byNational Right to Work Legal DefenseFoundation attorneys for Phillip Mulderand five other workers forced to payunion dues to keep their jobs.
Decision guts previouslandmark SupremeCourt ruling
s disturbing the BushAdministration took this position inopposition to enforcement of the
said Reed Larson, Presidentof the Foundation, referring to theSupreme Court
CommunicationsWorkers v. Beck
Noone should be forced to fund therecruitment of supporters to a privateideological cause to get or keep a job.
, a case argued and wonby Foundation attorneys, employeesmay reclaim their forced union duesthat are spent on activities unrelated tocollective bargaining, such as unionideological activity.
High Court Refuses Review of Key Clinton NLRB Ruling
Bush appointees endorsed firing of employees for refusal to fund union organizing
collective bargaining, and thus employeesunder the RLA who are not members of aunion could not be legally forced to finan-cially support this activity. The SupremeCourt had also previously described therelevant provisions of the RLA and theNLRA as
Even Big Labor allies concede thatthere is a close connection betweenunion organizing and politics. Testi-fying on behalf of the United Food andCommercial Workers (UFCW) union inthe
trial, labor economist PaulaVoos testified that union
occurs for many reasons unrelated toemployee wages and benefits. Oftenthese include enhancing the politicalsway and incomes of the union leader-ship, and fostering the public percep-tion of the
that come about throughorganizing.
Despite Big Labor economists
con-fessions that organizing is inextricablytied to politics, the NLRB and the NinthCircuit had other ideas,
said Larson.In affirming the NLRB and establish-ing a nationwide precedent in conflictwith previous Supreme Court rulings, theNinth Circuit ignored the pleas of thegrocery clerks who challenged the objec-tionable activities of the UFCW union.The Supreme Court has now closed thedoor on the employees
Foundation movesforward on other fronts
Currently, the NLRB is sitting onother cases that address the issue of unionorganizing. Since 1992, NLRB officialshave failed to resolve a case brought bySherry and David Pirlott, employeesat Schreiber Foods in Green Bay,Wisconsin, against the Teamsters unionLocal 75. Teamsters officials had illegallyrebuffed the Pirlotts
attempts to exercise
AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka plays a key role in directing militant union organizing drives.
AP/Wide World Photo