Card Check: Union Accepts Punishment for Deceit

By April 26, 2007Labor Unions

The National Labor Relations Board has forced major concesessions from a Service Employees International Union local, one of Oregon’s most active unions, for running a dishonest and coercive “card check” organizing campaign. From The Oregonian:

Local 49 had used a card-check agreement last fall to organize a group of 32 janitors working at silicon-wafer maker Siltronic Inc. in Portland as employees of Somers Building Maintenance. Ryan Canney, a worker for Somers, filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that the union relied on out-of-date cards and deceived and coerced employees into supporting unionization.

Canney gained legal support from the National Right to Work Legal Defense and Education Foundation, an anti-union nonprofit group based in Virginia that has challenged the legality of card-check agreements across the nation.

The labor board found that the union lacked a majority of workers in favor of forming a bargaining unit in October. SEIU spokeswoman Shauna Ballo said a majority signed cards in favor of the union, but in the span of several weeks before the employer signed the agreement, some workers changed their minds and tipped the balance against the union.

As part of the settlement, made public Tuesday by the National Right to Work Foundation, the union agreed to terminate the bargaining unit at Siltronic. The union also agreed to the condition that it not accept recognition as a collective bargaining representative of workers at any employer for six months unless it follows a secret ballot election conducted by the federal labor board.

Pass the emetically named Employee Free Choice Act, and these sorts of abuses will run rampant, with workers being forced into unions against their will through coercion and deception. The protections of secret-ballot elections will be gone.

The National Right to Work Foundation’s news release is available here, and the foundation has made the settlement agreement available here in a .pdf file.