Union points proceed at Mountaire – Delaware State Information

WASHINGTON – Attorneys for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation last week made a brief request to the National Labor Relations Board in Washington to repeal its non-statutory “Contract Attorney Policy”.

The contract, filed on Aug. 21, is the latest development in a case filed in February by Oscar Cruz Sosa, a poultry worker at Mountaire Farms’ processing facility in Selbyville, Delaware. Mr. Cruz Sosa petitioned, signed by hundreds of his employees, seeking a vote to decertify the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 27 union.

According to Jacob Comello, spokesman for the nonprofit National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, union bosses can prevent workers from voting out of a job for up to three years.

The contract bar is not foreseen in the text of the National Labor Relations Act, which the NLRB administers, but rather the result of previous board decisions to anchor union bosses.

The policy is overriding the NLRA’s explicitly guaranteed workers’ rights to hold secret elections to “de-certify” or remove an out-of-majority union, Comello said.

Mr Cruz Sosa charged the UFCW union in April with unfair federal labor practices for illegally confiscating posts from his and other employees’ paychecks and visiting and threatening his home unsolicited after petitioning for removal from The Union . He receives free legal aid from the Foundation in filing these charges and defending his and his employees’ right to overthrow the union.

UFCW officials argued after filing the petition that the Bar Association should prevent Mr Cruz Sosa and his staff from holding an election at all, but the NLRB Regional Director in Baltimore decided that the voting should continue as the union’s contract was with Mountaire Farms contains an invalid compulsory contribution clause.

Unsatisfied with accepting this result and preparing for an election, lawyers for the UFCW union asked the entire NLRB in Washington to review the regional director’s decision.

In response to Mr. Cruz Sosa, the Foundation’s attorneys urged that the decision allowing a vote should stand. However, with the union appealing the decision, the foundation’s lawyers countered that if the NLRB chose to look into the case, it should reconsider the non-statutory contract bar policy.

On June 23, the NLRB in Washington granted the union’s motion to review the case and also accepted the foundation attorneys’ argument that the entire contract law doctrine should be reconsidered. The NLRB asked the parties to submit pleadings. The case should be fully informed and ready for a decision by early October.

The lawyers of the foundation employees argue in their most recent pleading that not only does the Bar Association have no basis in the NLRA text, but it also arbitrarily restricts workers’ right to vote under the law to remove a union that a majority of them are against.

The letter says: “For many decades the Bar Association has trapped countless employees in an undesirable exclusive negotiation relationship and made the union the master of the workers and the prisoners of the workers of the union.” … Far from the neutrality of the NLRA in relation to it In order to guarantee workers’ decisions to select a union or not to be represented, the Bar Association anchors the incumbent unions by keeping them in power almost indefinitely. “

The letter also notes that the idea of ​​a contract law firm was rejected by the NLRB in 1936 shortly after the NLRA was passed, and that the Bar Association falsely protects union representatives from failing to deliver the often far-fetched assurances union organizers seek employee support.

The letter stresses that the only “bar association” specifically authorized by the NLRA is the “Electoral Bar Association” which protects unions from attempting decertification for a year after employees have voted in an NLRB election. In light of the above, the pleading contends that if the NLRB refuses to completely remove the non-statutory contract limitation, it should be limited to a similar period of one year and should provide workers with a window in which to close upon completion be able to coordinate a contract quickly.

The NLRB has confiscated the ballots from the Mountaire Workers’ decertification vote that took place in June and July pending its decision on the case.

If Mr. Cruz Sosa and his lawyers prevail before the board, the votes of the workers will be counted.

If the UFCW is successful, workers’ votes will be destroyed and never counted.

“The federal labor law is primarily intended to protect the right of workers to freely choose who their voice will be in the workplace. It’s hard to imagine any policy contradicting this than the contract law firm, ”said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Blocking workers’ right to vote out an unwanted union for up to three years simply because union representatives and an employer have entered into a contract between them serves no other purpose than to deter self-interested union bosses from being held accountable File workers claiming to represent the union representatives. You don’t have to look any further than the growing United Auto Workers Union scandal to see how this works.

“We hope that the NLRB will lift this coercive policy and not only relieve Cruz Sosa and his Mountaire staff from government-enforced grip on unwanted union bosses, but countless other workers across the country facing similar situations,” said Mr. Mix added.

UFCW represents around 1,000 employees at the Selbyville plant. It is the only Mountaire-owned facility that works with the UFCW union that was part of the facility when Mountaire purchased the facility in the 1970s.

Last June, UFCW Local invited 27 elected state and federal officials to a rally calling on workers at the Selbyville poultry factory in Mountaire to vote for the continued presence of the unions at the factory, despite allegations they had broken up .

Attendees at the rally included US Senator Chris Coons, D-Del., Delaware Governor Bethany Hall-Long, and Attorney General Kathy Jennings.

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