NILRR Right to Work News


Worker Files Opening Brief in Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court Case Seeking to Strike Down Forced Union Fees

National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, November 29, 2017

Today, attorneys for Illinois public servant Mark Janus filed the first merits brief in the Supreme Court case, Janus v. AFSCME. The brief asks the High Court to recognize that the First Amendment protects public workers from being required to make payments to union officials as a condition of working for their own government.

Plaintiff Mark Janus is an Illinois child support specialist who filed the challenge with free legal aid from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and the Liberty Justice Center. Janus is currently required to pay union fees to AFSCME union officials even though he opposes many of the positions union officials advocate using his money and feels he would be better off without the union’s so-called representation.

Critics of public-sector unions cite justices in Supreme Court filing

Washington Examiner Online, November 30, 2017

Janus is being represented by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. His attorneys heavily cite the Supreme Court in its 2014 Harris v. Quinn ruling, its 2012 Knox v. Service Employees International Union case, and 2010 Citizens United case in their brief filed Wednesday. In the brief, attorneys argue that the justices have made clear that a 1977 precedent called Abood v. Detroit Board of Education allows the fees must be overturned.

It’s Time For Public Sector Workers To Be Given A Voice And Choice, November 27, 2017

Heirloom unions inherited from the Nixon-era are depriving today’s public workers and civil servants of any meaningful voice or choice in their workplace. Ninety-four percent of union workers have never had the chance to vote for or against their unions—and still won’t even if Janus succeeds in his case.

The JANUS Case: “Kill Shot” for Unions, Or Shot in the Arm?, November 28, 2017

If the Supreme Court decides in the Janus case – as many overwhelmingly predict they will – to change US labor law with a sweeping decision outlawing “Fair Share” or union shop in public employee union contracts, US union membership could plummet by millions of members, further weakening the US labor movement which today represents only 10.7% of the US labor force (and less than 7% of the private sector). This could mean dramatically lower wages and benefits for public employees and many other workers, as has been the case in Wisconsin and other states that have gone this same route in recent years.

And that’s just the start; the anti-union, corporate-funded right-wing hit squad euphemistically called the National Right to Work Committee (NRTWC) has other cases even more damaging to working people and their unions “in the pipeline” to finish off unions for good.

Morgan Lewis Partner Said to be White House Pick for Labor Board, November 30, 2017

If Ring clears the White House vetting, he would be tapped to fill the seat of Chairman Phil Miscimarra (R), whose term expires Dec. 16. It’s not clear whether Ring, a partner in Morgan Lewis’s Washington office, would also be named chairman of the five-member board. That role could instead go to one of other two GOP lawyers already on the board.

Corruption, defamation claims fly in lawsuit against St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Council, November 26, 2017

Jonathan Gould, a former compliance officer for the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters’ Regional Council, is suing his former union coalition in state court here to expose what he claims is a long-standing practice of stealing and squandering union dues.

RI Union Officer Cops To Embezzling Over $250K In Funds November 27, 2017

Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch’s office said Richard D’Antuono, the ex-business manager and financial secretary of the Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Association Local 40, stole funds from the local’s operational account and an employee benefit plan that pays for worker training. He provided falsified bank records to auditors to cover it up, according to the government.

Top UAW official re-elected as feds investigate her role in corruption scandal

Washington Examiner Online, November 30, 2017

The Reuther Caucus, an influential bloc that has long dominated the union, moved to nominate Estrada to a second term in the leadership, according to Automotive News. Earlier this month, the Detroit News reported that investigators were interested in Estrada regarding the ongoing scandal involving former UAW officials and former executives with the Big Three automakers.

Teamsters picket trucking company near Montgomery, November 30, 2017

The company, according to the NLRB, said in documents that union “supporters and/or agents threatened, intimidated, and/or coerced employees and created a general atmosphere of fear and coercion” when workers were deciding to unionize, and therefore the union representatives weren’t properly certified.

Prosecutors Redefine Charge in Boston Calling Extortion Case, December 01, 2017

Rather than charging that the duo sought to force the organizer to hire members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 11 “for imposed, unwanted, and unnecessary and superfluous services and wages,” the new indictment redefines the alleged extortion of Crash Line as “money to be paid as wages and employee benefits and as wages and employee benefits pursuant to a contract with IATSE Local 11 … by the wrongful use of fear of economic harm.”

Betsy DeVos warns teachers unions: ‘I’m not going anywhere. In fact I’m just getting started.’, November 30, 2017

She also issued a warning to teachers unions and “defenders of the status quo” that she is just getting settled into her post as President Donald Trump’s education secretary.

“Allow me to borrow a line from the great American author Mark Twain, ‘The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.’ “

Restaurants Challenge de Blasio’s Union Handout, November 30, 2017

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation in May that would allow workers in the fast food and retail industries to deduct money from their paychecks and direct them to advocacy groups, akin to the privileges labor unions have with their members. The lawsuit argues the measure forces businesses to support a front group for the politically powerful Service Employees International Union, which has long aimed to unionize fast food workers and poured tens of millions of dollars into the Fight for $15 movement.

UAW looks to restore its image amid corruption scandal, shrinking job market, November 30, 2017

He says the union —- which represents more than 415,000 automotive workers, casino dealers, college teachers, agricultural equipment manufacturers and aerospace engineers — has lost its influence and lacks a clear mission. A federal probe into stolen worker training money makes things worse.

Right to Work would be great for Delaware

Cape Gazette Online, November 28, 2017

Delaware has not had a strategic plan since the Banking Act of 1982. Right to work could be the foundation for the future.

In addition, the comment that such an ordinance is not within council’s jurisdiction to consider is also false.

Gerawan Farming looks to appeal ruling at the U.S. Supreme Court, November 28, 2017

“Today’s decision imposes the United Farm Workers on our employees, whether they want the UFW or not,” the company said in a statement. “In this case, since UFW had disappeared for almost two decades, 99% of the Gerawan employees never voted for UFW representation.”