Teamster bosses ignored a worker’s record, placing him at the bottom of the seniority list so union members could have first choice of the best work assignments after a company merger. The company’s wishes were ignored.
Oklahoma worker Kirk Rammage received free assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation during his six and a half year legal battle challenging the Teamster union’s discriminatory policy.
At Interstate Bakeries, seniority increases employees’ chances of securing desirable sales routes. By insisting that Rammage lose his seniority, Teamster officials effectively signaled that union workers took priority over their nonunion colleagues. As a result, Rammage was forced to commute to a new work location more than 70 miles away.
After Rammage filed federal charges against the union, the NLRB – a federal agency charged with administering private sector labor law – ruled against the discriminatory Teamster-imposed policy. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upheld the NLRB’s decision. Those rulings were later nullified by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009 on the ground that the Board lacked a three member quorum at the time of its decision.
The Tenth Circuit then remanded the case to the NLRB. Once the Board had a quorum, the NLRB revisited the facts of the case and again concluded that Teamster officials broke the law by discriminating against employees based on their union representation status.
The Tenth Circuit has now upheld the agency’s ruling again and slapped Teamster Local 523 with monetary sanctions for the frivolous nature of the union’s lawyers’ second appeal.
“Teamster bosses pulled out all the stops to protect their discrimination against workers who have the temerity not to associate with their union,” said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Teamster union bosses will now pay for discriminating against workers who exercise their unconditional right to refrain from union membership.”