The NLRB Is Not A Neutral Arbiter, It Has Its Thumb on The Scales for Unions

If you don't believe me, check out the NLRB's essentially no-show status in this case.  Had the employer engaged in even 1% of the practices the union had, the NLRB would have intervened in a second

In 2005, the SEIU decided to try to break into Houston by pushing “justice for janitors.” It began persuading the biggest janitorial companies in town to accept Local 5 as the representative for their workers. Five firms agreed. The sixth was Professional Janitorial Services.

The union wanted to organize workers through “card check,” which allows it to pressure workers one by one to sign an “authorization for representation.” But PJS insisted on a vote by secret ballot, as is its right.

The union responded with a campaign whose goals, according to internal emails entered into evidence, were to “cost PJS money” and “cost PJS accounts.” It accused the company of withholding workers’ pay, forcing them to work off the clock, and firing those involved with the union—none of which was substantiated.

The union filed “unfair practices” complaints against the company to the National Labor Relations Board, then withdrew some of them before they could be disproved. It filed a lawsuit against PJS that was dismissed. Mr. Zavitsanos argued to the jury that the union was trying to use these processes to libel-proof itself, since it cited the legal actions to substantiate its attacks on PJS.

The union sent letters to the building-management companies that contracted with PJS, spreading accusations. It circulated vicious fliers at disruptive demonstrations. One building manager said in a deposition that she fired PJS after protesters stormed her conference rooms while tenants were using them. PJS lost a dozen contracts. Usually somebody from Local 5 would email a colleague to take credit, which made damages easy to prove once the emails were discovered. In 2007, PJS announced in a press release that it would sue the union for “harassing and intimidating our customers along with companies and individuals that may be contemplating doing business with us.”

Mr. Zavitsanos argued to the jury that the Local 5 was operating out of an official SEIU playbook. This document, called the “Contract Campaign Manual,” surfaced five years ago in a different case, a racketeering lawsuit brought against the union by the food-services company Sodexo, which ultimately was settled. The manual advised union workers to “disobey laws which are used to enforce injustice against working people” and to threaten managers with accusations of racism or sexism.

Note that the Left came within an ace several years ago of eliminating secret ballots in union authorization votes.  The Left argued that card check was functionally equivalent to a secret ballot, but if this is true, why is the union going through so much trouble to avoid a confidential vote?

  • Bloke in North Dorset

    As I was reading this I was reminded of the Hayek Program on interview with Don Boudreaux on Public Choice Theory: Donald Boudreaux: https://soundcloud.com/hayekprogrampodcast/the-virginia-school-of-political-economy

    I was half watching the BBC News this evening and about 2/3 of the way through they did a piece on the Trades Union Congress that is currently taking place in Brighton. The piece started with a woman on stage talking about zero hours contracts. It turns out she is head of the TUC. What is remarkable is that I am more politically aware than may maybe 99% of my countrymen and I wasn't aware the the TUC Congress had started and that their head was a woman, so it shows how diminished the role of the TUC has become in our political life. Forty years ago it would have been the first item and the head of the TUC had more access to the Prime Minister than most cabinet members.

    Margret Thatcher put an end to a lot of the practises you describe and, so far, they haven't returned. The most pernicious was what we called the closed shop; that meant any recruitment had to me approved by the union concerned, which not only meant being a union member but usually a favoured relative of of the union officials.

    It looks like your country is taking retrograde steps so watch out for that practice.

  • J_W_W

    The left has no honor in how they deal with their political enemies.

    That's why being called irredeemable by a leftist candidate is so chilling. Does an irredeemable even deserve due process??

  • SamWah

    Hmmmm. Because they're CROOKS.

  • tommy ex thom w ex tomw

    SamWah, I think they are THUGS that cannot win without intimidation, and the additional influence of a Government Mandated Enforcement Body, NRLB, totally in the tank for union dominance.

    I paid the mandated union dues, but refused to join. The union was a sinecure for those who had gained office by whatever means, and they milked it for all the perks they could. Girlfriends attending Hawaii union conferences from Cleveland in February as 'union assistants', and so on.
    Their popularity was demonstrated in Wisconsin when the state collection of dues from payroll was stopped, and the union was forced to collect dues on their own without the 'force of law' making payroll deductions mandatory. Membership dropped like the proverbial rock. Yay.