School Bus Drivers Sue to Remove Union They Never Wanted

‘The National Labor Relations Act is premised on union officials only being granted monopoly status when they have the support of a majority of the workers they claim to represent…’

Lawsuit Challenges Forced Unionism in Pennsylvania

IMAGE: Philip Truman via Youtube

(Lionel Parrott, Liberty Headlines) Two school-bus drivers in Pennsylvania want to remove a union from their workplace, but the National Labor Relations Board isn’t letting them.

Now, they’re suing the board in federal court—and are being assisted, free of charge, by the National Right to Work Foundation.

According to a press release from that organization, Marcia Williams and Karen Wunz, employees of Krise Transportation, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Williams and Wunz are challenging the NLRB’s “settlement rule” which prevents employees from decertifying a union until after a settlement agreement date.

The agreement in question, entered into by Krise Transportation and Teamsters Local 397, says Krise’s employees are not allowed to challenge the union’s monopoly bargaining status until a year after they first entered into negotiations.

It isn’t immediately clear whether employees understood the nature of the contract that was being entered into for them (as they were not parties in the negotiation), but in May of this year Williams filed a petition with the NLRB to decertify the union.

Interestingly, 24 of 28 of Krise’s employees signed on, indicating overwhelming dissatisfaction with the union.

But that wasn’t enough for the NLRB.

In fact, signatures from all 28 employees would probably not have been sufficient. The board blocked the petition under the “settlement bar” rule.

Now Williams, Wunz, and about two dozen employees are forced to receive union representation they do not want—and they’re asking a federal court to free them.

Their complaint says the rule conflicts with the plain meaning of the National Labor Relations Act, as it prevents Krise’s employees from raising a question concerning representation while also forcing them to be part of a union they oppose.

The press release says that Williams and Wunz want the court to declare the “settlement bar” rule a violation of the law and order the Board to move with their petition to decertify the union.

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, said: “The National Labor Relations Act is premised on union officials only being granted monopoly status when they have the support of a majority of the workers they claim to represent. Yet inexplicably the NLRB has concocted several rules that undermine the Act by blocking workers from voting out unwanted representation.”

He continued: “Such doctrines have been restricting workers’ voices for far too long. Ms. Williams and Ms. Wunz are standing up to challenge the Board’s union-boss-friendly practices, and the Foundation is proud to join them to challenge this policy that directly contradicts their rights under federal labor law.”

The National Right to Work Foundation describes itself as a “nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses.”

The organization says it assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases each year.