Nelson Medina, an employee at transportation company Savage Services’ Wilmington, CA, facility, has just filed a Request for Review to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Washington, DC. He is demanding the Board review an NLRB Regional Director’s discarding of his objections to a mail ballot election pushed by Teamsters Local 848 union officials. This vote resulted in the Teamsters gaining monopoly bargaining power in Medina’s workplace, despite significant evidence that union officials manipulated the less-secure nature of mail elections to illegally solicit ballots, and despite evidence of other voter disenfranchisement that occurred due to flaws in the process.

Medina, who is represented for free by National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, in his brief reiterates evidence that at least 12 of his fellow employees never had their votes counted purely due to errors by the US Post Office and the NLRB regional office. He also details that a union lawyer had “access to the tracking numbers for two of the ballots” which were originally considered late, indicating unlawful vote harvesting by union officials.

Medina seeks to have the NLRB in Washington overturn the NLRB Regional Director’s decision and order a hearing on voter disenfranchisement. His brief argues that, if the Board orders such a hearing and “ultimately finds merit to some, but not all of these objections, there is a chance that the ballot solicitation objections” involve enough ballots to invalidate the mail election win that Teamsters officials claim they have. He also demands that a rerun vote be administered for him and his coworkers.

On the issue of voter disenfranchisement, Medina’s brief states: “the evidence will show that the timing of the mail ballot election during the pandemic and the U.S. Presidential election” led to a substantial number of votes not being counted. The circumstances surrounding the election also didn’t meet any of the criteria the NLRB set forth in its Aspirus Keweenaw standard for administering a mail vote, the Request for Review argues. The NLRB generally prefers the security of in-person elections to mail ballot ones.

With regard to ballot solicitation, Medina’s brief contends that the Teamsters lawyer’s possession of the tracking numbers of the untimely ballots “is highly suspect and creates an inference that the Union was involved in or assisted with the mailing of those two ballots,” and that the Regional Director’s decision to reject these concerns and those about voter disenfranchisement without a hearing to evaluate the issues is impossible to justify.

Earlier in 2021, Foundation staff attorneys filed an amicus brief for Medina in Professional Transportation, another NLRB case in which workers asserted that union officials were soliciting and collecting ballots illegally. That brief pointed out that the under the NLRB’s Fessler precedent “unions faced with mail ballot elections are likely to engage in voter solicitation knowing that…they are unlikely to ever get caught,” even though employers would almost certainly be punished for attempting the same thing.

“Union bosses prefer mail ballots for unionization elections over in-person NLRB-monitored secret ballot votes for the same reason Big Labor advocates for ‘card check’ unionization: without direct NLRB oversight it is easier for union agents to apply pressure tactics, threats, and other coercive measures,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “Mr. Medina and his coworkers deserve a secure in-person election so they can freely choose who will speak for them in the workplace, and Foundation staff attorneys will keep fighting for them until they get it.”

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