Bertolino Foods employee Jenifer Sedano and her coworkers have successfully booted unwanted United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1445 union officials from monopoly bargaining power at their workplace. With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys, Sedano and her coworkers submitted to Bertolino management a petition demonstrating nearly 80 percent support for removing the union. Bertolino’s attorney announced last week that based on the workers’ petition it was withdrawing recognition from UFCW Local 1445.

Sedano and her coworkers thus successfully exercised rights protected under National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) precedent, which permits employers to withdraw recognition from unions that a majority of their employees have expressed a desire to remove.

UFCW bosses attained monopoly bargaining status at the Bertolino Foods facility in September 2020. After contract talks between Bertolino management and union officials had dragged on for almost a year, Sedano and her coworkers sought out help from Foundation staff attorneys in exercising their right to remove UFCW officials. Sedano ended up gathering signatures in favor of removal from 31 of 42 bargaining unit members, and submitted this petition to Bertolino management toward the end of August.

The letter from Bertolino’s attorney to Local 1445 dated September 30 reads, “Since the Union no longer represents a majority of the bargaining unit employees, it would be unlawful for the Company to continue to recognize and/or bargain with the Union. Accordingly, effective immediately on September 30, 2021, the Company withdraws recognition of UFCW, Local 1445 as the collective bargaining representative for its employees.”

Sedano and her coworkers join several other Foundation-assisted employees who have dispatched unwanted union representation across the country. Workers at Airgas in Ventura, CA, Rush University in Chicago, IL, and Desert Springs Hospital Center in Las Vegas, NV, have all successfully voted out or forced out by other legal means unpopular union officials just in the past few months.

“Ms. Sedano and an overwhelming majority of her coworkers clearly expressed that they no longer wanted to be under the power of UFCW officials, and their decision must be respected,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “Foundation attorneys are prepared to fight to protect Sedano and her coworkers’ right to free themselves from the unwanted union, even if union bosses and the NLRB attempt to re-impose union control despite the workers’ overwhelming opposition to the union’s so-called ‘representation.’”

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