According to a tally of votes announced by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), workers at MDS Boring in Houston voted to remove unwanted International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) officials from their workplace. Seth Patrick, an MDS Boring employee, petitioned the NLRB so he and his coworkers could vote to remove the union. He filed his petition with free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, and collected signatures from enough of his coworkers to trigger an NLRB-conducted decertification election.

Ballots were mailed to eligible employees on October 22, and on November 19, the NLRB tallied the results. Workers voted unanimously 13-0 to remove IUOE Local 450 officials from their workplace.

Decertification is a difficult process under the NLRB’s rules, and union officials often attempt to delay worker decertification efforts through litigation. IUOE officials have filed unfair labor practice charges against the company to delay certification of the election results.

However, thanks to Foundation-backed “blocking charge” reforms adopted by the NLRB in 2020, elections themselves cannot be delayed by union litigation. Previously, union officials could block decertification votes almost at whim by filing unfair labor practice charges against employers without even proving the employer’s actions had affected workers’ desire to oust the union. The new rules established by the Trump NLRB limit such delays, and MDS Boring’s employees were able to decisively vote against IUOE bosses soon after filing their petition.

“Thanks to Texas’s Right to Work law, workers at MDS Boring couldn’t be forced to pay union dues, but they were still forced to accept union bosses’ so-called ‘representation’ at the bargaining table,” said National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation President Mark Mix. “The Foundation is proud to help Seth Patrick and his coworkers assert their independence. It is unfortunate, but not unexpected, that IUOE bosses are now using litigation to block the outcome unanimously favored by the workers they claim to represent.”


The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in around 250 cases nationwide per year.

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