David Lausen, an employee at Dry Fork Station in Gillette, Wyoming, owned by Basin Electric Power Cooperative, filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) seeking removal of Local No. 415 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) from his workplace. National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys are providing Lausen free legal representation in the decertification petition proceedings.
Under federal law when at least 30% of workers in a bargaining unit sign a petition seeking a vote on removal of union officials’ monopoly bargaining powers it triggers an NLRB-conducted secret ballot vote. With Foundation attorneys’ assistance, Mr. Lausen filed the decertification petition on March 16, 2022, after the prior union contract expired.
Wyoming is a Right to Work state, meaning workers cannot legally be required to join or pay dues or fees to a union as a condition of keeping their jobs. However, even in Right to Work states, union officials who have obtained monopoly bargaining control in a workplace are granted by federal law the power to impose one-size-fits-all union contracts on all workers, including those who opt out of union membership and would prefer to negotiate their own terms of employment.
National Right to Work Foundation legal aid has recently assisted workers in numerous successful decertification efforts across the nation, including for workers in Kansas, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Delaware. Foundation-advocated reforms to the rules for decertification elections that the NLRB adopted in 2020 have curtailed union officials’ abuse of so-called “blocking charges.” Such charges containing unproven allegations against an employer, often completely unrelated to workers’ desire to free themselves of a union, were used to delay or block workers from exercising their right to decertify the union.
“The NLRB should schedule a decertification vote for these workers without delay,” National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation President Mark Mix said. “Workers everywhere should know they can turn to the Foundation for free legal aid to help enforce their right to free themselves from unwanted union so-called ‘representation.’”
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.