With free legal representation from National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys, Nick Salzmann and his fellow Village of Carpentersville firefighters have forced unwanted Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73 officials out of their workplace.
Salzmann filed a petition in September 2021 backed by the vast majority of his coworkers seeking a vote whether to remove the SEIU union. After the Illinois Labor Relations Board (ILRB) executive director blocked the vote based on specious accusations union officials made of Village of Carpentersville officials, Salzmann filed an appeal that revealed union officials had actually staged the scenario in which the alleged misbehavior arose.
Rather than respond to that appeal, in March, SEIU union officials filed paperwork relinquishing power over Salzmann and his coworkers.
Carpentersville Firefighter’s Appeal Revealed Plot by SEIU Union Bosses to Maintain Control
The ILRB is the Illinois state agency responsible for adjudicating workplace disputes among union officials, Illinois government agencies, and Illinois public employees. SEIU union officials’ so-called “blocking charges,” which they filed against Village of Carpentersville officials in an attempt to delay Salzmann and his coworkers’ requested election, claimed that Carpentersville officials were not following proper bargaining procedures.
However, Salzmann’s appeal showed that in reality it was union officials who disrupted the bargaining process. His appeal maintained that “the union walked away from the bargaining table twice when the Employer could not guarantee that the decertification process would not proceed.”
SEIU bosses’ departures from the bargaining table are a sign union officials were trying to coerce Carpentersville officials into assisting the union in quashing the employee-led decertification effort.
As further evidence of the scheme, Salzmann’s appeal stated that “the Union amended the charges, changing from an ‘impacts and effect’ charge to a ‘failure to bargain’ charge,” suggesting that union lawyers couldn’t demonstrate any connection between Salzmann and his coworkers’ desire to eliminate the union and anything Carpentersville officials did, and had to rely on the (union-caused) bargaining stoppages as their sole allegation against Carpentersville officials.
According to the appeal, approximately 80% of the firefighters favored decertifying the union.
Finally, Salzmann’s appeal contended that the SEIU bosses’ actions disturbed the “laboratory conditions” that should be present for any decertification election. It stated that the “Union’s efforts to compel [the firefighters] to abandon their claim, including telling them they had proceeded improperly in their effort,” along with the union bosses’ willful departures from the bargaining table “caused the factual scenario” that led to the union’s charge.
Foundation President: ILRB Rules Allowed Election Interference by Union Officials
“We’re pleased Nick Salzmann and his coworkers were finally able to oust unpopular SEIU officials from their facility,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “However, it’s astonishing that ILRB officials initially blocked Salzmann’s request for a vote to remove the union based on a patently false narrative peddled by SEIU union bosses.”
“Salzmann and his coworkers’ travail is one more reason why government union bosses should not have the power to force workers under their so-called ‘representation’ at all,” Mix added. “No public employee should be ever be required to associate with a private organization like a union just to work for their own government.”