Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689 is facing prosecution by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) after a union shop steward attacked a Transdev driver campaigning for union office. The assaulted driver, Hyattsville-based Thomas McLamb, is receiving free legal representation from National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys.
McLamb filed charges with the NLRB in November 2021 and January 2022 against both ATU and Transdev for their roles in the retaliatory behavior, which also included his union-instigated termination. McLamb states that his previous opposition to the union in the workplace circa 2015 made him a target of union officials and adherents.
The NLRB issued a Complaint and Notice of Hearing on May 11, affirming that the union’s actions as described by McLamb constituted violations of federal law. A trial before an NLRB Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) is now scheduled to take place beginning on June 21 in Washington, DC.
Union Steward Assaulted Driver After Union President Advised Followers to “Slap” Dissidents
In a statement filed in November 2021, McLamb said that the ATU Local 689 president, Raymond Jackson, had told other union officers to “slap” employees who were opposing his agenda. McLamb also reported that he had been physically assaulted by a shop steward. Both incidents occurred while McLamb was campaigning against the incumbent officers to serve on Local 689’s board.
The NLRB’s notice announcing a hearing in the case echoes McLamb’s charge, stating that “[o]n November 11, 2021…[union steward] Tiyaka Boone, at the Employer’s Hubbard Road facility, in the presence of employees, physically assaulted the Charging Party.”
McLamb reported in another federal charge that, shortly after this incident, ATU official Alma Williams demanded that Transdev management fire him. The NLRB’s notice of hearing affirms this accusation: “On November 11, 2021, Respondent, by Alma Williams, at the Employer’s Hubbard Road facility, requested that the Employer discharge the Charging Party.” On November 16, Transdev gave McLamb a letter stating that he had been placed on “Administrative Leave without pay” pending the outcome of an investigation.
Transdev later settled the charges against it by reinstating McLamb and paying him back wages for the period of his suspension.
NLRB Will Now Prosecute Union, but Driver May Still Be Forced to Fund Union Officials
McLamb’s opposition to the ATU union, which included attempts to gather support from his colleagues to remove it, is activity protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which guarantees workers’ right to “refrain from any or all of” union activities. McLamb argued in his charges that ATU and Transdev officials waged the November 2021 retaliation campaign against him because of his past engagement in such NLRA-protected “dissident” activities, and in that way infringed on his rights under the NLRA.
“No American employee should have to go to work thinking that they could be fired, mugged, or slandered merely for exercising their right to oppose union officials. The NLRB’s issuance of a complaint against the ATU in Mr. McLamb’s case is a small but significant step toward justice,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “However, due to Maryland’s lack of Right to Work protections for its private sector employees, Mr. McLamb is still required to sacrifice part of every paycheck to the same union hierarchy that is now facing prosecution for instigating violence against him.”
“Although we’re happy that the scales are finally tipping in Mr. McLamb’s favor, it’s unfortunately the reality in the 23 non-Right to Work states in the country that workers are forced to pay fees to union hierarchies that act against their interests, sometimes even violently so,” added Mix.