After a months-long effort, Paul Garvin and his coworkers at DSI Tunneling in Louisville have successfully exercised their right to vote unpopular Teamsters union officials out of their workplace. Garvin, who led the effort and submitted the petition for a vote to decertify the Teamsters, received free legal aid from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region 9 in Cincinnati certified the election result on June 28. The NLRB is the agency responsible for enforcing federal labor law, a duty which includes administering votes to certify or decertify unions.

Garvin and his colleagues’ effort faced headwinds from Teamsters union officials, who challenged the ballots of several new DSI employees. The NLRB rejected the union’s contentions against the ballots in their entirety, and ordered the ballot count which was conducted on June 8 and included ballots from the entire work unit under the Teamsters union’s control.

NLRB Rejects Union Attempt to Disenfranchise Over Half of Unit

Garvin first submitted a petition for a vote on whether to remove the union on October 15, 2021, signed by the requisite number of his colleagues to trigger such an election. While the NLRB administered a mail-ballot election about a month later, union officials challenged more than half the ballots cast on the grounds that a group of new DSI employees are somehow “agents of the employer” and that they are temporary employees technically excluded from the unit.

NLRB regional officials in Cincinnati shot down Teamsters’ bosses arguments, stating that “There is no evidence that the employees had actual or apparent authority to act as agents of the Employer,” and that DSI management had provided “sufficient evidence that there was a mutual understanding of the employees that they hold permanent positions with the Employer.”

Regional NLRB officials then counted the ballots cast in the election, which revealed that 60% of the unit had voted to remove Teamsters officials from monopoly bargaining power at their facility.

NLRB in Washington Seeks to Hinder Workers Who Want to Oust Unwanted Unions

Garvin and his coworkers’ successful ouster of unwanted Teamsters officials comes as the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, DC, has announced that it will initiate rulemaking to overturn 2020 Foundation-backed reforms that strengthened the ability of rank-and-file workers to obtain elections to remove unwanted union representation. The reforms generally prevent often-unverified union boss allegations against employers from stopping workers from voting in union decertification elections.

“We are pleased that Mr. Garvin and his coworkers were finally able to oust unpopular Teamsters officials, and we were proud to support them in their endeavor,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “Teamsters officials tried to use ultimately-rejected allegations to invalidate the voices of more than half of the DSI employees they claim to ‘represent,’ demonstrating that workers need more, not less, protection for their right to vote in secret on whether union officials should stay in power at their workplaces.”

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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