Delaware Mountaire employee files charges against union

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A Delaware employee of Mountaire Farms has filed a complaint against the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 27 union for threats and other violations of federal law.

The employee has received legal support from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

The employee, Oscar Cruz Sosa, contends that union officials are violating his and his coworkers’ rights by seizing union fees from them under an unlawful forced dues provision in the union contract. The charges also allege that a union official violated his rights when in March he visited Sosa at home uninvited and threatened him for submitting a petition signed by his coworkers seeking a vote to remove the union as their bargaining agent.

The union has claimed that the decertification effort comes at a bad time as workers deal with the coronavirus pandemic,DelawareOnline reported. A union representative noted that due to coronavirus restrictions, union representatives are not allowed to enter the plant.

In noting the NLRB Regional Director’s finding that the union local’s action not being proper, Sosa’s charge asks that the Regional Director order union officials to refund all dues and fees seized from him and his coworkers under a clause in the union contract.

“The threats and dues deductions, in this case, show how union bosses regularly trample workers’ rights in order to keep forced dues rolling into their coffers,” observed National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “We hope that NLRB Region 5 will immediately prosecute the union for these violations, and ultimately order that the union refund all union dues and fees collected from Mountaire Farms workers under the unlawful forced dues clause.”

Mix continued: “While UFCW officials were caught red-handed in this case, these types of forced union dues abuses will continue until Delaware workers have the protection of a Right to Work law, which ensures that all union membership and financial support are strictly voluntary.”

The organization has led efforts to make Delaware an open shop state where union workers can choose to not to pay dues.

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