Oregon Masami Foods Workers Vote to Kick Out Union Goons from the Workplace

On August 3, 2023, workers at Masami Foods in Klamath Falls voted to strip United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 555 union officials of their forced representation powers. A petition submitted by employee Scott Child with the National Labor Relations Board Region 19 (NLRB) eventually led to this successful vote.  The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation provided Child with free legal aid.

Child and his coworkers at Masami Foods submitted a decertification vote on March 2, 2023. Under federal labor law, workers can kick off a decertification vote with the support of at least 30% of workers in a workplace that is unionized. The NLRB then slated a vote to be held on May 11, 2023.

On May 11, Masami employees made it clear that they don’t want union representation by voting 54-25 to kick the union out from their workplace. That said, UFCW union officials previously filed several “blocking charges,” with the intention of  delaying  the NLRB’s certification of the results. As a consequence of these blocking charges,  the vote certification was postponed until August 1, 2023, when the NLRB Regional Director certified the election’s results.

The case demonstrates how the NLRB’s union decertification process is susceptible to union boss meddling. Several reforms, which the Foundation supported, that the NLRB adopted in 2020 made it a bit easier for workers to kick out undesired union officials. However, the NLRB under the Biden regime is attempting to undermine these protections and make it more difficult to decertify a union.

For example, the 2020 reforms barred union officials from resubmitting overlapping charges, which often featured unverified and unrelated allegations of employer actions and further delayed the process. Had these reforms not been in effect, the three-month delay for these workers could have been prolonged for much longer, possibly going on for an indefinite period of time.

The Masami Foods decertification is another case of a growing push by workers to kick out corrupt union leaders from the workplace. Currently, the NLRB’s data demonstrates how a unionized private sector worker is far more likely to participate in a decertification effort as their non-union counterpart is to participate in a unionization campaign. NLRB figures also demonstrated a 20% surge in decertification petitions in 2022 versus 2021.

“We are honored to have been able to help the Masami Foods workers exercise their rights under federal law to remove a union they clearly, overwhelmingly, oppose,” commented Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. “While the outcome is favorable, the union-instigated delays in certifying the results of the decertification vote highlight the lengths UFCW officials are willing to go to in order to maintain control over workers, even those who clearly want nothing to do with them.”

“The blocking charge tactics used by UFCW union officials in this case demonstrate how wrong it would be if and when the Biden NLRB reverses the Election Protection Rules that cut back on such ‘blocking charge’ abuses,” added Mix. “Without those modest 2020 reforms, these workers would almost certainly still be trapped in union ranks they oppose with no end in sight.”

Unions are clear appendages of the Left. They once served a purpose to establish minimal work standards during an industrial era that saw many workers abused by unscrupulous employers. However, they have now transformed into rent-seeking institutions that abuse workers and bankroll corrupt politicians. 

More decertifications votes of this nature and tougher legislation against forced unionization will be needed for union abuse to be properly curtailed.

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