Seattle Mariners Retail Workers Defeat Union Boss Scheme by Kicking Out UFCW Union
On July 26, 2023, Seattle Mariners workers successfully voted 50-9 to kick out United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 3000 union officials from the Mariners’ retail stores in T-Mobile Park and the Westlake area of Seattle. This development follows the National Labor Relations Board’s rejection of a union attempt to overturn the election results. In this case, the employees obtained free legal aid from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.
The Mariners’ retail workers submitted a petition in April urging National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region 19 to hold a vote on whether the union should be kicked out. The petition came in response to UFCW union leaders’ imposition of union power over the shop employees through an October 2022 “card check” drive. “Card check” is a compulsory and abuse-ridden plan in which union officials can circumvent the secret ballot union election process. Instead, they make an attempt to acquire a majority of union authorization cards by directly demanding them from workers.
In May, the NLRB Regional Director ordered a union decertification election at the request of the Seattle Mariners’ retail workers much to the union bosses’ chagrin. Union bosses subsequently responded by filing a Request for Review at the NLRB in Washington, D.C., with the aim of derailing the election. They argued that a so-called “voluntary recognition bar” should be enacted to prevent the Mariners’ employees from exercising their right to vote on the union’s expulsion from the workplace. However, the NLRB denied the union’s Request for Review on July 25. After NLRB Region 19 certifies the 50-9 vote result, the Seattle Mariners’ retail employees will finally be liberated from the UFCW union’s grasp.
“While the Seattle Mariners’ retail employees were able to shut down UFCW bosses’ scheme to force them under union control without even a vote, workers’ right to get a secret ballot vote is now under severe threat from the Biden NLRB, which is eager to empower the Administration’s union boss allies,” remarked National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “NLRB officials should look to the Mariners’ employees as real-life examples of workers whose rights would be stripped away if the Election Protection Rule is done away with at Big Labor’s behest.”
“No worker should be trapped under the ‘representation’ of a union they oppose, and at the very least every employee should have a right to cast a private ballot before union bosses gain power in their workplace,” Mix continued.
The expulsion of unwanted unions from the workplace is one of the biggest fights that the Right must spearhead in order to check leftist influence. Moreover, right-wing governments in red state legislatures must do everything possible to clamp down on unions’ ability to fundraise and effectively bankroll the Democratic Party.
Supporting right-to-work laws and other anti-union boss measures is a matter of political survival for state Republicans parties across the Union.