CDW Warns of Latest Union Scheme: Unfair Access

Broad Employer Coalition Fights to Protect Customers, Employees, 
and Employers in Latest NLRB Case

WASHINGTON // JANUARY 7, 2011 // Today, the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) filed an amicus brief with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on the crucial question of whether the federal government will demand that a business allow organized labor union representatives to trespass at the workplace in order to harass customers and employees and otherwise harm an employer’s business.

The case before the NLRB is Roundy’s vs. Milwaukee Building and Construction Trades (Case No. 30-CA-17185). At issue is whether the government can force any employer that allows charitable, well-meaning groups onto the premises to also allow union organizers whose purpose in many cases is to turn away customers through boycotts and similar actions. Such activity is often part of a larger strategy to pressure employers to accede to demands such as the nationally unpopular “card check” scheme that bypasses federally supervised private ballot votes.

The decision also would allow unions to go on the business owner’s property with the intent of running the company out of business – a real threat to many small businesses and entrepreneurs. Should the NLRB curtail employers’ property rights, the result could be a significant disincentive for employers to allow charities and community groups onto their premises, as well as subjecting customers and employees to harassment and labor strife.  CDW’s brief argues strongly in favor of protecting customers, employees, and employers and advocates that the Board “should allow employers to refuse non-employee union access to private property, particularly where such labor organizations seek to engage in harmful boycott activities.”

Union bosses claim that if the business has invited other outside groups such as Girl Scouts, Salvation Army Santas, bloodmobiles, and other charitable organizations that do not intend to harm the employer’s operations, the employer must provide union agents the same access, even if the union’s intent is to harm the business.

Geoff Burr, chair of CDW, said, “This is the same sort of harassment of employees union bosses were pushing with card check, and now they are seeking unprecedented government intrusion into employers’ private property rights that will end up harming consumers.” Burr concluded, “Voters in November sent a clear message that they want the government to focus on creating jobs and protecting small business, and the Board has a chance to be responsive to voters by saying no to this unprecedented demand.”

About the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace
The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace is a coalition of workers, employers, associations and organizations who are fighting to protect the right to a federally supervised private ballot when workers are deciding whether or not to join a union.