By Fred Wszolek
Fasten your seatbelts. We could be in for one of the most impactful, if not the most consequential, Supreme Court cases in generations.
It’s the little known Unite Here Local 355 vs. Mulhall case which might end up packing a lot of legal punch once the dust settles at the high court. Union bosses, for a long time now, have been heavily relying on a slick unionization strategy known as “neutrality agreements.” Since many communities and workers rejectedyears of heavy-handed bullying tactics, Big Labor chiefs began to switch up their methods. Organized labor heads settled on a more subtle approach: entering into agreements in which the employer guarantees no opposition to a unionization drive. For years, this seemed like the way to go for union bosses … as opposed to charging into a workplace with everything from baseball bats to in-your-face protest signs and kitchen sinks.
But, what this really amounts to is a quiet form of extortion. Union bosses “promise” not to further disrupt or publicly humiliate a company so long as employers go along with their plan for workplace domination. Organizers then simply campaign on company property without any static from nervous employers who are forced to watch helplessly as the activities cut into productivity and their bottom line.
With half of all successful unionization efforts attributed to neutrality agreements – clearly a misnomer since it’s really a one-sided “protection money” scheme favoring union bosses – workers also get the short end of the stick. With labor bosses able to run roughshod over workplaces, unsuspecting and unwilling workers also find themselves paying unwanted dues – or what union bosses euphemistically refer to as “fair share fees.”
Reports Steven Greenhouse in The New York Times:
Benjamin Sachs, a professor of labor law at Harvard Law School, said the case before the Supreme Court was potentially “the most significant labor case in a generation.”
Professor Sachs said that if the court ruled against labor, it could significantly hobble efforts by private sector unions to organize workers. He added that the other big labor case the Supreme Court has agreed to hear this session could have a significant impact on public sector unions. In that case, a home-care worker has asked the court to rule that the state of Illinois violated her First Amendment rights by requiring her to pay “fair share” fees, much like dues, to a union she did not support.
Miles away in Florida, an employee of Mardi Gras Gaming wasn’t having that. Suing Unite Here Local 355, the worker accused the union of forcing an illegal agreement on the company. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, and now here we are, faced with another challenge for Big Labor. This case reaching the highest level of the federal court system sends a clear message to Big Labor bosses: it’s time to stop slamming wrecking balls into the American workplace.