Fresno, Calif. (January 9, 2001) — Four Bakersfield teachers today filed a federal lawsuit to strike down the California Teachers Association (CTA) union’s statewide policy of seizing forced union dues from teachers’ paychecks that are funneled into questionable and undisclosed union activities, including politics.
The teachers charge that the CTA union’s policy illegally directs local affiliates statewide to seize union dues without first providing an independently audited financial disclosure.
The teachers filed the lawsuit, Lakin v. CTA, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against the CTA union, its Kern High Faculty Association union affiliate, and Kern High School District (for enforcing the illegal collection of dues).
“CTA union officials devised this statewide scheme to force California’s teachers to fund their massive political operation,” said Randy Wanke, Director of Legal Information for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which is providing free legal aid to the teachers.
Under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as articulated in the Foundation-won Supreme Court decision in Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson, union officials must first provide independently audited disclosure of their books and prove that forced union dues are not spent on non-bargaining activities like politics.
Using CTA union procedures, hundreds of CTA-affiliated local unions are intentionally circumventing the constitutional requirements for disclosure by claiming that the percentage of the local union activities tied to collective bargaining could be arbitrarily “presumed” to be equivalent to the percentage reported on the CTA union’s financial disclosure.
Under two previous Foundation-won federal court rulings, Sheffield v. CTA and Foster v. CTA, there is absolutely no debate that this “local presumption” scheme is unconstitutional. However, the state’s largest union continues to use it. In this lawsuit, Foundation attorneys seek to have the CTA union’s statewide “local presumption” procedures declared unconstitutional; enjoin the CTA union from directing local affiliates to use those procedures; and enjoin the Kern High Faculty Association union from seizing union dues using those procedures.
Employees to get their day in court after union thugs waged bloody campaign of violence
WINCHESTER, Va. (July 31, 2000) — The Circuit Court of the City of Winchester rejected the arguments of United Auto Workers (UAW) union lawyers attempting to shield the union from its liability for authorizing, ratifying, and condoning a bloody campaign of violence against non-striking workers at Abex Friction Products in 1996.
National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys, representing the terrorized employees, convinced the court that the union could not hide behind Virginia’s Worker’s Compensation Act to insulate it from liability. The four-week strike at the Winchester brake manufacturing plant left a massive trail of violence and vandalism in its wake.
In rejecting the union’s arguments, the court commented, “the workplace is not a jungle in which coemployees may prey upon weaker coemployees.”
As part of the violence campaign, union militants dumped a severed, bloody cow’s head on the hood of a worker’s car and another in a worker’s backyard. In addition to the claims against the union itself, the suit charges several union militants with civil conspiracy and other counts for making death threats, shooting out windows, sending obscene mail, acts of stalking, theft of property, and harassing workers on the job to coerce them into quitting their jobs.
“It’s outrageous that after several union thugs have been criminally convicted and lives have been ruined, the UAW’s lawyers are trying to wash their hands of the bloody terror they caused,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation.
Foundation attorneys introduced evidence to a Virginia special grand jury that ultimately found that union operatives met at the union hall to organize the violent crimes and distributed newsletters that directly encouraged acts of retaliation against non-striking workers. Additionally, the General District Court found several militants guilty of multiple counts of harassment and violence.
The civil suit will now head for trial on June 4, 2001. The employees seek compensatory and punitive damages from those union activists who perpetrated the terrorist acts as well as Local 149 and the UAW International union for having authorized, ratified, and condoned the acts of violence.
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in nearly 500 cases nationwide. Its web address is www.nrtw.org.
Organized labor militancy on the rise throughout America
DETROIT, Mich. — In the wake of a campaign of terror waged against Abex Friction Product employees, a group of ten workers filed suit today against the United Auto Workers (UAW) union for targeting them with a massive campaign of violence, intimidation, and death threats.
As part of the violence campaign, union militants dumped a severed, bloody cow’s head on the hood of a worker’s car and another in a worker’s backyard.
The legal action filed in circuit court in Winchester, Virginia, names UAW Local 149 and the UAW international union as responsible for a brutal terror campaign against employees who worked during a four-week strike in Winchester.
The suit charges UAW union militants with making death threats, shooting out windows, sending obscene mail, and harassing workers on the job to coerce them into quitting their jobs.
“This case shows the rising militancy of organized labor across the country,” said Reed Larson, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which is providing free legal representation to the victimized Abex employees. “The UAW gangsters who used bloody cows’ heads and shootings to intimidate these workers must answer for their actions.”
Earlier this year, Foundation attorneys introduced evidence to a special grand jury which ultimately found that union operatives met at the union hall to organize the violent crimes and distributed newsletters that directly encouraged acts of retaliation by union militants against non-striking workers. Additionally, the General District Court has already found several of the militants guilty of multiple counts of harassment and violence.
The union terror campaign targeted, among others, Shucheng Huang, a mother of four who continued to report to work during the UAW walkout. During the strike, union assailants vandalized her car with paint and smashed her windows. Union toughs also placed the severed, bloody head of a cow on the hood of her car.
After the strike was over, union militants shot out Mrs. Huang’s car window as she was driving onto the Abex parking lot. Winchester police arrested the culprits in connection with the attack.
When a newspaper printed pictures of both Mrs. Huang and the severed cow’s head on her car, UAW militants posted her picture on the bulletin boards at Abex under the caption “Wanted Dead or Alive.”
A few days later, Mrs. Huang received an anonymous letter. Enclosed was the photo of the cow’s head on her vehicle with her face superimposed over it.
“Seeking to enjoy freedom and the fruits of labor in America, Mrs. Huang and her family fled the tyranny of the communist regime in Vietnam and became hard-working American citizens,” said Larson. “It’s an embarrassment that this is what America offered in return.”
Other Abex employees who worked during the strike were targeted with slashed tires, theft of property, harassing phone calls, pornographic mail, and acts of stalking.
The civil suit filed today seeks compensatory and punitive damages from those union members actually involved in the terrorism as well as UAW Local 149 and the UAW international union (affiliates of the AFL-CIO union) for having authorized, ratified, and condoned the acts of violence.
“Earlier this month, AFL-CIO top dog John Sweeney vowed that Big Labor will be doing even more in 1997 than it did in 1996,” said Larson. “If that means more cows’ heads, more shot-out windows, and more death threats, then that prospect is absolutely terrifying — just ask workers like Mrs. Huang.”
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is representing thousands of employees in over 400 cases nationwide.
Arrests anticipated from UAW ranks
WINCHESTER, Va.—A specially-convened Virginia grand jury begins investigation today into bizarre violence after the severed head of a cow was dumped on a worker’s car during a recent United Auto Workers (UAW) union strike.
Attorneys with the Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation introduced testimony and photographic evidence to a standing grand jury last week, indicating that radical elements within the UAW engaged in a pattern of intimidation and terrorism against employees who worked during a four-week strike at Abex Friction Products in Winchester, Virginia.
After hearing the presentation by Foundation attorneys and testimony from one of the victims, the grand jury voted unanimously to ask Judge John E. Wetsel, Jr. to appoint a special grand jury. Judge Wetsel then impaneled a nine-member special grand jury to investigate harassment, intimidation and terrorist acts allegedly committed by union militants to coerce Abex employees who worked during the strike into quitting their jobs.
Judge Wetsel also asked the Commonwealth’s attorney to appoint a special counsel to assist the special grand jury, and directed Winchester police to assign an investigator.
Included in the evidence presented to the grand jury by Foundation attorneys were records of violence directed against Shucheng Huang, an Abex employee and mother of four who continued to do her
job during the UAW walkout. During the strike, unknown assailants vandalized her car with paint, and smashed her windows.Additionally, the severed head of a cow was dumped on the hood of her car.
After the strike was over, union militants fired a ball bearing at Mrs. Huang as she was driving onto the Abex parking lot. Winchester police have made an arrest in connection with the attack.
Local newspapers reported the incidents involving Mrs. Huang on June 28, and included photos of her and of the crime scene. Unknown persons then posted her picture the next day on bulletin boards throughout the Abex plant under the caption, “Wanted Dead or Alive.”
Also, a few days later, Mrs. Huang received an anonymous letter, with a photo of her face superimposed where the cow’s head had been on her vehicle.
Acts against other Abex employees who worked during the strike included slashed tires, theft of property, harassing phone calls, pornographic mail, and alleged cases of stalking.
Foundation attorneys also indicated that there was some evidence of involvement by the Ku Klux Klan. Klan paraphernalia was openly displayed inside the Abex plant by at least one employee.
After its investigation, the special grand jury will issue a report to Judge Wetsel, who can direct action to be taken against the perpetrators and planners of the violence, and thus bring the harassment to a halt.
Additional arrests are anticipated in this round of strike-related violence, and federal authorities may be called in.
“Once again, radical elements inside Big Labor have revealed their taste for violence when workers dare to assert their rights,” stated Rex Reed, executive vice president of the Foundation. “It is time for this ghoulish harassment to end.”
The National Institute for Labor Relations has recorded almost 10,000 media-reported incidents of union violence since 1975. Experts on labor- and strike-related violence estimate that unreported acts of harassment could swell that figure to 100,000 or more.
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism. The Foundation is representing thousands of employees in nearly 400 cases nationwide, and can be reached at 1-800-336-3600.