Obama administration files brief on behalf of labor union

Michael P. Tremoglie Apr. 25, 2012, 7:20am


HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - The Obama administration has filed an amicus brief on behalf of a labor union sued by a worker.

The worker is claiming the union is violating his rights. The Obama administration intervened after the federal district court concurred.

The case involves a complaint initiated by Mardi Gras Gaming
groundskeeper Martin Mulhall. Mardi Gras is a Florida gambling establishment that entered into an agreement with Unite Here Local
355 in 2008, promising that they would furnish employees' personal contact information (including home addresses) to grant union operatives access to company facilities for the purpose of organizing. Unite Here is a hospitality workers labor union.

According to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which is providing Mr. Mulhall with free legal assistance, union officials spent more than $100,000 to support a gambling ballot initiative and guaranteed not to picket, boycott or strike against the facility.

Mulhall sued, alleging that the union is violating a federal law preventing unions from violating workers' rights in exchange for management concessions. Specifically, this would prohibit employers from giving "any money or other thing of value" to unions.

Mulhall contends that Mardi Gras' organizing assistance to the union is of substantial monetary value to Unite Here Local 355.

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit agreed. It ruled that organizing assistance can be an unlawful "thing of value." Union lawyers subsequently petitioned the full court to rehear the case.

It was at this point that the Obama Justice and Labor Departments, along with National Labor Relations Board Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon, filed the amicus brief in support of the union.

"Union bosses are using the power of their bought-and-paid-for White House in an attempt to roll back a major, precedent-setting victory for workers," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation.

"Of course, Obama administration radicals have already proven they will do what they can to support the union bosses' forced-unionism agenda at workers' expense."

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