Calif. painters have union decertified

Michael P. Tremoglie Sep. 12, 2012, 9:45am


SANTA ANA, Calif. (Legal Newsline) - Local union officials are being forced to cede control of Santa Ana, Calif.'s GPS Painting and Wallcovering employees.

This comes after a group of 59 painters filed a motion to intervene in a prolonged legal battle between the company and the union.

Painters and Allied Trades District Council 36 union officials were the collective bargaining representatives for the company's painters. But the painters became disenchanted with the union.

They say they were frustrated with poor service; losing work, health and vacation benefits; and being forced to volunteer for the union's political activities such as manning phone banks for Jerry Brown's election campaign instead of their apprenticeship training.

When some of the workers learned they did not have to join the union, they requested a secret ballot election to decertify it. The recalcitrant painters petitioned to exercise their federal labor law right to remove the union.

Council 36 union officials responded to these efforts by filing federal charges against GPS Painting alleging the company was behind the workers' effort to remove the union. The National Labor Relations Board asked to have the union reinstated.

The workers then filed a motion to intervene in the case to prove that the company was not behind their effort to remove the unwanted union. As a result, the union was removed.

"By sticking together, this group of painters managed to free themselves from union affiliation despite the Obama Labor Board's concerted effort to foist the union bosses' 'representation' on them," said Mark Mix, President of National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which provided free legal assistance.

"This case highlights the biases of federal labor law and the NLRB process which elevates union bosses to the status of kings and relegates workers to the status of pawns."

More News