On October 21, 2020, staff attorneys at the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation filed their last reply brief at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) making the case for eliminating the NLRB’s “contract bar” doctrine in a decertification case that Delaware poultry worker Oscar Cruz Sosa put forward.
Cruz Sosa gathered petitions from hundreds of his co-workers who wanted to kick out a union from their place of employment. The NLRB’s “contract bar” policy impedes workers’ ability to exercise their right to remove unpopular union leaders from their workplace for up to three years while a contract between the employer and union is in effect.
Sosa and his coworkers at Mountaire received a favorable ruling from the NLRB at the regional level. They already carried out a vote to strip United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 27 union bosses of their power at their workplace. However, union bosses are now asserting that the “contract bar” should have gone into effect, thus the ballots should be discarded without being counted. Cruz Sosa’s reply brief notes that “no party…disputes the contract bar’s utter absence from” the National Labor Relations Act— which the NLRB is tasked with enforcing—and that “overruling or limiting the contract bar serves the Act’s primary goal of employee free choice.”
The final briefs for the petitioner (Cruz Sosa), the employer (Mountaire Farms), and union (UFCW Local 27) were all submitted on October 21, 2020. The case has now been completely briefed so the NLRB can implement its decision.
Since its founding in 1955, the National Right to Work Committee has led the way in promoting union accountability and protecting workers from union boss abuse. Their work is indispensable in checking Big Labor and mobilizing conservatives at the state level. There are few conservative groups that actually score victories and NRTW is one that falls in this select category.