Nelson Medina, an employee at Savage Services in Wilmington, CA near Long Beach, a transportation company, has asked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Washington, DC to review an NLRB Regional Director’s decision to cast aside his objections to a mail-in ballot election at his workplace forced by Teamsters Local 848 union officials.
The crux of the issue is that Teamsters officials pushed to have a 2020 union representation vote by mail instead of in-person, according to Medina’s Request for Review brief. Medina found evidence of the union using the system to illegally solicit ballots. “The solicitation of mail ballots casts doubt on the integrity of the election and the secrecy of employees’ ballots,” the brief says.
There were only 126 eligible voters. The vote-by-mail results were 57 for union representation, 49 against, totaling only 106 votes. At the ballot count, several challenges were raised. And the Teamsters Union attorney had immediate access to the tracking numbers for two of the ballots originally thought to be received untimely, the brief says. Following the vote tally, the employer and petitioner Medina filed timely objections.
Medina filed his Request for Review with pro bono representation from the National Right to Work Foundation, according to a press statement. “In his brief he reiterates the evidence he presented to the NLRB Regional Representative that at least 12 of his fellow employees never had their votes counted purely due to errors by the U.S. Post Office and the NLRB regional office.”
“Medina also says that a union lawyer had ‘access to the tracking numbers for two of the ballots’ which were originally considered late, indicating unlawful vote harvesting by union officials, according the the NRWF.”
Medina argues that the number of ballots affected by the voter disenfranchisement and ballot solicitation may be enough to invalidate the election win that Teamsters officials claim they have, the NRTW says.
Medina says in his Request for Review with the NLRB that because he and his co-workers were deemed “essential workers” throughout the COVID pandemic and statewide lockdown, and worked in-person at the company throughout, there was no need for the mail-in election, and it should have been done manually, while assuring privacy to the employees voting. And Savage Services was willing to implement extra protections to ensure the safety of am in-person manual election.
The NRTW reports:
On the issue of voter disenfranchisement, Medina’s brief states: “the evidence will show that the timing of the mail ballot election during the pandemic and the U.S. Presidential election” led to a substantial number of votes not being counted.
The circumstances surrounding the election also didn’t meet any of the criteria the NLRB set forth in its Aspirus Keweenaw standard for administering a mail vote, the Request for Review argues. The NLRB generally prefers the security of in-person elections to mail ballot ones.
With regard to ballot solicitation, Medina’s brief contends that the Teamsters lawyer’s possession of the tracking numbers of the untimely ballots “is highly suspect and creates an inference that the Union was involved in or assisted with the mailing of those two ballots,” and that the Regional Director’s decision to reject these concerns and those about voter disenfranchisement without a hearing to evaluate the issues is impossible to justify.
“Union bosses prefer mail ballots for unionization elections over in-person NLRB-monitored secret ballot votes for the same reason Big Labor advocates for ‘card check’ unionization: without direct NLRB oversight it is easier for union agents to apply pressure tactics, threats, and other coercive measures,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “Mr. Medina and his coworkers deserve a secure in-person election so they can freely choose who will speak for them in the workplace, and Foundation staff attorneys will keep fighting for them until they get it.”
The Globe will follow up once the brief is considered by the NLRB.medina request for review