This past Wednesday, November 13, 2013, the United States Supreme Court heard the initial arguments in the case Unite Here Local 355 vs. Mulhall. The case of Mulhall, a 40-year employee of Mardi Gras in Hollywood, Florida, challenged the use of a Neutrality Agreement by Unite Here to force unionize Mardi Gras employees. A Neutrality Agreement eliminates the preferred standard of use of “secret ballot elections” to determine if employees want union representation, and in its place, institutes the insidious process known as Card Check. The focus of Mulhall is whether a signed Neutrality Agreement was lawfully obtained from Mardi Gras without bribery or extortion by Unite Here, which is prohibited by Section 302 of the Labor Management Relations Act. Unite Here contends the signatures were lawfully obtained, because no money changed hands; however, Mardi Gras and Mulhall believe there were direct benefits or “consideration” received in exchange for the signed agreement.
Unfortunately, after reading the transcripts of the oral arguments made by the attorney for Respondent Mulhall, it appears he has overreached. Perhaps most disappointing, counsel’s arguments did not succinctly and in “plain language” expose the extortion tactics utilized by Unite Here to force Mardi Gras to sign the Neutrality Agreement. These actions resulted in the use of Card Check to force unionize Mardi Gras employees. The attorney appeared to overreach when he suggested that the law bans all pre-recognition agreements whether obtained through mutual agreement or extortion. Additionally, his argument as to whether a benefit was received by the union and/or the employer solely revolved around the union’s support of a gaming license for Mardi Gras. He glossed over the true argument for rescinding the agreement, the use of extortion by the union, which ultimately provided benefits that could be quantified monetarily for both parties. Instad of hitting a home run, his argument resulted in a Mixed Reaction From the Justices. This was a missed opportunity to expose big labor’s ruthless tactics for what they are, coercive forms of extortion from which both parties benefit!
Further, the attorney missed the opportunity toelaborate on the devastating affects that Corporate Campaigns and Death by a Thousand Cuts strategies imposed by big labor have on an employer. Corporate Campaigns take advantage of a National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) loophole, allowing unions to circumvent the secret ballot election when there is mutual agreement of recognition by the union and the employer. The key word being mutual! Webster’s Dictionary defines mutual as, “Something shared in common…” — such as mutual respect! The use of Corporate Campaigns against employers, through use of the misnamed “Neutrality Agreement,” to eliminate the secret ballot election is anything but mutual and certainly does not involve respect! In fact, the most striking thing about the Neutrality Agreement is its utter lack of neutrality. The “agreement” is forced upon employers by big labor threats. Upon entering the agreement, employers are forced into a “card …read more