Workers at two Spenard Building Supply sites vote to boot union

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Workers at two Spenard Building Supply manufacturing sites voted to remove the Pacific Northwest Regional Counsel of Carpenters union by an overwhelming majority of 17-6. The vote affects about two dozen workers at the Birchwood and Eklutna plants.

A petition filed by Scot Breuer with the National Labor Relations Board Region 19 led to this successful vote.

Breuer, with assistance from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, filed the petition with the NLRB on March 31, supported by many of his coworkers. Under federal labor law, workers can trigger a decertification vote with the support of 30% or more of workers in a unionized workplace.

On April 12, the NLRB issued an election notice to all parties involved that stipulated an election date for ended May 2, votes counted

Spenard Building Supply employees made their position on the union clear when over two-thirds of the workers voted to remove the union from their workplace. Barring objections by union officials seeking to overturn the vote, the workers will be officially free of the union in one week.

NLRB data shows a unionized private sector worker is far more likely to be involved in a decertification effort as their nonunion counterpart is to be involved in a unionization campaign. The Spenard Building Supply election is one such example of workers leaving union control.

NLRB data show a 20% increase in decertification petitions in 2022 over the previous year.

The NLRB’s union decertification process is historically prone to union-created roadblocks. National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation-backed NLRB reforms from 2020 made it somewhat easier for workers to remove unwanted unions, such as the “Election Protection Rule” that prevents union bosses from filing “blocking charges” meant to delay or stop decertification elections entirely.

Prior to these reforms, workers often had their decertification votes delayed by unproven union blocking charges, giving union bosses the power to trap workers in union ranks they oppose nearly indefinitely.  Under the reforms most votes take place promptly, with union blocking claims adjudicated later, after the votes have been counted.

However, the Biden Administration is trying to roll back these protections and make it harder for workers to decertify a union.

“We are extremely pleased to help these Alaskan workers exercise their right to remove a union they want nothing to do with. With over two-thirds of the votes being cast in favor of removing the union, this case is a clear example as to workers’ growing dissatisfaction with compulsory unionism,” said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

26 COMMENTS

  1. Very wise choice!!!! Unions served a purpose back in the day but they are now divisive and they take moneys they did not earn from the workers!!!

  2. Yes the time has come to defeat the MAFIA and Biden hates it because thats his only shot at reelection.Every corrupt politician that comes down the pike always sucks up to the union bosses Aye Joey? Does Kelly Merrick have any comments on this ???

  3. Wonder what was their main beef? I’m always glad to give my union a few dollars a month in exchange for the privilidge of earning $41 and change an hour AND a superb benefit package AND a defined benefit plan pension which I am enjoying every month as I write this!!

    • The model you were able to retire under is not possible going forward. Look what is happening with the costs of electrical power distribution under IBEW 1547. You can only milk a cow for so much for so long. And there is no other cow.

    • To Slonee: Partially paid for by KID’s Stolen PFD. Union dues used to buy Democrat and RINO Votes.. Your “Kickback, is a Kickback”.

    • Step 1: Pay Union Dues

      Step 2: ?

      Step 3: Get pay and benefits from the actual employer which can be negotiated by the employee directly anyway

      What, exactly, does the union provide for that money? Do they at least support political candidates proportionately, as directly voted on by membership? Or merely candidates who pledge to support the union (bosses) even if the politics are antithetical to the actual membership?

  4. A small step towards fair elections. Do you agree with the candidates and initiatives that your union financed? Unions have evolved way beyond their original intentions and have long controlled the politics of our state, and our entire country as well.That is a far reach from their purpose.

    • Hopefully more will follow.
      I would personally be embarrassed to be represented by a union that supports the demented administration we currently have in place.

  5. Smart move! Unions enslave their members. Union members are told they have a democratic voice, which is rubbish. Only the union bosses have a voice. Pure communism!

    • No one is forcing teachers to join the nea in Alaska. Most teachers that I know never joined. One reason was they didn’t stand with them politically, another reason was the unions overpriced dues forced them away. Any talk I ever had with teachers was along the lines that only the superintendent and the school board can ratify teacher contracts. The nea has no power. If they gave any money to the nea they were throwing it down a well. The nea can’t hold a school district hostage for better pay or any other bargaining items. This is all done with a teacher’s representative and not necessarily a nea member. They sit in on negotiations but ultimately it’s the superintendent and the school board representative that decide what is given or taken away due to budget cuts. The nea is just a political mouthpiece that likes hearing itself bark. Nothing more. You would do good to not give them any more authority than what they don’t have.

    • It would be great for teachers to do away with the unions. Then we can give kids real teachers and not just doctrine education.

  6. Unions are made up of some of the greediest, meanest, most self serving, and violent people I have ever worked around. I’m sure John H will disagree, but that has been my experience. As for the pension, fear not John H, if your masters, as has happened so many times before, steal or destroy your pension, the American tax payer will bail you out. This safety net doe’s not apply to us RATS. No need to thank us John H, we do you this kindness on pain of prison, at gun point.

  7. Like any group or associations, there are bad apples in every bunch. Not all unions are bad, not all unions rob their members, not are unions are politically motivated. To put out a blanked statement about unions is short sighted and defeating.

  8. The Workers didn’t want be fun like a bunch of Commi Slaves, having their hard earned money going to Gender Bender Politics via the Democrat/RINO PARTY, along with Bloated Union Contracts, and STOLEN PFD’s from Every Alaskan Citizen.

  9. Raised 3 children with Union benefits. Enjoying Retirement and Health Insurance. I’ve seen a lot of changes in the Union. Mostly for the worst. Yes I pay monthly dues. Yes I worked for the highest wage with benefits available. Yes I worked some of the biggest projects here and in Lower 48. Never felt like a slave to the Union. Never been told who to vote for. Now with that said ,,,,,, I understand my Dues are being spent to support the Democrats agenda. I understand Fat Union Cats be getting rich. Not much a working man can do. Quit ?? Not an option. Complain ?? Good Luck with that. Labor Unions backed Biden and on Day 1 in the White House he cancelled the Keystone Pipeline. Not a 1 of any Labor Unions spoke up ,,,, and yet they back him again. It would be nice to know what wage and benefit package Spenard offered compared to Union.

  10. I think this is a positive, but there are rascals in the trades who will make things miserable for Spenard Builders with particular focus on vandalizing the goods that come out of those shops. Assuming these are truss fabricating sites, it’s pretty easy to sabotage a few trusses and point the finger of blame at the manufacturer. Eventually, it will come out in the wash, but damage will be done, someone will be hurt, and it will be attributed to the nefarious actions of some who think they are better just because they have a patch on their chest or shoulder.

    It works for some; it never worked for me, so I left one (public sector) in 1989 and never looked back.

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