ASSA ABLOY Employee Alleges Union Instigated Firing

June 22nd, 2023 by Joshua Huff

No sooner did ASSA ABLOY turn the page on legal proceedings over its acquisition of Spectrum Brands’ Hardware and Home Improvement division (HHI) than it could be headed back to court. An employee of the company’s Entrance Systems division has filed charges against the manufacturer and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 441. Court documents state that the employee, Jaime Zambrano, alleges union bosses urged ASSA ABLOY management to fire him after he failed to fill out a union membership form.

The charges were filed at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region 21 in Los Angeles in early June. The charges were amended on June 14, 2023. Zambrano is represented by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. According to the court documents, Zambrano seeks “his immediate reinstatement.”

“IBEW union officials are playing outrageous games with Mr. Zambrano’s livelihood and potentially the livelihoods of many other workers who simply don’t want to affiliate with the IBEW,” says Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Getting a worker thrown off a job merely for refusal to join a union is a violation of black letter federal labor law–union officials who can’t get workers to join voluntarily certainly shouldn’t be able to compel such membership by threatening to upend the careers of those who dissent from the union.”

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and Zambrano claim that despite paying the required union dues to stay employed, ASSA ABLOY management terminated him in May 2023, at the urging of IBEW Local 441 officials, after he failed to fill out a union membership form. Zambrano argues that no timeline was given to complete and return the form.

Officials from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation say that while union officials possess the authority to terminate workers who refuse to pay union dues or fees, the law prohibits union officials from making employment contingent upon formal union membership, even in states that are not governed by right to work provisions, such as California.

Zambrano’s defense team argues that while firing a worker for refraining from union membership is a clear infringement of federal labor law, the charges also state that union officials failing to provide Zambrano with a timeline of when the form should be completed was a “failure to comply with the requirements of Philadelphia Sheraton.” The Philadelphia Sheraton is an NLRB case requiring union officials to inform workers of their obligations.

This article is from Door and Window Market [DWM] magazine's free e-newsletter that covers the latest door and window industry news. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to [DWM] magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave Comment