Union’s Employee Fired for Unionizing Co-workers

Written by Robert G. Brody on May 12, 2011

How’s this for irony?  An employee of a union was recently fired for trying to unionize his co-workers. 

David Highnote worked for the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), an AFL-CIO affiliated union.  Highnote wanted to organize the ATU’s professional staff, and begun a union campaign with the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild.  Shortly after his  efforts began, Highnote began receiving threats from senior executives, saying the President of the union was aware of Highnote’s actions and if they found out that Highnote was discussing working conditions with his coworkers, he would be fired.  Highnote was fired a few weeks later.  The union claimed they were restructuring, but a replacement for Highnote was hired two days after his termination.   

Highnote filed an unfair labor practice with the National Labor Relations Board claiming the ATU unlawfully discharged him because of his union activities.  This charge follows recent serious allegations of corruption and intimidation on the part of the ATU’s newly elected president. 

This ironic situation serves as a reminder to employers that unions still employ the bullying tactics they were famous for decades ago.  It also reminds us that retaliation for unionization efforts is still against the law – even when unions are the perpetrators.  Brody and Associates regularly advises its clients on union-related matters and provides union-free training.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.965.0560.

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About the Authors

Robert G. Brody is the founding member of Brody and Associates, LLC. He has been quoted and published in national publications and appears as a guest T.V. commentator on contemporary Labor and Employment issues. Learn More