Labor Loss: LA company workers force out Teamsters Union

Workers who forced out union benefitted from free legal assistance from National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

Updated: October 25, 2021 - 10:28pm

Employees at Los Angeles-based XPO Logistics have successfully removed the Teamsters Union Local 63 from their workplace by requesting a vote for removal, which forced the Teamsters to back down and disclaim their interest in continuing control over the workers.

Ozvaldo Gutierrez and his coworkers at XPO Logistics’ Fashion District-area facility benefitted from free legal assistance from National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

In August, Gutierrez and his coworkers filed a petition with the NRLB to decertify Teamsters Local 63 and remove them from their workplace. With enough employee support to force a vote for removal, Teamsters officials used a procedural move to try and block it, claiming a March 2020 settlement prevented an election from taking place.

The Regional Director of NLRB Region 21 in Los Angeles issued a decision on Oct. 6, agreeing with the Foundation, and ordered that Gutierrez’s requested vote go forward. It stated, “a reasonable period has elapsed and that the settlement does not bar the processing of the instant petition.”

The employee vote was scheduled for October 21. Three days ahead of the vote, on October 18, Teamsters Local 63 officials announced they were leaving the facility. The NLRB revoked the union’s certification the next day.

“We are happy that Mr. Gutierrez and his coworkers are finally free from unwanted Teamsters ‘representation’ and that we were able to help him and his coworkers defend their rights,” National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix said in a statement. “However, workers should not have to obtain legal aid and endure months or even years of litigation just to exercise their right to dispense with unpopular union bosses. The flurry of similar cases involving Teamsters officials around Southern California is a growing cause for concern.”

The Teamsters Local 63 departure from XPO came after other successful Foundation-backed challenges. Long Beach-area Savage Services employee Nelson Medina filed federal charges several weeks ago against Teamsters Local 848. He argued union bosses threatened to have him fired for refusing to join the union and pay fees demanded by union officials. Medina asserts that union officials engaged in illegal ballot harvesting to gain power in his workplace.

Last month, in Ventura, Teamsters Local 848 bosses were forced to depart Airgas worker Angel Herrera’s workplace after workers filed a petition for an NLRB-administered vote to remove the union from their workplace. They had been involved in litigation against Local 848 since 2020, having filed at least two different majority-backed employee petitions seeking the end of Local 848’s monopoly bargaining power.