Penske Truck Rental Employees in Nashville, Minneapolis Hold Monumental Votes to Oust Union


Workers at Penske Truck Rental in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Nashville, Tennessee, voted earlier this month to oust the International Association of Machinists union from power over their employees.

Penske Truck Rental staff members in Minnesota voted 26-7 on May 1 in favor of the union’s removal, while their counterparts in Tennessee voted 15-8 for the same on May 8, according to a report from The Center Square.

The vote comes weeks after Penske Truck Rental employees Kyle Fulkerson of Minneapolis and David Saylor of Nashville filed petitions to the National Labor Relations Board for the union’s removal.

The National Labor Relations Board enforces federal labor law, particularly in matters regarding unions and worker representation.

The petitions had the requisite 30 percent support to bring about a vote on removing the union.

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“This lopsided vote is a testament to the fact that after having seen the IAM up close and personal in our workplace, my colleagues and I are confident that we are better off without union officials so-called ‘representation,’” Fulkerson said in a statement shared with The Center Square.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation backed the move with pro-bono legal aid, according to a news release from the organization.

“Transportation and trucking employees across the country are realizing that monopoly union control is frequently harmful,” National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix said in the release. “While workers’ right to vote out union bosses they oppose is vital in every state, it’s especially important in forced-dues states like Minnesota, where union bosses can force workers to pay for ‘representation’ they don’t agree with.”

“It’s outrageous this current Administration is intent on paring back this right just to give union officials more tools to expand their coffers and their coercive influence over workers,” Mix continued.

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Penske Truck Rental employees in Minnesota were forced to pay union dues before the vote in order to keep their jobs.

This is because Minnesota does not have right-to-work protections for employees in the private sector.

Tennessee, which has such protections, prohibits the enforcement of any agreement where workers are strong-armed by the union or their employers into union membership and paying union dues.

Union membership has been on a steady decline across the nation for decades, according to a January report from Gallup.

The decline, however, has been propelled by an expansion of non-union jobs with lower worker demand for union membership instead of any change to the absolute number of union members, which, in fact, has risen.

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Using data from the National Labor Relations Board, the National Right to Work Foundation noted that from 2020 onward, petitions to decertify unions have spiked by more than 40 percent.

“To resist this trend, the Biden NLRB is attempting to make it substantially more difficult for workers to decertify unions, and could soon issue a final rule invalidating the Election Protection Rule,” the organization said. “The Election Protection Rule is a policy that contains multiple important safeguards regarding employees’ right to decertify unions they oppose.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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