Del Rio, Eagle Pass Frito-Lay Salesmen Boot the Teamsters, Proving not Everyone Wants to be in a Union

Paul Sakuma

Frito-Lay, headquartered in Plano, TX, recently announced it is expanding its manufacturing facilities in the State:

Frito-Lay will invest $200 million to expand a Texas manufacturing plant and ramp up production of Funyuns and tortilla chips.

The Plano-based snack maker expects to create 160 new jobs in Rosenberg, a Houston-area suburb, when the project is completed by 2023.

The ability to create jobs is one of the reasons why companies choose Texas. Another reason? Big Labor does not have a stranglehold in government and industry the way it does in Blue States.

Case in point, this Frito-Lay’s divisions in Del Rio and Eagle Pass, TX decided they didn’t want to be a part of the Teamsters, so, like Amazon in Bessemer, AL, they voted against their representation.

From the National Right to Work press release:

Salesmen for Frito Lay in Del Rio and Eagle Pass, Texas have successfully removed officials of Teamsters Local 657 from their workplace. On May 13, 2021, John Adams filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a decertification election, and gathered enough of his coworkers’ signatures to trigger an NLRB-supervised vote to remove the union from his workplace. He received free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation in exercising his right to have the vote conducted by the NLRB.

The workers at both facilities voted on June 3. In the NLRB tally of ballots, Teamsters union officials failed to gain the support of a majority of the salesmen voting. On June 11 the NLRB certified the results of the decertification election and announced that Teamsters bosses no longer have the monopoly authority to impose their “representation” on the Frito Lay salesmen.

This belies the rallying cry of Labor organizers and leaders that in order for America to bounce back from the pandemic and to “Build Back Better”, everyone must be in a union. AFL-CIO Secretary Liz Shuler, in a feverish effort to push the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, wrote an op-ed in the Detroit News, to trumpet the benefits of Union membership. This op-ed was co-authored by Vice President Kamala Harris, proving this administration’s commitment to the organizations that helped to get them elected. .

Our economy won’t recover until the pandemic is under control — but stopping COVID-19 and returning to the status quo isn’t good enough for American workers. We need to build back better. We need to create more jobs by investing in the industries that make our economy strong, including infrastructure, clean energy, manufacturing and care work — and embed racial justice into the core of our agenda, so our economy at last works for everyone. That will be the priority under a Biden-Harris administration.

Building back better starts with one word: unions. According to the Economic Policy Institute, workers earn 11.2% more income when they are represented by a union, compared to their non-unionized peers in the same industries. That wage benefit is even more significant for workers of color. Black union members are paid almost 14% more, and Latinos are paid 20% more, than equivalent workers who don’t have the benefit of a union fighting for them.

And unions raise wages and benefits for all workers, not just their members.

Those of us who have been decimated by AB5 in California would beg to differ about unions raising wages and benefits. More like destroying industries and livelihoods. This agenda-driven union blather may be part of the reason why the Del Rio and Eagle Pass sales employees categorically rejected a union in their workplace.

Texas is a Right to Work state, so that also worked in the plaintiffs’ favor. However, Big Labor uses deceptive and diversionary tactics to delay these types of votes, dragging them out in order to discourage the resistance.

Thanks to National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) revised rules implemented during the Trump administration, the union blocking tactics were mitigated, and the vote was able to happen in a timely manner.

[Plaintiff John] Adams was able to remove the union less than a month after filing his petition in part because of NLRB reforms finalized in 2020 limiting union tactics previously used to delay or block workers from exercising their right to vote out an unwanted union. Before the change, union lawyers could file so-called “blocking charges” to stall a vote union officials expected to lose. These “charges” were often unproven allegations against the employer used as pretense to hold up an election, even when the charges had nothing to do with the employees’ dissatisfaction with the union.

In July 2020, new NLRB rules went into effect limiting the use of “blocking charges,” and making other changes to enforce workers’ right not to be trapped in union ranks when the union lacks the support of a majority of workers. Under the NLRB’s new policy, which draws extensively on comments the National Right to Work Foundation filed, union charges cannot indefinitely stall employee votes. In most cases workers can remove an unwanted union without delay.

“Even in a Right to Work state like Texas, a union can negotiate for workers without their permission thanks to federally-granted monopoly bargaining powers,” said National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation President Mark Mix. “Thanks to the Foundation-backed rulemaking curtailing union bosses’ ability to block workers from removing a union they oppose, votes like the one Mr. Adams and his colleagues held to boot the Teamsters from their place of work cannot so easily be derailed by unproven union allegations.”

“We will continue to work towards a day when unions can’t impose their so-called ‘representation’ on individual workers against their will,” added Mix.

As I reported a few months ago, the Biden administration is doing all it can to roll back NLRB rules that do not benefit Labor and its leaders, and may have illegally fired the former NLRB general counsel to see this done. On top of installing active union organizers in his cabinet, Biden is demanding passage of the PRO Act, even going so far as putting provisions in the Act into the Infrastructure Bill.  Biden, Harris, and Union shills like Liz Shuler know that its passage would not only destroy any person’s ability to divest themselves from a union, but corporations would be required to have all of their employees under a union banner. Janus provisions and Right to Work would be flushed with the passage of this Act.

The Right to Work Foundation is not only working to ensure the PRO Act dies on the Senate floor, but they represent any person who wishes to divest themselves of union thuggery and overreach.

“We will continue to work towards a day when unions can’t impose their so-called ‘representation’ on individual workers against their will,” added Mix.