Persuaded by Nat’l Right to Work Legal Def. Fdn. attorneys, the General Counsel of the Nat’l Labor Relations Bd. has ordered its investigators to reconsider their dismissal of unfair labor practice charges filed by actor Barry Williams against the Actors Equity Ass’n (AEA). The former “Brady Bunch” star faces confiscatory union fines for exercising his right to work on a non-union production.
NLRB General Counsel Arthur Rosenfeld remanded the case back to the N.Y. Reg’l Office because it dismissed Williams’ June 2001 charges without conducting an adequate investigation. Inexplicably, the N.Y. office investigators had refused to interview key witnesses and collect key evidence. NRWLDF argued that the $30,000 fine levied against Williams for exercising his right to work in a production that did not force employees to work under union contract is excessive and without justification, since Williams was not a voluntary member of the union.
AEA bosses had organized nationwide pickets of “The Sound of Music” in which union militants chanted, held up signs, and handed out fliers personally attacking Williams. In their latest attempt to publicly embarrass Williams, union officials are offering to slightly reduce the amount of their exorbitant fine if Williams apologizes for working in a non-Equity production of “The Sound of Music.” Williams says he should not have to issue an apology for exercising his rights.
“It is the union’s officers who should issue an apology–to Barry Williams for this vicious harassment,” charged NRWLDF’s Stefan Gleason.
NRWLDF is demanding that the NLRB’s N.Y. Reg’l Director conduct a thorough investigation and issue a complaint to establish that AEA is attempting to fine someone who is not a voluntary union member, and that the fine levied against Williams was levied for post resignation conduct. [NRWLDF 1/29/02]