National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation

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The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation or NRTWLDF (legally registered as the National Right to Work Legal Defense & Education Foundation Inc.) is an non-profit 501(c)3 organization that launches legal actions against labor organizations. Its mission is to "eliminate coercive union power and compulsory unionism abuses through strategic litigation, public information, and education programs."[1]

The Foundation works together with the National Right to Work Committee, which lobbies for anti-union legislation. The NRTWLDF was founded in 1968. They say: "The National Right to Work Committee was then active in Congress and state legislatures...but it was not structured to give legal aid. So by 1968, the time had come...rather than working in the legislative arena, such an organization could fight through the court system." [2]

Koch Wiki

The Koch brothers -- David and Charles -- are the right-wing billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on the Kochs include: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity, American Encore, and Freedom Partners.

Ties to the Koch Brothers

Mark Mix, the Foundation's president, attended the June 2010 Koch Strategy Group Meeting. He spoke on a panel entitled "Mobilizing Citizens for November" along with Koch operative Sean Noble, Karl Crow of Themis, and Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity.[3]

Notable Supreme Court Cases

Other Cases

As of February 2014, the Foundation's 11 staff attorneys and network of hundreds of local attorneys nationwide were involved in nearly 300 legal actions nationwide in courts and administrative agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board.[6]

In March 2014, Foundation attorneys sued Volkswagen and the United Auto Workers in federal court in Chattanooga, Tennessee, alleging that VW violated the Labor Management Relations Act by providing "things of value" to UAW before an unsuccessful unionization vote.[7] The UAW challenged the results of the election with the NLRB, requesting a new election, and the Foundation is seeking an injunction to prevent VW from holding mandatory employee meetings about the election if there is another vote.[8]


According to its 2012 IRS Form 990, the NRTWLDF had $8.5 million in revenue, $6.1 million in expenses, and year end assets of $16.9 million.[9] It reported spending $3.5 million on providing "legal assistance to workers suffering from abuses of compulsory unionism in hundreds of cases nationwide." Contributions are tax deductible but the organization does not disclose its donors.

The Foundation received 85 grants totaling $4.54 million from conservative foundations between 1991 and 2005, including the Castle Rock Foundation, John M. Olin Foundation, Inc., and the Walton Family Foundation, according to Media Transparency.[10]


Leadership Team

As of August 2014:

Board of Trustees

As of August 2014:

Former Trustees:

Contact Information

National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation
8001 Braddock Road
Springfield, Virginia 22160
Phone: (703) 321-8510 and (800) 336-3600
Fax: (703) 321-9613

Articles & Resources


  1. National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, "About," organization website, accessed May 6, 2014.
  2. "A Brief History of the Foundation", National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, accessed October 2007.
  3. Think Progress, "Secret Koch Meeting Documents," organization website, accessed May 8, 2014.
  4. Amanda Becker, "U.S. justices wary of free-speech argument in union dues challenge," Reuters, January 21, 2014.
  5. Joel Rogers, "Why ‘Harris v. Quinn’ Has Labor Very, Very Nervous," The Nation, March 27, 2014.
  6. Gregory Heires, "Public-Employee Unions Targeted in Right-wing Case before the Supreme Court," The New Crossroads, February 3, 2014.
  7. Amanda Becker, "Anti-union workers sue Volkswagen, UAW over Tennessee plant," Reuters, March 13, 2014.
  8. Brent Snavely, "Anti-union group files federal lawsuit against UAW and Volkswagen," Detroit Free Press, March 13, 2014.
  9. GuideStar, "2012 Form 990," organization website, May 6, 2014.
  10. Gregory Heires, "Public-Employee Unions Targeted in Right-wing Case before the Supreme Court," The New Crossroads, February 3, 2014.
  11. GuideStar, "2013 Form 990," organization website, August 12, 2014.

External links