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Westerly, RI Part-time Police Officers Challenge Retaliation, Termination for Exposing Scheme to Divert $5/Hour to Union

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Westerly, RI Part-time Police Officers Challenge Retaliation, Termination for Exposing Scheme to Divert $5/Hour to Union

Two Federal Civil Rights lawsuits filed against the town and police union after officers were threatened for questioning why 13% of paycheck was being sent to union

Westerly, Rhode Island (July 28, 2015) – Five part-time police officers in Westerly, RI have filed a Civil Rights lawsuit against the Town of Westerly, several town officials, and International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local 503 (Local 503) in U.S. District Court. The plaintiffs are receiving free legal aid from the National Right to Work Foundation.

Thomas Cimalore, Anthony Falcone, Scott Ferrigno, Darrell Koza, and Raymond Morrone, brought the suit and seek declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief because a portion of every paycheck (at a rate of $5 an hour) is being confiscated by the town and paid directly to Local 503.

The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiffs’ First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights (and other state labor and whistle blower protection statues) are violated when they are forced, as a condition of employment, to financially support Local 503 despite never authorizing or requesting that the town withhold a portion of their paycheck and distribute those funds to Local 503. 

Michigan Hospital Employees Win Settlement After SEIU Union Bosses Blocked Workers from Exercising Right to Work

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Michigan Hospital Employees Win Settlement After SEIU Union Bosses Blocked Workers from Exercising Right to Work

Union bosses ignored Michigan’s Right to Work law and continued to collect forced dues from seven Mercy Memorial Hospital workers

Monroe, Michigan (July 23, 2015) – Seven workers at Mercy Memorial Hospital in Monroe, MI have won a settlement from Service Employees International Union Local 79 (SEIU) in a case challenging SEIU officials’ failure to obey Michigan’s new Right to Work law and accept the workers’ revocation of a union dues checkoff scheme.

James McGregor, Anna Serra, Mary Sancrainte, Nancy Krueger, Janice Noel, Anna Hoffman, and Susan Harrison, with free legal aid from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against SEIU Local 79 in February of this year.

All seven workers had been members of the union. In late November 2014, the monopoly bargaining agreement between Local 79 and Mercy Memorial Hospital expired. In the weeks just before and after the contract expired, all seven workers resigned union membership and attempted to exercise their new workplace rights under Michigan’s Right to Work law to refrain from paying Local 79 any fees as nonmembers. 

 

Connecticut State Employees Win Settlement Protecting their Right to Refrain from Paying for Union Politics

 

 News Release

Connecticut State Employees Win Settlement Protecting their Right to Refrain from Paying for Union Politics


Class-action settlement also ensures that nonunion employees who objected to subsidizing union politics will receive dues refunds

Hartford, CT (July 17, 2015) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, eight state employees have reached a class-wide settlement with several state officials and the Connecticut State Employee Association (CSEA)/SEIU Local 2001 union that protects their right to opt out of paying dues for union politics. The agreement covers 215 state workers and ensures that employees who resigned from the union and objected to paying dues for union politics but did not have their objections honored will receive refunds pursuant to the terms of the agreement.

In Connecticut and other states without Right to Work laws, employees can be forced to pay union dues or fees to keep their jobs. However, the Foundation-won Supreme Court precedent Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson established that nonunion civil servants are due certain procedural protections of their right to refrain from paying dues or fees for activities unrelated to workplace bargaining, such as union political activism.

Teacher Union Lawyers Threaten Sanctions in Legal Challenge to Contract that Sold Out Teachers for 10 Years of Forced Union Dues

News Release


Teacher Union Lawyers Threaten Sanctions in Legal Challenge to Contract that Sold Out Teachers for 10 Years of Forced Union Dues

National Right to Work Foundation staff attorney attacked for brief calling out contract to circumvent Right to Work protections for teachers in exchange for pay cuts

Taylor, Michigan (July 15, 2015) – Staff attorneys at the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation have responded to a motion for sanctions filed for the American Federation of Teachers Local 1085 union.

The motion for sanctions was filed after the National Right to Work Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief in a case involving Local 1085 in which union bosses have been found to have unlawfully rushed into a 10 year forced-dues “union security” contract with Taylor School District after they offered major concessions, including a 10% pay cut for teachers, in a separate monopoly bargaining agreement.

In December 2012, Michigan workers gained new workplace rights when Michigan passed a Right to Work law. Fearing the loss of their forced-dues funded power, Local 1085 union officials entered into a standalone 10 year compulsory unionism agreement and a separate monopoly bargaining agreement in January 2013, hoping that the forced-dues contract would fall under the “grandfather clause” of Michigan’s Right to Work law, which did not take effect until March 2013.

Golf Channel Workers Cleared for Vote on Removing Union Despite Union Boss Attempts to Block Election

News Release
 

Golf Channel Workers Cleared for Vote on Removing Union Despite Union Boss Attempts to Block Election

IATSE union officials unsuccessfully attempted to use bureaucratic hurdles to have NLRB toss out worker’s petition to remove the union as monopoly bargaining representative

 

Atlanta, GA (July 8, 2015) – Workers at the Golf Channel will get to vote on whether or not to remove the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) union as the monopoly bargaining representative for technicians who produce golf tournaments and other programming for the channel, which is part of NBCUniversal and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA). With free legal aid from the National Right to Work Foundation, Golf Channel employee John Gallagher filed a petition requesting a decertification election with the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) regional office in Atlanta, and the petition was granted on July 6 after a two day hearing demanded by union officials.

Gallagher collected the necessary number of signatures from his fellow employees, and filed the petition on June 12th. IATSE union bosses responded by demanding a hearing to try to block the vote from taking place, and asked the NLRB to dismiss the petition on technical procedural grounds. According to the union claims, Gallagher’s petition was tainted because he failed to submit a “Statement of Position form” and a “statement of procedures form” as required by the NLRB’s new convoluted “ambush” election rules that took effect in mid-April.

However, the NLRB Regional Director sided with Gallagher, and agreed that it was a technical oversight, because the union suffered no harm when it did not receive the two forms from Gallagher, but it did receive them from the Region. Thus, Gallagher’s petition was deemed valid.  

 

NRTW Foundation Attorneys Respond to Union Attempt to Silence Pro-Right to Work Employees

On May 12, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief defending Wisconsin's recently-enacted Right to Work law on behalf or four Wisconsin workers. The brief was filed in response to an International Association of Machinists (IAM) union lawsuit challenging the Badger State's recent labor reforms in Dane County Circuit Court.

However, IAM union lawyers are now asking the court not to accept the brief. Responding to this union attempt to silence the viewpoints of pro-Right to Work employees, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty have now filed another brief with the Court, this time rebutting the IAM's attempt to keep the four Wisconsin workers from defending their Right to Work law.   


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