Forced Unionism 

Michels Corp. Construction Worker Wins Thousands in Settlement from Company & Union After Illegal Firing

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Michels Corp. Construction Worker Wins Thousands in Settlement from Company & Union After Illegal Firing

Case underscores needs for Right to Work protections

Colorado Springs, CO (January 14, 2015) – A former Michels Corporation construction worker in Colorado has won a settlement from a Brownsville, Wisconsin-based company and a Colorado-based union for violating his rights and illegally firing him.

The settlement comes after Paul Castle of Fountain filed federal unfair labor practice charges with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

Shortly after Michels hired Castle in August, Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 578 officials demanded he become a full dues-paying union member. Because Colorado does not have Right to Work protections for workers, workers can be forced to pay union fees as a condition of employment. However, the U.S. Supreme Court held in the Foundation-won Communication Workers v. Beck case that nonmember workers cannot be compelled to pay the portion of union dues used for the union's political and member-only activities.

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Union Employee Files Federal Charge Against Another Local Union for Violating Her Rights

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Union Employee Files Federal Charge Against Another Local Union for Violating Her Rights

Case underscores needs for Right to Work protections

San Diego, CA (December 23, 2014) – An employee of a local union has filed a federal charge against another local union for threatening her with job termination after she tried to exercise her right to refrain from union membership and full dues payments.

With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, Karen Gomez of San Diego filed the unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Gomez, an employee of the UNITE HERE Local 30 union, mailed a letter to the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 537 notifying the union hierarchy that she was exercising her right to refrain from formal union membership.

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Indiana Supreme Court Strikes Down Third Union Boss Challenge to State Right to Work Law

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Indiana Supreme Court Strikes Down Third Union Boss Challenge to State Right to Work Law

Hoosier workers contested spurious union challenge

Indianapolis, IN (December 17, 2014) – The Indiana Supreme Court today once again rejected a union boss-backed challenge to Indiana's 2012 Right to Work law. The case is a lawsuit filed by the United Steelworker (USW) union that makes a number of dubious claims in its challenge to the law, including the argument that unions have a right to force workers to pay for their unwanted services.

The Indiana Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s ruling. Early last month, the court also upheld the law as constitutional in a different case involving the same issues. And a broader challenge was rejected in September by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

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SEIU Officials, Santa Clara County Face Class-Action Lawsuit for Violating Employees' Rights

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SEIU Officials, Santa Clara County Face Class-Action Lawsuit for Violating Employees' Rights

Relying on landmark Knox Supreme Court decision, county employees seek to end automatic dues deduction for union politics

San Jose, CA (December 3, 2014) – Two Santa Clara Valley Medical Center employees have filed a federal class-action lawsuit against a local union and the county that seeks to expand public employees' right to refrain from paying union dues used for union politics.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation-provided staff attorneys, San Jose-area county employees Jeffrey Lum and Andrew Li filed the lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California's San Jose Division.

Lum and Li are not formal union members in the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 521. Because California does not have a Right to Work law, workers can be required to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. However, nonmember workers have the right to refrain from paying for union boss politics and many other activities not related to bargaining with their employer.

Although Lum and Li are not union members, SEIU and county officials continue to deduct an amount equal to full union dues from their paychecks as if they were.

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Local Union and Food Service Contractor Face Federal Prosecution for Workers' Rights Violations

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Local Union and Food Service Contractor Face Federal Prosecution for Workers' Rights Violations

Company and union officials obstruct workers from exercising rights to refrain from union membership and dues payments

Fort Leonard Wood, MO (November 7, 2014) – A local government union and an Overland Park, Kansas-based food services company are facing a federal prosecution for violating Fort Leonard Wood food service workers' rights.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) prosecution comes in the wake of federal charges filed by two workers with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

Because Missouri does not have Right to Work protections for workers, workers can be required to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. However, under Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court precedent, nonmember workers can refrain from paying for union boss politics and many other activities.

Kimsha Rosensteel, an 11-year employee with food services provider EDP Enterprises, Inc, was president of the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) Local R14-139 union for about one and a half years. While she was union president, Rosensteel discovered that the union was failing to follow federal disclosure requirements designed to better inform workers about their rights to refrain from full-dues-paying union membership.

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Right to Work Foundation Announces Offer of Free Legal Aid to Alabama Mercedes-Benz Employees

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Right to Work Foundation Announces Offer of Free Legal Aid to Alabama Mercedes-Benz Employees

Unions collude to force workers into union ranks

Springfield, VA (October 3, 2014) – Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation, has issued the following statement in response to recent media reports regarding United Auto Workers (UAW) union bosses' latest push to unionize Mercedes-Benz workers at the Vance, Alabama plant:

"Recent media reports suggest that UAW union officials are joining forces with foreign union bosses to unionize Mercedes-Benz employees in Alabama.

"The National Right to Work Foundation has seen again and again the UAW union hierarchy cut backroom deals with outside union groups, and even companies, that are designed to push workers into union ranks whether the employees like it or not, most recently in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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Ohio Teachers Win Class-Action Settlement to Halt Compulsory Union Dues for Political Activism

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Ohio Teachers Win Class-Action Settlement to Halt Compulsory Union Dues for Political Activism

Ohio teacher union bosses forced to refund dues and fees illegally used for union electioneering to over 2,000 teachers

Columbus, OH (September 11, 2014) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, 14 public school teachers across the state have won a federal class-action settlement against the Ohio Education Association (OEA) and 11 of its regional and local affiliates for violating their rights.

The settlement is in a class-action lawsuit the group filed in 2011 after the OEA union unlawfully overcharged the teachers -- who have refrained from full-dues-paying union membership -- for union "fees" taken from their paychecks. The union hierarchy charged the teachers for costs supporting the union's political activism and electioneering.

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Local Security Guards Win Federal Settlement to End Illegal Forced Union Dues Payments

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Local Security Guards Win Federal Settlement to End Illegal Forced Union Dues Payments

Case underscores need for Maryland Right to Work law

White Oak, MD (September 9, 2014) – Four local Coastal International Security, Inc. security guards have won a federal settlement from a local union and their employer for illegally forcing them into paying union dues and fees.

The settlement comes in the wake of federal charges filed by the security guards with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

In December, Coastal security guard Karif King, who has been employed by Coastal International since 2008, and his coworkers voted to deauthorize the "Union Rights for Security Officers" union, thus revoking the union's power to force nonmember workers into forced dues payments. Federal law requires that union officials cease forcing nonmember workers into forced dues payments upon request if a majority of workers vote to deauthorize the union's forced dues powers.

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Judge Strikes Down Michigan Teacher Union's Illegal "Window Period" Scheme

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Judge Strikes Down Michigan Teacher Union's Illegal "Window Period" Scheme

Michigan union officials stonewall workers' attempts to exercise their rights under Michigan's Right to Work law

Lansing, MI (September 4, 2014) – A Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) judge has struck down the Michigan Education Association (MEA) union hierarchy's scheme to prohibit public school teachers and employees from exercising their rights to refrain from union membership.

The ruling stems from state charges filed by Mark Norgan, a Standish-Sterling Community Schools janitor, Alphia Snyder, a Battle Creek Public Schools secretary, and Mary Carr, a Grand Blanc Community Schools special education department secretary, with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

The charges challenged MEA's policy of requiring workers to resign union membership and refrain from union dues payments only during a "window period" of August 1 through August 31.

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Ford Employee Slaps UAW & Company with Federal Charges for Illegal Dues Deductions

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Ford Employee Slaps UAW & Company with Federal Charges for Illegal Dues Deductions

Despite a worker's repeated requests, company and union officials continue to collect full union dues from his paychecks

Dearborn, MI (August 20, 2014) – A Dearborn-area Ford Motor Company worker has filed federal charges against the United Auto Workers (UAW) union and the company for violating his rights.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Todd Lemire, a 16-year Dearborn Tool & Die plant worker, filed the charges last week with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

On April 7, 2014, Lemire sent a letter to Ford Motor and UAW union officials exercising his statutory rights to resign his union membership and refrain from full union dues. Under Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court precedent, nonmember workers can refrain from paying for union boss politics and members-only events.

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