Illegal Forced Dues and Money for Politics 

News Release

Disney Company Driver Files Federal Charge Against Teamsters Union Officials for Ignoring His Rights

Workers' rights do not magically disappear in "The Most Magical Place on Earth"

Lake Buena Vista, FL (October 20, 2014) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a Walt Disney Company driver has filed federal charges against a local Teamsters union and the company for violating his rights.

Lakeland resident Mike Silva filed the unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Teamsters Local 385 and Walt Disney for ignoring his right to refrain from paying union dues. Under Florida's popular Right to Work law, no worker can be required to join or pay fees to a union as a condition of employment.

Silva, who refrains from union membership, sent two letters to Teamsters Local 385 union officials in August requesting a copy of his dues deduction authorization – a document used by union officials to automatically collect dues from workers' paychecks. The union officials ignored both letters. Then on September 10, Silva sent Local 385 officials a letter revoking his dues deduction authorization. This letter also got no response.

On September 30, Silva attempted to deliver a copy of the revocation letter to Walt Disney's Human Resources Department. A Human Resources representative told Silva he could not deliver his letter in person and indicated that she would probably throw away the letter if she received it.

Despite Silva's repeated efforts to exercise his right to refrain from union dues payments, Walt Disney continues to confiscate full union dues from his paychecks at Teamsters Local 385 union officials' behest.

Last month, another Walt Disney worker filed a federal charge against Teamsters Local 385 for ignoring his right to refrain from paying union dues.

"Teamster union bosses are refusing to honor workers' legally-protected right to cut off union dues," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "To Teamsters union bosses’ chagrin, federal and state statutory protections for workers still apply in the so-called Magic Kingdom."

The charge will be investigated by the NLRB regional office in Tampa.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Hospital Employees File Second Round of Federal Charges against IUOE Officials for Refusing to Provide Financial Disclosure

Union officials failed to provide nonunion workers with necessary information about the calculation of forced union fees

Springfield, OR (October 14, 2014) – With the help of National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, several PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center employee have filed another round of federal charges against International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 701 for failing to provide adequate financial disclosure about the amount of union dues they are forced to pay as a condition of employment.

In January 2014, Rick Wirtz, John Bykerk, and several other Sacred Heart employees sent letters to the union affirming their nonmember status and objecting to the payment of full union dues. Because Oregon lacks a Right to Work law, nonunion employees can be required to pay union fees for workplace bargaining, but they cannot be forced to contribute to activities unrelated to that purpose, such as union political spending, lobbying and members-only events.

Union officials belatedly responded to the employees’ letters in August 2014. Although they offered to reduce the workers’ dues by 13%, IUOE officials included no information about how they arrived at that figure. Under federal labor law, unions are obligated to provide an independently-audited breakdown of their financial expenditures to help nonunion employees determine what dues they are required to pay and to decide whether to challenge the calculation.

According to union officials, Sacred Heart employees could only obtain a financial breakdown if they made an appointment at the union’s office, which is a two hour drive from their homes.

After the first round of unfair labor practice charges were filed in September 2014, union officials finally sent the objecting employees an audit of the local’s expenditures. However, they provided no information about the expenditures of the union’s national affiliates. Moreover, the audit revealed that nonunion employees were being charged for “death benefits,” which are only available to full union members.

The charges will now be investigated by the National Labor Relations Board, a federal agency responsible for administering private sector labor law.

“When Mr. Wirtz and his co-workers asked for information they’re entitled to under federal law, union officials responded with obstruction, obfuscation, and delay,” said Patrick Semmens, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Clearly, the union’s top priority is extracting as much money as possible from nonunion employees.”

“We hope the NLRB will promptly intervene to protect Sacred Heart employees’ workplace rights,” continued Semmens. “However, this type of abuse will persist until Oregon adopts a Right to Work law, which would make union membership and dues payments strictly voluntary.”

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Obama Labor Board Issues Ruling to Keep Workers in the Dark after Sitting on Case for Over Six Years

Obama NLRB once again ignores federal court precedent to benefit union bosses

Washington, DC (September 24, 2014) – After sitting on a case for more than six years, President Obama's National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) faces federal court scrutiny once again after it issued a ruling that denies long-held federal protections for workers and allows union bosses to keep workers in the dark about their rights.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a former Crawfordsville, Indiana Kroger worker on September 22 asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review the NLRB's decision in her case.

In December 2004, Kroger hired Laura Sands. The next month, United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union Local 700 officials sent Sands a membership application that failed to inform her of the percentage free reduction she would receive if she did not join the union and objected to paying for union activities unrelated to workplace bargaining.

In the Foundation-won Communications Workers v. Beck case, the U.S. Supreme Court held that workers have the right to refrain from paying for union political and members-only activities. Under federal labor case law, union officials must also provide workers with an independently-audited financial breakdown of all forced-dues union expenditures before they exercise their rights to refrain from union membership. This procedural safeguard helps inform workers of how their forced union dues are being spent and enables them to decide intelligently whether to refrain from membership and object to paying full dues.

After Sands challenged the UFCW Local 700 union officials' policy of keeping workers in the dark about their rights, her case was appealed in 2008 to the NLRB in Washington, DC. The NLRB then failed to issue a ruling in the case for more than six years.

Sands filed a petition at the DC Court of Appeals asking the court to force the NLRB to act. The court ordered the NLRB to file a brief and even scheduled oral argument on the petition. However, before the argument could be held, the NLRB issued a ruling rubberstamping the UFCW's illegal policy.

The Board's ruling flies in the face of longstanding precedent set by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. The Board's ruling also comes on the heels of a federal court ruling in Pittsburgh in which the judge stated in his decision that the agency's conduct in that case "arguably moves the NLRB from its investigatory function and enforcer of labor law, to serving as the litigation arm of the Union, and a co-participant in the ongoing organization effort of the Union."

"Once again the Obama Labor Board has trampled on workers' rights to bolster union bosses' forced dues powers," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "The Obama NLRB is flaunting long-held court precedent to further expand its legacy as a taxpayer-funded arm for union compulsion."

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Grocery Union Bosses Face Federal Charge for Violating Kroger Workers' Rights, Ignoring Right to Work Protections

UFCW bosses stonewall Fort Wayne grocery workers' attempts to cut off forced dues confiscations

Fort Wayne, IN (September 24, 2014) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, two Fort Wayne Kroger workers filed a federal charge Monday against a local grocery union for violating their rights.

Eleanor Haynes and Barbara Peter filed the unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union Local 700 for ignoring their right to refrain from paying union dues.

Haynes and Peter resigned from the union and revoked their dues deduction authorizations -- a document used by union officials to automatically collect dues from workers' paychecks -- effective with the expiration of the union's contract with their employer. Under federal labor law, workers can unconditionally revoke their dues deduction authorizations when a contract between the union and their employer terminates.

Under Indiana's popular Right to Work law, no worker can be required to join or pay any money to a union.

Despite the workers' efforts to exercise their rights, UFCW Local 700 union officials continue to confiscate union dues payments from their paychecks.

"These two Kroger workers followed all necessary procedures to exercise their legally-protected right to resign their union membership and cut off union dues," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "This case underscores just how important Indiana's Right to Work law is for workers who want nothing to do with scofflaw union bosses."

The charge will be investigated by the NLRB regional office in Indianapolis.

Twenty-four states have Right to Work protections for private-sector workers. Public polling shows that nearly 80 percent of Americans and union members support the Right to Work principle of voluntary unionism.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Disney World Worker Files Federal Charge Against Teamsters Union Officials for Ignoring His Rights

Workers' rights do not magically disappear in "The Most Magical Place on Earth"

Lake Buena Vista, FL (September 16, 2014) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a Walt Disney World worker filed a federal charge Monday against a local union for violating his rights.

Winter Garden resident Hector Santana-Quintana filed the unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Teamsters Local 385 for ignoring his right to refrain from paying union dues.

On June 1, 2014, Santana-Quintana resigned from the union and revoked his dues deduction authorization – a document used by union officials to automatically collect dues from workers' paychecks – while the union did not have a contract at his workplace.

Under Florida's popular Right to Work law, no worker can be required to join or pay any money to a union. Under federal labor law, workers can unconditionally revoke their dues deduction authorizations once a contract between the union and their employer terminates.

Despite Santana-Quintana's efforts to exercise his rights, Teamster Local 385 union officials continue to confiscate full union dues payments from his paychecks.

"Teamster union bosses are refusing to honor this worker's legally-protected right to resign his union membership and cut off union dues," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "To Teamster union bosses' chagrin, federal and state statutory protections for workers still apply in the so-called 'Magic Kingdom'."

The charge will be investigated by the NLRB regional office in Tampa.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

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. Per Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court precedent in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, nonmember teachers cannot be forced to pay dues or fees for union boss politics and other non-bargaining activities under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Additionally, the OEA union's regional affiliates were collecting compulsory fees from non-members without providing the kind of independently-audited financial statements required by law. In the Foundation-won Supreme Court ruling in Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson, the High Court ruled that public employees must be notified how their forced union dues are spent to make it less difficult to prevent their dues from going towards union political and member-only expenditures.

The settlement awards more than 2,000 teachers in Ohio nominal damages and/or rebates for union dues illegally-seized from their paychecks during the 2009-2010 to 2012-2013 school years.

"OEA union officials have a long history of abusing teachers' rights in the workplace to fund their political coffers," said Mark Mix, President of National Right to Work Foundation. "We applaud these teachers' commitment to defending their and other Ohio teachers' rights in this case."

"Despite this victory, it's important to remember that the OEA union machine forced nonmembers to pay a large part of the money used to defeat public-sector reforms in the Buckeye State in 2011 -- reforms that would have allowed teachers to opt out of forced dues payments all together," added Mix. "This case underscores the need for Ohio to pass a Right to Work law protecting all of Ohio's workers."

Twenty-four states have Right to Work protections for workers. Public polling shows that nearly 80 percent of Americans and union members support the Right to Work principle of voluntary unionism.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Construction Worker Files Federal Charges Against LIUNA Union and Company for Illegal Firing

Thuggish union boss behavior underscores need for Colorado Right to Work law

Colorado Springs, CO (September 9, 2014) – A former Michels Corporation construction worker has filed federal charges against the company and a local union for violating his rights and illegally firing him for refusing to pay union dues.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Paul Castle of Fountain filed the federal unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Shortly after Michels hired Castle in August 4, 2014, Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 578 union officials demanded he join the union and pay union dues as a condition of his employment.

Because Colorado does not have Right to Work protections for workers, nonmember workers can be forced to pay union fees as a condition of employment. However, because of a Foundation-won Supreme Court precedent, Communication Workers v. Beck, workers cannot be compelled to pay the portion of union dues used for the union's political and member-only activities. Union officials are also legally obligated to inform workers of these rights and to provide workers with an independently verified audit of chargeable and non-chargeable expenses.

Castle alleges that when he notified LIUNA Local 578 union officials that he was refraining from union membership and full dues payments, union officials stated that they would not comply with the procedural requirements established under Beck. Furthermore, union officials refused Castle's good faith efforts to pay the union for dues they claimed he owed.

On August 19, union officials sent a letter to Castle demanding he pay union dues for the months of August and September 2014 or he would be fired. Despite Castle's efforts to pay the union the full dues he supposedly owed, he was fired at LIUNA union officials' behest the next day. Adding insult to injury, Michels automatically deducted union dues from his final paycheck.

"No worker should be forced to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "This thuggish refusal by union officials to follow even the basic federal statutory protections for workers underscores why Colorado needs to pass a Right to Work law making union membership and dues payments completely voluntary."

Twenty-four states have Right to Work protections for private-sector workers. Public polling shows that nearly 80 percent of Americans and union members support the Right to Work principle of voluntary unionism.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

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.

King and his coworkers Pius Eroraha, Obi Orji, and Grace Rayemo filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) after union officials continued to force the workers into forced dues payments despite the workers' effort to revoke the union hierarchy's forced dues powers.

Coastal International also faced charges for its role in assisting the union in the collection of union dues payments despite the workers' repeated requests for the union dues and fees payments to cease.

The settlement requires the union hierarchy to return all illegally-seized union dues, plus interest, and to post informational notices in the workplace informing workers of their right to refrain from union dues or fees.

"These security guards had to file federal charges to force union officials and Coastal International Security management to back off from forcing workers into illegal union dues payments," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "This case underscores why Maryland needs to pass a Right to Work law making union membership and dues payments completely voluntary."

Twenty-four states have Right to Work protections for workers. Public polling shows that nearly 80 percent of Americans and union members support the Right to Work principle of voluntary unionism.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

Labor Day Statement: "Despite Big Victories for Worker Freedom, More Work Remains"

Gains threatened by union bosses' power grabs via government fiat

Washington, DC (August 29, 2014) – Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and National Right to Work Committee, released the following statement regarding this year's Labor Day holiday:

"This Labor Day, many workers will enjoy a well-deserved long weekend. But as we celebrate the gains for workplace freedoms workers have made across the country, union officials are working aggressively to protect and expand their forced dues powers through government fiat.

"This year, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys have assisted tens of thousands of workers nationwide achieve victories for workplace freedom. In America's newest Right to Work state, a growing number of workers from across Michigan are joining the fight to protect their Right to Work free from union compulsion.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, when given a chance to vote, staved off unwanted unionization, overcoming a coercive card check campaign, pushed by company management and United Auto Workers union officials.

"And in Illinois, parents and other family members of special needs individuals successfully challenged a government unionization scheme at the U.S. Supreme Court. In that case, now-imprisoned former Illinois Governor Rob Blagojevich and current Governor Pat Quinn issued executive orders forcing home-based personal care providers into SEIU ranks. The effects of that ruling are reverberating across the nation, and thousands of home-based personal care and childcare providers have been freed from forced union dues or fees.

"Despite these big victories for worker freedom, more work remains. Millions of American workers are still compelled to pay dues or fees to union officials as a condition of getting or keeping a job. And millions more workers are required by law to accept a union's so-called 'representation,' even if they would rather negotiate with their employer on their own merits.

"Not satisfied with these unique coercive powers, union officials continue to spend billions of workers’ money on politics and lobbying seeking to expand their reach over American workers.

"That's why the National Right to Work Committee and its 2.8 million members are leading the fight for a National Right to Work Act making union affiliation completely voluntary – a principle supported by three out of four Americans.

"Although union officials have powerful friends in the Obama Administration, the National Right to Work organizations will continue to fight back against government-backed union boss power grabs and the resulting injustices they inflict upon American workers."

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.
News Release

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. The current contract was agreed to before Michigan's Right to Work law came into effect, which is why Lemire cannot yet cut off all union dues and fees.

Even though UAW union officials acknowledged Lemire's request, Ford continued to confiscate full union dues from Lemire's paychecks. Lemire sent a second letter, this time informing UAW union officials that full dues were still being taken from his paychecks. UAW union officials returned the illegally-taken union dues.

Despite Lemire's repeated attempts to refrain from full dues-paying union membership, Ford Motor continues to confiscate, and UAW union officials continue to accept, full union dues from Lemire's paychecks.

"No worker should be forced to jump over hurdles to exercise their right to refrain from union affiliation," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "This case underscores just how important Michigan's Right to Work law making union dues payments completely voluntary is for workers."

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.

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