School Bus Driver Files Federal Labor Charges Against Teamsters Union That Had Him Fired For Not Paying Union Dues
Foundation staff attorneys file charges with NLRB after union officials disregard Supreme Court protections for nonmember workers and carry out threat to have worker fired
Fairbanks, AK (June 22, 2015) – National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys filed federal unfair labor practice charges against Teamsters Local 959 on behalf of bus driver Scott Bracy who was illegally fired from his job for not paying forced dues and fees to the union. Charges were also filed against Bracy’s employer, First Student Management, LLC.
The charges, filed with the National Labor Relations Board, state that Teamsters union officials failed to follow U.S. Supreme Court-required procedures while demanding payment from Bracy, a dispute over which union officials eventually had First Student fire Bracy. The charges also state that Teamsters officials are seeking an illegal assessment.
As an employee of First Student, Bracy worked as a school bus driver in Fairbanks, Alaska. Teamsters Local 959 union officials have a monopoly bargaining contract with Bracy’s former employer. Because Alaska has not yet passed a state Right to Work law, workers can be forced to pay fees to a union as a condition of employment.
However, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that workers cannot be forced to pay fees relating to political activity, and have the right to object and refrain from paying such fees. Local 959 failed to follow proper procedures to allow workers to object to funding union activities unrelated to monopoly bargaining, including union political and lobbying activity. The union did not provide an audited financial disclosure, which it is required to do.
When Bracy did not pay the fees the union bosses demanded from him, union officials had First Student terminate his employment. This is not the first time First Student has placed the interests of Big Labor over their employees. In the past, First Student has deducted union fees from a worker’s paycheck without affirmative authorization.
“This is an outrageous, but all too common, incidence of Big Labor trampling on the rights of workers,” said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “No worker should ever have to worry that the fate of their job lies in the hands of a union boss. The ability to feed one’s family should not be held hostage as a means to extract money from a paycheck to fill Big Labor’s coffers,” he continued.
“The National Right to Work Foundation will continue to provide free legal aid to any worker who has suffered abuse at the hands of union bosses, because in America no worker should ever be forced to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. Of course, if Alaska were a Right to Work state, Mr. Bracy would still have his job,” Mix said.