Union Corruption, Violence and Intimidation 

News Release

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.

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

Carpenters Union Officials Hit with Charges for Illegal Retaliation Against Workers Who Resigned Membership

NLRB will investigate charges that union bullied workers who resigned from the union and took a nonunion job rather than remain out of work in the union

Springfield, VA (June 8, 2015) – Unfair labor practice charges have been filed with the National Labor Relations Board against the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters and its Local 308 union. The charges were filed by workers, with free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, who faced retaliation from union officials after they resigned their union membership.

The workers are carpenters and resigned their membership in Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Local 308 on June 23, 2014. They then found employment with Lehman & Associates Concrete, Inc. in Boone, Iowa.

On August 1, 2014, the union filed internal discipline charges against the workers for finding work at Lehman and Associates, which is a union free workplace, despite the fact that workers who exercise their right to resign formal union membership can no longer be subjected to internal union discipline procedures.

Despite these long-standing federal protections, in March of 2015 the workers were notified by union officials that they would be “tried” at a union tribunal in Chicago. They declined to participate in the illegal “union” court and the results of the trial have not been disclosed by the union. However the two workers continue to face charges from union officials as their case is being passed up the union chain of command for further review.

Federal law and Supreme Court precedent make it clear that any worker has the right to resign his union membership at any time, for any reason. While fully voluntary union members can face discipline from union officials, the law is very clear that nonmembers are not subject to such retaliatory discipline, which often includes fines that in some cases are as high as tens of thousands of dollars.

“Intimidation and retaliation against workers at the hands of union bosses is unfortunately too commonplace,” said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “This case illustrates the measures union bosses are willing to take to cling to their forced-dues power and retaliate against workers who simply wanted to make a living and support their families rather than maintain their union membership that was keeping them unemployed.”

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

Arizona Fry's Employees Take Federal Challenge to Illegal Union Dues Scheme to DC Appeals Court

Obama Labor Board rubberstamps years of suspected widespread abuse

Washington, DC (April 22, 2015) – Seven Phoenix-area Fry's Food Stores employees have appealed their federal case filed after United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 99 union and company officials refused to honor their legal right to refrain from union dues payments.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Shirley Jones of Mesa; Karen Medley and Elaine Brown of Apache Junction; Kimberly Stewart and Saloomeh Hardy of Queen Creek; and Tommy and Janette Fuentes of Florence – acting for other similarly situated employees – filed federal unfair labor practice charges in December 2009 that spurred the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to investigate and issue a statewide complaint against UFCW Local 99 union officials.

In the midst of a well-publicized UFCW Local 99 union-threatened strike in November 2009, the employees resigned their UFCW union membership and revoked their dues deduction authorizations – a document used by union officials to automatically withhold dues from employee paychecks – while the UFCW union did not have a contract at their workplaces. Despite the employees' best efforts to halt the dues seizures, Fry's continued to illegally deduct dues from the employee's paychecks for the UFCW union hierarchy.

Under Arizona's popular Right to Work law, no worker can be required to join or pay any money to a union, and under federal labor law, if there is no longer a bargaining agreement in effect between a union and an employer, employees can revoke their dues deduction authorizations at any time.

After a four month long investigation, the Phoenix NLRB regional director initiated a prosecution against UFCW Local 99 union officials for enforcing illegal dues deduction authorizations that do not allow employees to revoke them during contract hiatus periods, contrary to federal law. However, an NLRB administrative law judge rubberstamped the scheme. The NLRB in Washington, D.C. now has upheld the ruling on appeal a second time. The NLRB previously rubberstamped the ruling in a decision later invalidated by the U.S. Supreme Court's holding in Noel Canning that the Board lacked a valid quorum after President Obama's unconstitutional 2012 NLRB "recess appointments."

The seven Fry's employees are again appealing the NRLB's ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

"The Obama NLRB has rubberstamped UFCW Local 99 bosses' years of suspected abuse and violation of thousands of workers’ rights across the state of Arizona," said Patrick Semmens, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "We applaud these workers' pursuit for justice on behalf of thousands of workers who may have been illegally forced into paying union dues in violation of Arizona's Right to Work law."

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 Sheet Metal Factory Workers File Federal Charges against Machinist Union and Company

Case underscores need for Wisconsin's new Right to Work law

Allenton, WI (April 22, 2015) – Three Maysteel, LLC sheet metal fabrication factory workers have filed federal charges against a local Machinist union and the company for violating their rights.

With the help of National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Daniel Sarauer of Campbellsport, Dan Zastrow of Mayville, and Daryl Bartsch of Oakfield filed the charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office in Milwaukee.

International Association of Machinists (IAM) Local Lodge 2053 union officials currently enjoy monopoly bargaining control over the Maysteel workers' workplace. Previously, the three workers resigned their union membership and exercised their right upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Foundation-won Communications Workers v. Beck case to refrain from paying for union political activities and member-only events. Even though they are not union members, they have still been forced to accept the union hierarchy's so-called representation and pay union fees as a condition of employment.

Under Wisconsin's Right to Work law making union dues payments completely voluntary, contracts entered into after the law went into effect must respect workers’ right to refrain from the payment of any union dues.

The three workers have since made multiple requests of the IAM union and the company for copies of their union dues deduction authorizations – a document union officials use to take dues or fees from workers' paychecks. IAM Local 2053 union officials have refused to provide the workers with copies of their dues deduction authorizations. Meanwhile, company officials have maintained that they do not have any copies of the forms.

"To keep their forced-dues gravy train going as long as possible, Machinist union officials are stonewalling these workers' requests to learn when they will be able to refrain from paying union dues or fees under Wisconsin's new Right to Work law," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Schemes like this underscore the importance Wisconsin's new Right to Work law has for workers who want to exercise their right to refrain from union affiliation once the law applies to their workplaces."

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

Fort Leonard Wood Food Service Employees Win Refunds in Federal Settlement over Illegal Union Dues Seizures

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

Fort Leonard Wood, MO (April 14, 2015) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, two Fort Leonard Wood food service workers have won a federal settlement from a local union for violating their and several of their coworkers' rights.

In November 2014, Kimsha Rosensteel, an 11-year employee with the Overland Park, Kansas-based food services provider EDP Enterprises, Inc., and coworker Stephanie Fenton filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) Local R14-139 union. Rosensteel later filed a charge against the company.

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 unrelated to bargaining and contract administration.

Rosensteel, a former NAGE Local R14-139 union president, and Fenton filed the federal charges after NAGE union officials stonewalled several workers' requests to refrain from formal, dues-paying union membership and refused to follow federal disclosure requirements designed to better inform workers of their rights.

Company management entered into a settlement with Rosensteel after the NLRB initiated a prosecution in November 2014 against the company and the union based on her charge.

Under the terms of the settlement with NAGE Local R14-139 union officials, the union hierarchy will refund 14 EDP employees dues illegally seized from their paychecks, totaling $1,580.70.

"It is sad that workers have to resort to federal legal action in order to exercise their rights," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "This case underscores the need for Missouri to pass Right to Work protections for its 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

Teamster Union Faces Federal Charge for Violating Machinery Manufacturing Company Worker’s Rights

Teamster union officials retaliate against workers who exercise rights under Texas' popular Right to Work law

Longview, TX (April 14, 2015) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a Crosby Group/Lebus Manufacturing Company worker has filed a federal charge against a local Teamsters union for violating her rights.

White Oak resident Sammie Monroe filed the unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Teamsters Local 568 for threatening her for exercising her right to refrain from paying union dues. Under Texas' popular Right to Work law, no worker can be required to join or pay fees to a union as a condition of employment.

Even though Monroe resigned her formal union membership and now refrains from paying dues, she must still accept Teamster Local 568 union officials’ so-called "representation." Because Teamster union officials have claimed monopoly bargaining privilege to speak for and control all workers, including nonmembers like Monroe, they must fairly represent all the workers in the bargaining unit.

However, Teamster Local 568 union officials have threatened Monroe and other workers in the workplace who refrain (or are considering to refrain) from union membership, stating that they will refuse to represent the workers if they have a grievance against the company unless they pay the union hierarchy a fee.

"Teamster union bosses are retaliating against workers who are exercising their legally-protected right to resign from dues-paying union membership under Texas' popular Right to Work law," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Much to Teamsters union bosses' chagrin, if they insist on having monopoly bargaining powers over workers, then they cannot punish those workers for exercising their Right to Work."

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

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

Electrical Worker Files Federal Charge Challenging Union Intimidation of Workers Exercising Their Right to Work

Autoworker union bosses back down in face of federal prosecution for using the same tactic

Croswell, MI (April 14, 2015) – An eastern-Michigan electrical worker has filed a federal charge against a local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) union for using intimidation and coercion to stop workers from exercising their rights under Michigan's Right to Work law.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Paramount Industries employee Ryan Greene filed the charge last week with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office in Detroit.

Under Michigan's Right to Work law, no worker can be forced to join or pay dues to a union as a condition of employment.

However, under a new policy issued October 1, 2014, IBEW Local 58 union officials require workers to show up in person and provide photo identification to exercise their rights under Michigan's Right to Work law. According to the charge, Greene, who resigned his IBEW union membership and revoked his dues deduction authorization discovered the new policy through an arbitration the union brought against Paramount to force Greene to continue to be a dues-paying member.

Greene's charge comes on the heels of a federal settlement won by CEVA Logistics U.S., Inc. truck driver Kathileen Sulkowski. Sulkowski filed a similar charge with the aid of National Right to Work Foundation attorneys in 2014 after United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 600 union officials denied her request to resign her union membership and dues payments unless she show up in person and provide photo identification to exercise her right to refrain from union membership. Earlier this year, the NLRB initiated a prosecution of the UAW Local 600, spurring the settlement.

"Union officials continue to pull out all the stops to prevent workers from exercising their rights under Michigan's Right to Work law," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "IBEW union officials' latest tactic requiring workers to show up in person and furnish photo identification is designed to dissuade or intimidate them from exercising their rights to refrain from membership."

Foundation staff attorneys are assisting several workers in cases across Michigan challenging union officials' schemes stonewalling workers attempts to exercise their rights under the state's Right to Work law.

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

State Troopers File Federal Lawsuit against Connecticut State Police Union

Union bosses violate Connecticut state police troopers' rights by failing to comply with U.S. Supreme Court protections for nonmember employees

Hartford, CT (March 30, 2015) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, four Connecticut state troopers have filed a federal lawsuit against the Connecticut State Police Union (CSPU) and the state for violating their rights and refusing to follow federal disclosure requirements.

State trooper Marc Lamberty resigned from formal union membership in the CSPU and invoked his right to refrain from paying full union dues in June 2011. Troopers Joseph Mercer, Carson Konow, and Collin Konow did so in November 2014.

The U.S. Supreme Court has long held that workers have the unconditional right to refrain from union membership at any time. Even though the state troopers are not CSPU members, they must still accept union officials' monopoly bargaining "representation," and because Connecticut does not have a Right to Work law, union officials can compel the troopers into paying union fees as a condition of employment.

The Supreme Court ruled in the Foundation's Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson case that union officials must provide nonmember public employees with an independently-audited breakdown of all forced-dues union expenditures and the opportunity to object and challenge the amount of forced union fees before an impartial decision maker. These minimal safeguards are designed to ensure that workers have an opportunity to refrain from paying for union political activities and member-only events.

Despite these limited protections, the state continues to deduct, and union officials continue to receive, full union dues from the officers' paychecks as if they are union members. Further, despite the officers' requests that union officials acknowledge their rights and provide them with the financial breakdown of union expenditures, union officials refuse to comply with Hudson's requirements.

The troopers seek refunds of the amount of forced union dues payments illegally taken from their paychecks and to enjoin future collection of any dues or fees until union officials follow the law.

"Once again, union officials are keeping rank-and-file state troopers in the dark to keep their forced-dues gravy train going," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "To prevent these types of forced unionism abuses in the future, Connecticut needs to pass a Right to Work law making union affiliation and dues payments completely voluntary for all of its workers."

Twenty-five states have Right to Work protections for employees. Public polling shows that nearly 80 percent of Americans and union members support the 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

NJ Public Safety Deputy Attorney General Files Federal Suit against IBEW Union

IBEW union officials fail to follow federal disclosure guidelines while requiring deputy AG to pay mandatory union fees

Trenton, NJ (March 20, 2015) – A New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety Deputy Attorney General has filed a federal lawsuit against a local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) affiliate for violating his rights and refusing to follow federal disclosure requirements.

James Bennett filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

Even though Bennett is not a member of the IBEW Local 33 union, he must still accept union officials' monopoly bargaining "representation." Further, IBEW Local 33 union officials force him and other nonmembers at his workplace to pay the equivalent of 85 percent of full union dues, the maximum amount allowed under state law, as a condition of employment.

The U.S. Supreme Court has long held that workers have the unconditional right to refrain from union membership at any time. However, because New Jersey does not have a Right to Work law, union officials can compel nonmember workers into paying union dues and fees as a condition of employment.

The Supreme Court ruled in the Foundation's Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson case that union officials must provide nonmember public workers with an independently-audited breakdown of all forced-dues union expenditures and the opportunity to object and challenge the amount of forced union fees before an impartial decision maker. This minimal safeguard is designed to ensure that workers have an opportunity to refrain from paying for union political activities and member-only events.

Bennett's suit alleges that although Local 33 union officials purportedly charge him the maximum amount of forced union fees allowed under state law, they have failed to follow the federal disclosure requirements outlined by the U.S. Supreme Court in Hudson.

Bennett is asking the court to stop the illegal union deductions from his paychecks and order a refund of all illegally-seized union dues and fees, plus interest.

"To keep their forced-dues gravy train going, IBEW union officials are keeping public servants in the dark about their rights," said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "This case underscores why New Jersey needs to follow the example most recently set by Wisconsin and pass a Right to Work law making union affiliation and dues payments completely voluntary."

Twenty-five states have Right to Work protections for employees. Public polling shows that nearly 80 percent of Americans and union members support the 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

Worker Advocate Offers Legal Aid to Wisconsin Workers Seeking to Exercise Rights under New Right to Work Law

Foundation has long history of assisting workers seeking to refrain from union membership and dues payments

Washington, DC (March 10, 2015) – The National Right to Work Foundation is offering free legal aid to Wisconsin private-sector workers seeking to exercise their right under Wisconsin's newly-enacted Right to Work law to refrain from union membership and union dues payments.

On Monday, Governor Scott Walker signed the nation's newest Right to Work law, effective Wednesday, March 11, 2015. Under the law, workers will no longer be required to pay union dues as a condition of employment once the current union monopoly bargaining agreement in their workplace expires.

The National Right to Work Foundation has a long history of assisting employees seeking to exercise their Right to Work rights, most recently under Right to Work provisions enacted in Indiana and Michigan. Foundation attorneys also provided free legal representation to Wisconsin public-sector employees who sought to refrain from paying union dues or fees under Walker's 2011 public-sector union reforms, commonly referred to as "Act 10."

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement:

"No worker should ever be forced to join or pay dues to a union as a condition of their employment. That is why Wisconsin's new Right to Work law is a great advance for worker freedom. Today, workers in Wisconsin finally have Right to Work protections.

"Unfortunately, union officials won't give up their forced dues power easily. In addition to fighting Governor Walker in court, it won't be surprising to see them make it difficult for workers to exercise their rights. Workers who try to exercise those rights may encounter stonewalling, intimidation, or harassment at the hands of union officials.

"In response, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, a charitable organization that provides free legal assistance to employees nationwide, has created a special task force to defend workers seeking to exercise their Right to Work.

"Affected employees are encouraged to call the Foundation's legal hotline toll-free at 1-800-336-3600 or contact the Foundation through its award-winning website at www.nrtw.org."

The National Right to Work Foundation issued a special legal notice to Wisconsin workers, which can be viewed here: www.nrtw.org/WisconsinRTW.

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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