Lancaster, Pa. (January 10, 2003) – Aided by attorneys from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an employee of NTN-BCA, filed federal charges against the steelworkers union for illegally forcing him to pay union fees without providing a list of chargeable activities.
William Thompson, a non-union member, filed the unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) Local 1035.
“Union officials’ increasing disregard for workers’ rights demonstrates the corruption and arrogance that flows from the federal policy of compulsory unionism,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Without the protection of a Right to Work law, Pennsylvania workers are largely at the mercy of union bosses.”
Thompson charges Local 1035 officials have refused to accommodate his request to provide Thompson with a complete breakdown of how the union fee is calculated.
The USWA union’s actions violate the Foundation-won Communications Workers v. Beck U.S. Supreme Court decision. Under Beck, workers are allowed to resign from formal union membership and halt and reclaim the portion of forced union dues spent on activities unrelated to collective bargaining, such as union politics, organizing, and public relations. Union officials must provide workers a list of activities they claim they can compel non-members to subsidize.
“Steelworkers union officials are trying to get away with hiding how they spend workers’ union dues,” said Gleason. “It seems they are afraid that once workers know how the union is spending their money, they will revolt.”
The NLRB is responsible for investigating the charges and will decide whether to prosecute the union for unfair labor practices.