Los Angeles, Calif. (January 2, 2003) – Aided by attorneys from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Universal Studios theme park worker Hyo Lim filed federal charges against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 399 for failing to provide an account of how the union is spending his forced union dues.
The unfair labor practice charges, filed at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), charge Teamsters Local 399 officials with requiring resigning members to submit themselves to unlawful internal objection procedures. Those procedures threaten workers with higher union fees and even force Universal to fire the workers if they decline to pay that increased fee.
“The Teamsters union’s increasing disregard for workers’ rights demonstrates the corruption that flows from the federal policy of compulsory unionism,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “The union hierarchy is determined to keep workers’ forced union dues flowing into their coffers through any means necessary.”
Lim’s charges state that, after filing for resignation from the union, Local 399 officials continue to illegally deduct full union fees from his paycheck without providing the explanation of how the fee was calculated required by the U.S. Supreme Court. Additionally, Lim contends that union officials have not provided an independent audit of how they spend union fees. The financial information the Teamsters International provided is compromised by the union’s use of a corrupt accounting firm, Thomas Havey, LLP.
In recent months, top partners at the Havey firm pleaded guilty to federal crimes, including aiding a conspiracy to commit fraud against the United States by concealing almost two million dollars in union entertainment expenditures on government disclosure forms.
The Teamsters union’s actions violate the Foundation-won Communications Workers v. Beck U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows workers 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.
“Teamsters 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.”