Hartford, Conn. (April 2, 2003) — With the help of attorneys from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an employee of Colt Manufacturing filed federal charges today against his bargaining unit’s union for illegally forcing him to pay full union dues – including dues spent in pursuit of the union’s political agenda – or lose his job.
George Gally, a non-union member, filed the unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) union local lodge 376.
“In order to keep stuffing their political coffers with forced union dues, the union’s officials demand that workers shut up and pay up,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation.
Gally originally objected to full union membership more than a decade ago, but under rules set by UAW union officials, has to again renew his objection every year in order to avoid full dues payment. Though Gally renewed his objection to being a full-dues-paying member in response to a union notice to do so, union officials disregarded his objection and have illegally demanded that he tender full dues in order to keep his job.
The actions of UAW union officials violate the workers’ rights established by the Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court Communications Workers v. Beck decision. Under Beck and subsequent rulings, workers have to right to refrain from full dues-paying union membership, pay a reduced fee to cover only the union’s collective bargaining costs, and refuse to pay for union ideological activities -- such as politics.
“This sort of illegal power grab highlights the abuses that flow from compulsory unionism,” said Gleason. “Until workers like Gally enjoy the protections of a Right to Work law, union bosses in Connecticut will enjoy free reign over rank-and-file workers.”