San Diego, Calif. (June 16, 2003) — Responding to charges filed by an employee of the City of San Diego, a California Public Employment Relations Board (CPERB) Administrative Law Judge has ordered the San Diego Municipal Employees’ Association (MEA) union to stop discriminating against non-union members by illegally withholding benefits.
Enjoying free legal assistance from attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Tanya DuLaney originally filed charges in March 2002, after MEA union officials withheld dental and eye care coverage from all non-union employees. The MEA union officials’ actions violated several California statutes that are intended to protect an employee’s right to abstain from membership and that require union officials to represent employees fairly.
The scheme, part of the Memorandum of Understanding between the union and the city, was designed to pressure employees into signing up as formal union members, thereby causing them to give up certain rights, including the ability to refrain from funding union political activities.
“This prosecution is a small step towards protecting independent workers who routinely suffer discrimination at the hands of California government union bosses,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Unfortunately, as long as union officials are given a monopoly on representing employees and other compulsory unionism privileges, this abuse will continue to be prevalent.”
The labor board judge has ordered city and MEA union officials to form a benefits plan that does not interfere with workers’ rights to remain independent of union representation, and the city must post a notice informing workers of the CPERB decision.
With the support of Governor Gray Davis over the past five years, government union officials have seized control over much of California’s economy and workforce. For example, Davis has signed several laws that require hundreds of thousands of teachers and other public employees to pay union dues as a job condition.