New Orleans, La. (June 5, 2003) – Five United Parcel Service (UPS) employees today filed federal charges against the Teamsters union for refusing to honor their membership resignations while continuing to illegally seize union dues from their paychecks. The employees are challenging a provision of the recently finalized collective bargaining agreement that requires UPS supervisors to “encourage” employees in Right to Work states to join the union despite clear law that prohibits such coercion.
With the help of attorneys with the National Right to Work Foundation, the five non-union employees filed the unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the Teamsters Union Local 270. The NLRB is responsible for investigating the charges and will decide whether to prosecute the union for unfair labor practices.
“Teamsters union officials’ actions show they only care about stuffing their coffers with union dues rather than respecting the wishes of rank-and-file employees they claim to represent,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation.
In December, the five employees – Danny Mitchell, Lowell Mayo, Jason Oliver, Arlyn Bonano, and Allen Stall – resigned their memberships from the union and revoked their dues deduction authorizations. Teamsters union officials flatly ignored their resignations and continued illegally to seize full union dues from the workers.
Mitchell and the other workers are asking the NLRB to force the Teamsters union officials to honor their resignations and dues revocations. They seek an order forcing the union hierarchy to return any money that has been illegally confiscated from the workers since December.
In the charges, the workers are also challenging a contract provision requiring UPS officials in Right to Work states to tell new employees that they should become full dues-paying union members. The National Labor Relations Act prohibits employers from supporting unions and coercing employees into joining them.
In addition to running afoul of federal statutes, the agreement also violates the spirit of Louisiana’s popular Right to Work law. A state Right to Work law frees workers from being forced to join or to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment.