Lake Geneva, Wis. (July 1, 2003) — Enjoying free legal aid from attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an employee of Trostel SEG, Inc., filed federal charges against local union officials for illegally forcing him to pay full union dues, including dues spent for politics.
Brandon Moran, a non-union employee at Trostel’s Lake Geneva plant, filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the Independent Union of National Amalgamated Workers (NAW) Local 711. The NLRB is responsible for investigating the charges and will decide whether to prosecute the union for unfair labor practices.
“NAW 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.
Within the past six months, Moran notified NAW union officials of his resignation from the union and intention to pay only those costs directly related to collective bargaining. NAW union officials have illegally continued seizing full union dues from Moran, claiming Moran had authorized the employer to deduct full union dues from his paycheck. Despite the union’s claims, neither the company nor NAW has shown it has a valid dues deduction authorization on file.
The actions of NAW union officials 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.
“No one should be forced to pay compulsory dues to a union, especially when its officials continually abuse that federally granted special privilege,” stated Gleason. “Until Wisconsin workers enjoy the protections of a Right to Work law, workers will continue suffering this type of abuse at the hands of self-serving union officials.”