Millville, NJ (September 29, 2003) — Enjoying free legal aid from attorneys with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an employee of Friedrich & Dimmock glass tubing company filed federal charges against local union officials for denying his right to cut off payment of forced dues used for union politics.
Orville Ziennker, along with nine other non-union workers at Friedrich & Dimmock’s Millville plant, filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics, & Allied Workers International (GMP) Union Local 219. The NLRB is responsible for investigating the charges and will decide whether to prosecute the union for unfair labor practices.
“GMP 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 July, a letter from the union to the workers failed to adequately detail both the Local and International union’s expenditures of their forced dues, including a breakdown of chargeable and non-chargeable union expenditures. Ziennker and his fellow workers are also challenging the union’s forced-dues objection procedure, which requires workers to file annual objections to paying for union ideological activities, and illegally strips them of their right to file charges with the NLRB challenging the amount of forced dues without first filing a challenge with the American Arbitration Association.
The actions of GMP 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 also 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 New Jersey 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.”