Steelworker Union Bosses Slapped with Federal Charges for Continuing to Seize Dues from Worker’s Paycheck
Union officials ignore own rules to force worker into full dues paying union membership
Des Moines, Iowa (December 31, 2009) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, a Bridgestone Corporation employee filed federal charges after his employer illegally diverted a portion of his paycheck to a local union to which the employee does not belong.
The case points out the need for strong and fully enforced Right to Work laws and other protections against forced unionism abuse. A few Iowa legislators have recently tried to repeal the state’s Right to Work law that makes union membership and dues payment voluntary – even though doing so would lead to employee rights violations on a massive scale.
Terry L. Welch of Polk City filed federal unfair labor practice charges at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against United Steelworkers Local 310 union bosses and Bridgestone.
In October, Welch resigned from the Steelworkers union and revoked his dues deduction authorization. Dues deduction authorizations are used by union officials to automatically withhold union dues from employee paychecks.
Under Iowa’s popular Right to Work law no worker can be required to join or pay any money to a union as a condition of employment. Additionally, the union’s own dues authorization card allows Welch to revoke his authorization at any time.
However, union officials are ignoring Welch’s repeated requests to exercise his legal rights. Despite the employee’s best efforts to resign from union membership and halt the dues seizures, Bridgestone continues to illegally deduct union dues from Welch’s paycheck and forward them to the union hierarchy.
The charges will now be investigated by the NLRB regional director in Des Moines who can prosecute the union officials and the company for violating the employee’s legal rights.
“Despite repeated requests, Steelworker union bosses are disregarding their own rules and ignoring Mr. Welch’s legitimate attempts to exercise his right to stop paying union dues,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Fortunately, workers in the Hawkeye State have rights under federal law and Iowa’s Right to Work law to help combat the corrupt actions of unaccountable union bosses.”