Local Union Faces Prosecution after Union Official Threatens School Bus Driver with Physical Violence
Union official said if he found worker alone, he would "stomp" him
Gresham, OR (September 5, 2013) – A local union is facing a federal prosecution after a union official from the union threatened a First Student, Inc. bus driver with physical violence.
The prosecution comes after the bus driver filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.
The driver filed the charge after an Oregon School Employees Association, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Local 6732 union official tore down informational notices posted by the driver and threatened to "stomp" him if he ever found him alone. The notices included information on how the workers can, with a majority vote, remove the union hierarchy's ability to collect forced union dues and fees from nonmember drivers.
The driver posted the notice after he was one of 10 drivers who won an NLRB settlement after AFT Local 6732 union officials demanded that all drivers join the union and pay full union dues or face discharge. The settlement came after AFT Local 6732 union officials illegally confiscated full union dues from the drivers' paychecks without informing the workers of their right to refrain from formal union membership. Union officials confiscated full union dues from both drivers who refused to join the union and drivers who joined the union with objections because they thought they had no choice.
Because Oregon does not have Right to Work protections making union affiliation completely voluntary, the nonmember bus drivers can be forced to pay part of union dues to keep their jobs. However, nonmember workers can refrain from paying for union politics and members-only events.
"AFT Local 6732 union officials have already made a mockery of federal law in order to keep their forced dues gravy train going," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Now they are turning to outright violence to get their way."
"This case underscores the need for Oregon to pass state Right to Work protections for its workers," added Mix.
Twenty-four states have Right to Work protections for employees. Public polling shows that nearly 80 percent of Americans and union members support the principle of voluntary unionism.