News Release

School Bus Driver Files Charge against Teamster Union for Ignoring Her Rights Under Michigan's Right to Work Law

Teamster union officials stonewall worker's attempt to refrain from dues payments

Howell, MI (October 9, 2013) – A school bus driver has filed a state charge against a local Teamster union for violating her rights under Michigan's recently enacted public-sector Right to Work law.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Pauline Beutler of Howell filed the state charge late last week with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) in Detroit.

Beutler, who works as a bus driver for the Livingston Education Service Agency, informed the Teamster Local 214 union on September 9, 2013, that she was exercising her right under Michigan's Right to Work law to refrain from union dues payments after the union's monopoly bargaining agreement with her employer expired on June 30, 2013. Under Michigan's Right to Work law, contracts entered into after the law went into effect must respect workers' right to refrain from the payment of any union dues.

Instead of complying with Beutler's request, Teamster Local 214 union officials told her that she would have to wait for a union-designated "window period" in July 2014 before she could revoke her dues deduction authorization and opt out of union dues. A dues deduction authorization is a document union officials use to take dues or fees from workers' paychecks.

Beutler alleges that Michigan's Right to Work law invalidates the union's "window period" requirement under the former monopoly bargaining agreement. Moreover, Michigan's Right to Work law requires that all dues deduction authorizations must be revocable at will.

"Across the state, Teamster union bosses are pulling out all the stops to keep workers from exercising their rights under Michigan’s Right to Work law," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Schemes like this show that the ultimate goal of union officials is more forced dues collected from workers, even when rank-and-file employees want nothing to do with a union."

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.

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