New York, NY (March 11, 2013) – With the help of National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, an NBC Sports technician has filed federal charges against his employer and the NABET-CWA Local 11 union for forcing him to join the union and pay full dues.
Over the past six months, Steve Wahlenmayer has worked as a daily hire for NBC Sports, which is party to a bargaining agreement with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union. Because New York lacks a Right to Work law, regular employees can be forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment after 30 consecutive days of employment. This means temporary or daily hires cannot be required to pay union dues if they don't reach the 30-day threshold.
Despite the fact that Wahlenmayer has never worked for NBC for 30 consecutive days, CWA officials and NBC Sports demanded he join the union and sign a dues check-off card authorizing the CWA to deduct automatically dues from his paycheck and to pay a $9,000 initiation fee. Other temporary hires at NBC Sports have faced similar demands.
Moreover, even if Wahlenmayer or his coworkers were employed by NBC for at least 30 consecutive days, federal law prohibits unions and employers from forcing workers to join a union as a condition of employment.
Under protest, Wahlenmayer signed a dues check-off card to protect his job. He is now filing charges to reclaim his confiscated dues with the National Labor Relations Board, a federal agency charged with administering private sector labor law.
"Desperate for more forced dues cash, CWA union bosses are trying to fleece temporary hires in flagrant violation of federal law," said Patrick Semmens, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Unfortunately, NBC Sports is complicit in the mistreatment of their own employees."
"This illicit practice highlights the need for a New York Right to Work law, which would ensure that no worker can be forced to join or pay dues to a union just to get or keep a job," continued Semmens.