**Annandale, VA (April 7, 2006)** – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Giant Food worker Kevin Nguyen has filed federal unfair labor practice charges against United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union Local 400 officials for deceiving employees into paying union dues.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) charge details how a UFCW union official misled Nguyen to believe that joining the union and paying dues was a condition of his employment and how union officials have been deducting union dues from his paycheck despite his requests that they stop.
Shortly after Giant hired him, Nguyen – a teenager who works part-time at an Annandale Giant store as an after-school job – was approached by a UFCW union official who said that he was “from Giant” and had additional paperwork “from Giant” that Nguyen needed to sign. In doing so the union obtained Nguyen’s signature on a union dues deduction card authorizing the automatic seizure of a significant amount in union dues from his small paycheck. Federal law states that private sector employees cannot be required to sign payroll dues deduction cards as a condition of employment.
“Union operatives must be punished for their bullying of teenagers and other employees to pay union dues,” said Foundation Vice President Stefan Gleason. “This case shows what little regard union officials have for the law and the employees they seek to represent.”
The NLRB charge also alleges that this illegal misrepresentation was part of a pattern in which union operatives preyed on students, part-time workers and non-English speaking employees to improperly swindle the employees into paying union dues that they were led to believe were a required condition of employment.
In addition to violating federal law, the union hierarchy’s actions violate the spirit of Virginia’s popular Right to Work law. Virginia is one of 22 states with a Right to Work law that protects employees from being forced to support a union as a condition of employment.
Once Nguyen realized that the he could not be legally forced to pay the union dues he sent a letter to the UFCW local treasurer, resigning his so-called “membership” and asking that the dues deductions stop. He further demanded a refund of all dues collected because he was never a truly voluntary union member. Union officials have so far ignored his demands and continue to collect full dues from his paycheck.
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, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.