Traverse City, MI (April 28, 2014) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a Traverse City UPS (NYSE: UPS) worker has won a federal settlement against a local Teamster union for violating her rights.
Lisa Plamondon, a 30-year UPS employee, won the settlement from the Teamster Local 406 union after she filed charges against the union and her employer with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Because Michigan did not have a Right to Work law making union dues payments completely voluntary, Plamondon was a member of the union from 1983 until 1997. In 1997, Plamondon resigned her union membership, but still had to pay union dues and fees to keep her job.
After Michigan’s private-sector Right to Work law went into effect, Plamondon sent several letters to the Local 406 union stating that she was exercising her right under Michigan’s Right to Work law to refrain from union dues payments. In the letters, Plamondon attempted to comply with Teamster Local 406’s procedure to end forced dues payments by revoking her dues deduction authorization – a document union officials use to take dues or fees from workers’ paychecks.
Teamster Local 406 union officials refused to comply with her request and told her that there are numerous restrictions on her ability to revoke her dues deduction. For example, Teamster union officials told Plamondon she must submit her request in writing, even though she has already sent several letters. Teamster Local 406 union officials also refused to provide Plamondon with a copy of her dues deduction authorization, claiming that she received a copy when she filled one out over 20 years ago.
Under the terms of the settlement, Plamondon received reimbursement of all of the union fees illegally taken from her paycheck plus interest. Moreover, the NLRB filed a complaint against UPS for its role in violating Plamondon’s rights.
“Michigan workers should not have to jump through arbitrary hoops just to exercise their rights under Michigan’s Right to Work laws,” said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “We applaud Ms. Plamondon’s courageous effort to protect her rights under Michigan’s private-sector Right to Work law.”
In similar cases across Michigan, Foundation staff attorneys have assisted 12 public-sector workers who filed charges with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) in Detroit and another private-sector worker who filed a federal charge with the NLRB.
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.