NEWPORT, Ky. (September 25, 2001) – A CVS cashier today filed federal charges against a local affiliate of the powerful United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) union for illegally seizing forced union dues without divulging how the money was being spent.
With the assistance of National Right to Work Foundation attorneys, William Manning filed the unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against UFCW Local 1099.
“Secretive union officials are deliberately preventing workers from learning how their forced union dues are being spent,” said Foundation Director of Legal Information Randy Wanke.
Manning resigned his union membership on June 29, 2001 after independently learning about his right to do so. Union officials had never informed Manning of his right, guaranteed by the landmark Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court CWA v. Beck decision, to become a nonmember and halt the collection of all union dues spent for politics and other activities unrelated to collective bargaining.
When Manning requested to review a copy of the union’s financial records so that he could distinguish the union’s proven collective bargaining costs from politics and other nonchargeable activities, union bureaucrats stonewalled, claiming that his request was “not relevant.”
“What I got back was a letter basically saying that it’s none of my business,” Manning said.
The charges state that union officials refused to provide an audited breakdown of union expenditures, an escrow of fees, and a procedure to challenge the union’s calculations. Under Beck and related Foundation-won precedents, unions must provide workers with full financial disclosure before seizing any forced dues.
Foundation attorneys are demanding that UFCW Local 1099 officials return all dues unlawfully collected from Manning, provide a complete and proper independent audit of their books, and notify all bargaining unit employees of their right to object to union membership and the payment of full dues.
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.