YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (January 15, 2002) — In response to charges brought by hospital employees at Youngstown’s St. Elizabeth Health Center, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed a formal complaint against Teamsters Local 377 for unfair labor practices. The workers, with the assistance of National Right to Work Foundation attorneys, filed federal charges last year against the union for refusing to accept their resignations and for failing to properly notify them of their right to refrain from paying dues to subsidize union political activities.
“Teamsters officials must now answer for their systematic shaking down of employees,” said Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation, a charitable organization that provides free legal aid to victims of compulsory unionism abuse. “Hopefully, this is a signal that the Bush NLRB plans to stand up for union-abused workers.”
Officials of the Youngstown-based union refused to accept employees’ written resignations from union membership and told employees that they must pay all “back dues” before the union would even consider their resignations. Local Teamsters union officials were also charged with using payroll deductions to collect alleged “preexisting debt arrearages” that the union could not lawfully obligate the workers to pay under its forced unionism clause.
Under the Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court Communications Workers v. Beck decision, workers may resign from formal union membership at any time and pay only for the union’s proven collective bargaining costs, an amount that is only a fraction of full union dues.
Unless the Teamsters Local 377 remedies its lawbreaking, the case will proceed to a trial before an NLRB administrative law judge.
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.