LOS ANGELES, Calif. (October 3, 2001) – Two Los Angeles International Airport janitors yesterday won a monetary settlement against the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1877 in a federal case pending against the union as a result of its systematic refusal to honor the workers’ right to object to union membership and forced dues.
With the help of National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys, the airport employees, Lidia Acevedo and Amarilis Barrientos-Sosa, forced SEIU Local 1877 officials to settle a pair of federal unfair labor practice charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against SEIU Local 1877 in March 2001. The NLRB complaint alleged that union officials were guilty of coercing nonmember workers into paying full membership dues.
“These courageous janitors stood up to union bosses’ illegal shake-down tactics,” said Randy Wanke, Director of Legal Information for the National Right to Work Foundation.
According to the settlement agreement, union officials must refund membership dues unlawfully deducted from the workers’ paychecks after they resigned their union memberships. Union officials must also post notices, in English and Spanish, informing all LAX janitors of their right to object to union membership and the payment of full dues.
Under the Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court Communications Workers v. Beck decision, union objectors may halt and reclaim all union dues spent on politics and other activities unrelated to the union’s proven collective bargaining costs.
Foundation attorneys hope to soon force a settlement in another set of cases on behalf of Los Angeles janitors harassed by SEIU Local 1877 officials. During its so-called “Justice for Janitors” strike last year, the union hierarchy fined sixteen janitors up to $500 each for exercising their right to continue working during the strike.
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.