SYRACUSE, N.Y. (August 2, 2001) — A group of employees at a casket manufacturing facility who were illegally forced to pay union dues for politics filed federal charges today against the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 200.
With the help of National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys, the Marsellus Casket employees, Mark L. Miller, Scott Bayer, and David Sprague, filed the federal charges with the National Labor Relations Board asking for prosecution of the union for unfair labor practices.
“No longer will these employees tolerate the union’s practice of fleecing them for political cash,” said Randy Wanke, Director of Legal Information for the National Right to Work Foundation.
The charges state that SEIU Local 200 officials failed to honor employees’ resignations from formal union membership and continued to collect full union dues from the objectors, in violation of numerous court rulings, including the Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court Communications Workers v. Beck decision. Under Beck, workers may halt and reclaim all union dues spent on politics and other activities unrelated to workplace bargaining.
Secretive SEIU officials also failed to provide employees with a breakdown of how their union fees were being spent, making it impossible for them to identify the portion of the fees that they cannot legally be forced to pay as nonmembers. Union officials violated the Foundation-won Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson precedent, in which the Supreme Court held that unions must provide employees with an independent audit of their books before seizing any forced union dues.
Foundation attorneys are demanding that SEIU Local 200 officials return all union dues illegally seized from the paychecks of the employees and provide proper financial disclosure to all bargaining unit employees and notify them of their right to object to union membership and union politics.
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.